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Amazon Ads announced new features at UnBoxed. Here's what it means for brands.

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

Last week, Amazon announced new advertising features at its UnBoxed event designed to help brands navigate the ever-changing retail media world. Amazon is preparing for slower growth this Q4 and advertising will continue to be a main driver of profitability for the retailer.

OneStone was at the event to learn and bring back knowledge to help our clients with more effective advertising campaigns as competition heats up. Here is an overview of some of the announcements and our take of what this means for brands selling on Amazon.

Video Builder (beta) now available for Sponsored Brands video placements

What it is: Brands can now easily build videos for Sponsored Brands video placements through a selection of ready-to-use customizable templates using Video Builder (beta). Build videos by pulling product images and copy from your detail pages or by uploading lifestyle and other images from creative assets or your desktop. Video Builder (beta) provides a range of themes to customize the look and feel of your video, and edit the color, font and music options.

Our thoughts: Amazon continues to invest more and more in tools to assist brands reach their audience in meaningful and relevant ways. The newly announced SD Video Creative tool equips brands to build their own custom creatives within the Amazon Advertising console. Video cuts through the noise better than any other type of ad. Access to video will make a big difference for brands who otherwise don't have the in-house resources.

2 years ago, Sponsored Display was a lower priority ad placement. Advertisers were limited to targeting individual ASINs with static images of products. If anything, it was just a play of grabbing cheap impressions. Now, Sponsored Display allows for audience/contextual targeting that includes video and product ad placements. SD seems more and more like the "gateway drug" to DSP than ever.

Here is an example from Amazon of customizable templates:

Sponsored Products campaigns with presets

What it is: Presets are Amazon-recommended campaign settings like including daily budgets and bidding strategies. Presets are now automatically featured in the ads console for new products.

Our thoughts: Short on time and need to launch Amazon campaigns quickly? Look to SP campaigns with presets. As Amazon invests more and more into new ad products and tools, it also is working hard to make advertising easier for brands. This is a perfect solution for brands who need ads QUICK. This might be a good starting point, but if you have good use of ad tech and are experienced this won't be worth much.

Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) enhancements

What it is: Amazon has added Sponsored Display and digital subscription events to AMC, more pre-built instructional queries, and the ability to manage DSP audiences within AMC. The addition of Sponsored Display and digital subscription events offers advertisers greater visibility into the total and incremental impact of different Amazon Ads formats, more comprehensive cross-media attribution, and a deeper understanding of the customer journey. Through an integration with Sizmek Ad Suite (beta), advertisers can build queries to analyze bidding efficacy, cross-publisher attribution, and total reach. Sponsored Brands signals will be added in early 2023.

Our thoughts: AMC is becoming more than an "ad overlap tool." Advertisers that leverage AMC can now understand their shopper at a deeper level than ever before. A year ago, we were talking about path to conversion analysis, ad overlap analysis, and personas/demographics data. Now, AMC data is inclusive of Sponsored Display, digital subscription events, and DTC data. This goes hand in hand with the direction of Amazon's platform. As most people know, Amazon is no longer a "purchase only" platform. With Thursday Night Football, Twitch, Freevee, and many other experience focused Amazon products, its vital for brands to unlock data to understand their shopper and serve ads in a non-disruptive way. AMC unlocks just that. AMC is the future of building your brand through advertising based on actual purchasing data. Every further consumer touchpoint that we get access to means more accurate targeting. More pre-built queries means more and smarter ways to slice the data available.

Amazon shared a real world example from OneStone, Pacvue, and Essentia Water during the event:

"Brands such as bottled water company Essentia also continue to leverage AMC capabilities to refine their broader marketing strategies and drive even more value across their Amazon Ads investments. Working with the ad agency OneStone, Essentia recently partnered with Pacvue’s Business Intelligence solution—which leverages AMC for insights on media mix, path to conversion, and affinity audiences—to inform their ad spend strategy on Amazon. Based in-part on analysis of AMC insights, Essentia was able to double their on-Amazon customer base—driving a 69% increase in return on advertising spend in less than one year."

Rewarded Sponsored Display

What is is: Brands will be able to add an Amazon shopping credit directly into the Sponsored Display creative, and customers receive the reward by clicking on the ad and purchasing the featured product. In a 2021 Amazon Ads survey of US adult Amazon shoppers, 92% of respondents said they were more likely to take an action if offered an Amazon shopping credit, demonstrating the value and utility of this type of experience.

Our thoughts: Rewarded Sponsored Display further drives shoppers to the point of purchase. We foresee Rewarded SD drastically improving both the CTR and CVR of Sponsored Display campaigns. As mentioned earlier, Amazon continues to put eggs into the Sponsored Display basket. It's going to be difficult to justify not spending here in the coming years. We know that badges increase engagement on Amazon. This reward will increase the CTR and encourage the follow through of conversion. Your PDP health, inventory, pricing, etc. need to be up to snuff, otherwise you're just going to increase ad spend and not close the sale.

Here is an example:

Amazon Marketing Stream

What it is: Amazon announced the global rollout of Amazon Marketing Stream (excluding India). Amazon Streaming TV reaches an unduplicated potential monthly US audience of more than 135 million, including Twitch. Streaming TV incremental household reach is a post-campaign reporting solution that helps brands measure the unique, incremental audience reached through Amazon Streaming TV Ads campaigns, above and beyond their linear TV campaigns.

Our thoughts: This is a gamechanger for brands and advertisers everywhere. The tool will unlock near real-time performance data which could inform better bidding strategies/tactics.

Digital signage ads (DSP)

What it is: Digital Signage Ads in Amazon DSP, which will be available in November to eligible US advertisers via managed service, make it easier for brands to advertise within Amazon Fresh stores. With Digital Signage Ads in Amazon DSP, brands can now purchase ads programmatically, giving them more flexibility and control over where their ads are featured. Campaigns can be scheduled based on store location, by daypart, or by location of the digital signage within the store. This creates more opportunities for brand discovery and will enhance the customer shopping experience by creating a wider variety of in-store ads.

Our thoughts: this is small in scope right now, but once it gains traction and takes shape this could be the first way we are able to buy DSP inventory (self-serve if you have a seat!) and show up in a brick and mortar store.

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