[This post was authored by Emily Sullivan and Shannon Mullery of Tinuiti]

Amazon experts and advertisers from across the globe gathered on October 26-27 for Amazon’s virtual event, unBoxed 2021. The event hosted 40+ speakers and included thought-provoking keynote sessions, practical breakout sessions, and lightning chats that packed a punch. This year’s unBoxed left us inspired, highlighting best practices in the advertising space, trending need-to-know insights, and a full report of Amazon’s latest and greatest products and features. 

Couldn’t attend live? No worries. We have you covered. We’re breaking down unBoxed 2021 with full session recaps, the news you need to know, and expert takeaways. Click on a session below that piques your interest and let’s dive into this year’s unBoxed. 

Day 1:

Day 2:

 

Amazon unBoxed 2021: Day One Keynote

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

 

Andy Jassy | CEO, Amazon

Colleen Aubrey | SVP, Ad Products & Tech, Amazon Ads

Sarah Iooss | Head of Sales, Americas, Twitch

Kate Jhaveri | Chief Marketing Officer, NBA

Alan Moss | VP, Global Advertising Sales, Amazon Ads

Krystal Olivieri | Chief Innovation Officer, GroupM

Claire Paull | Director, Global Marketing and Training, Amazon Ads

Jen Sargent | Chief Executive Officer, Wondery

Keerat Sharma | Director, Amazon Ads

Amazon packed a ton of information into their hour-plus long keynote, which served in part as a detailed agenda, and highlight reel of the sessions to come later in the day. 

Below we’ve outlined some of our top takeaways from each of the 9 keynote speakers, along with some of the most noteworthy stats and announcements they shared.

 

Top Takeaways, Announcements & Quotes

 

  • In May 2021, “Prime Video became the first digital streaming service to secure an exclusive, national broadcast package with the NFL,” with Amazon continuing to expand their focus on live sports programming, including on Twitch

 

  • Announcement: Interactive Video Ads are currently in beta on the IMDb TV app on Fire TV. These ads allow viewers to add advertised items to their cart or a list, request more information, or buy now to place an immediate order (voice-activated or remote-activated)

 

“The announcement of interactive video ads is extremely exciting. Instead of relying on memory recall, customers can take direct action in the moment to purchase a product.”

Kyra Alpiner, Marketplace Insight Specialist at Tinuiti

 

  • Announcement: Enhanced Interactive Audio Ads are currently in beta for listeners using the ad-supported tier of Amazon Music on Alexa-enabled devices. These ads allow listeners to purchase, request more details, or easily add items to their cart, no longer requiring they remember the exact name of the product to do so

 

“Audio and streaming advertisements are clearly strong areas of focus for Amazon this year. The introduction of Audio Ads on Alexa-enabled devices allows us to reach shoppers on a new medium where they can purchase or request more details in real-time without lifting a finger.”

Jessica Shapp, Associate, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti

 

  • An Ipsos study showed that “39% of respondents with Alexa-enabled devices said they would be more likely to respond to an ad if given the option for voice command”

 

  • Announcement: Interactive Incentives for Twitch, powered by an integration with Amazon Moments, allows advertisers to offer “perks and discounts” to streamers who interact with their branded extensions. These rewards can be redeemed in the brands’ Amazon Store. Sarah Iooss explained: “A brand will run an ad to take viewers to a sponsored Twitch stream. While watching the stream, viewers can earn a reward for engaging with the branded extension; they can gain points based on the number of chat interactions, or participate in an on-screen game. And then, the reward can be redeemed on a curated Amazon Moments landing page, specific to the brand.”   

 

  • A 2019 research study commissioned by Wondery found that their podcast-listeners have a “stronger emotional response to audio storytelling than visual storytelling.”  Additionally, podcast ads ranked higher in memorability than ads on social media, and were also “more effective at building brand trust.”

 

“Podcasts have seen enormous growth in recent years, so advertising on the platform is only going to increase too. Audio ads have a considerable impact on listeners because they are reaching new audiences where they’re intentionally spending time.”

Kyra Alpiner, Marketplace Insight Specialist at Tinuiti

 

  • The results of a recent survey found that “75% of US shoppers use Amazon to discover new products or brands, regardless of where they end up making a purchase”

 

  • Announcement: Sponsored Display Ads have been expanded to Twitch livestreams (Learn more below)

 

  • Since launching Brand Follow, “20 million follow relationships between shoppers and brands” have been established on Amazon.com

 

  • Announcement: Brand Metrics in beta. (Learn more in Brand Metrics (βeta) Deep Dive session recap below

 

  • Announcement: Amazon Brand Lift (opt-in, invitation-only program) (Learn more in Advanced Techniques for Campaign Measurement and Optimization session recap below)

 

“We exist to help customers’ lives be easier and better, and to relentlessly invent to make it so.”

Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon

“We’ve found that customers increasingly prefer tailored advertising, and meaningful experiences. And now, the pandemic has accelerated these trends; it’s heightened our need for comfort, joy, and meaning.”

Claire Paull, Director, Global Marketing and Training, Amazon Ads

“Amazon Streaming TV ads and Twitch jointly reach an unduplicated monthly audience of 135 million viewers across the US. To put that in perspective, that’s 1 in 3 people in the United States.”

Alan Moss, VP, Global Advertising Sales, Amazon Ads

“Sponsored Display enables you to meet customers on the Amazon homepage, where millions start their Amazon shopping journey; on Product Detail Page[s], as customers consider what to buy; and off Amazon, across millions of third-party websites and mobile apps, where customers discover brands in more serendipitous ways.”

Colleen Aubrey, SVP, Ad Products & Tech, Amazon Ads

“Streamers are bringing their whole selves to Twitch, streaming more than just gameplay. They’re streaming their other interests and things that make them special, like cooking, exercise, art, and so much more.”

Sarah Iooss, Head of Sales, Americas, Twitch

“Relevancy is key to Gen Z adults, so we continue to enhance our linear TV product with not only more camera angles, additional audio, and—of course—influencer integrations; we’re also expanding our digital and social offerings to create a much more customized and personal experience for fans, no matter where they are.”

Kate Jhaveri, Chief Marketing Officer, NBA

“Ultimately, as advertisers, we’re here to make connections: between brands and customers; between business challenges and solutions; and between audiences and the content they love. And if we’re lucky enough, and rigorous enough, these connections add value to the daily lives of our customers.”

Alan Moss, Global Advertising Sales, Amazon Ads

“Clean rooms are getting a lot of buzz in the industry right now, but a clean room is only as good as the data inside of it. We’re able to build queries leveraging Amazon media events that are only available through AMC. So this technology offers a way to help our advertisers understand consumer behaviors and media performance while preserving customer privacy.”

Krystal Olivieri, Chief Innovation Officer, GroupM

“Podcasts are experiencing explosive growth in consumer adoption, and the industry is ripe for brands to enter the space. Why? Because podcasting combines on-demand content with the medium of storytelling.”

Jen Sargent, Chief Executive Officer, Wondery

“AMC is now open to you wherever the Amazon DSP, or demand-side platform, is available. Over the last two years, over a thousand brands—including many of you—were invited to use AMC. You’ve told us it helps you do things that weren’t possible before. With it, you are understanding the relationships across the ad programs you use, tailoring how you inspect performance, and are able to use your own datasets to gain more insights and customization.”

Keerat Sharma, Director, Amazon Ads
 

Engage Customers Using Voice and TV-remote Capabilities with Interactive Ads

 
Kendra Tal | Senior Audio Ads Partnership Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

In this session, Kendra Tal explores Amazon Ad’s interactive ad products and how brands can make exploring content easier than ever via video and audio with voice commands and TV-remote clicks. Tal highlights new opportunities for customer engagement considering consumers are utilizing phones, computers, tablets, TVs, smart speakers, and more on a daily basis. 

“These interactions create millions of opportunities for brands to connect with consumers in a variety of different ways, places, and times. As a brand, you’re likely looking for, or at least open to, new and unique ways to engage customers wherever they are spending their time. That’s where Amazon’s Interactive Ads suite of products comes in.” 

Kendra Tal, Senior Audio Ads Partnership Manager, Amazon Ads

Tal highlights how Amazon strives to build seamless interactions within ad experiences and how they are taking the integration further than ever before. She announced that Amazon is introducing instinctive action, a new feature within their ad experiences, with the goal of reducing friction for customers and providing them with easy options to connect directly with a brand. 

“Using a simple voice command or remote click, customers can shop for or explore brand content using Alexa through Echo devices and Fire TV. Now, instead of grabbing your phone to search for a product, you can just ask Alexa to send you more information or add it to your cart” 

Kendra Tal, Senior Audio Ads Partnership Manager, Amazon Ads

These audio and video ads put the control in the hands of the user whether it be through a voice command or a remote control click. Amazon delivers these ads through IMDB TV and through Amazon Music (free) using either Alexa or a Fire TV remote. 

For brands that sell products on Amazon, this functionality will allow you to close the loop on shoppability.” 

Kendra Tal, Senior Audio Ads Partnership Manager, Amazon Ads
 

Advanced Techniques for Campaign Measurement and Optimization

 
Laurie Wang | Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

Karen Narang | Principal Technical Product Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

To start the session, Laurie Wang takes us on her recent kitchen adventures and explains how she took on a series of baking initiatives with her extra free time during the pandemic. She uses the example of when she tried to bake a sponge cake and it didn’t go as planned. During her baking, Wang realized that how she used the whisk (the speed, direction, and motion) was critical in achieving that ideal batter texture.

“If you think about it, whisking is not all that different from advertising measurement. After all, like whisking, our measurement plays a behind the scenes role in the campaign you serve up. And just as the right whisking technique is key to producing a consistent batter and ensuring that perfect sponginess, using the correct measurement tools is crucial to producing meaningful insights, making our ads effective and engaging.” 

Laurie Wang – Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

In this session, Amazon experts cover three new advanced measurement solutions that can help advertisers view campaign performance more holistically and make more data-driven advertising decisions with marketing efforts.

  1. Amazon Attribution (beta) is a free measurement solution that allows brands to measure how non-Amazon media is contributing to conversions in Amazon’s store, giving marketers a better look at the full customer journey to refine strategies and future media plans.

“In addition to testing channels and creatives… you can also use the tool to analyze how different audiences, products, or landing pages can drive the optimal performance.”

Laurie Wang – Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

  1. Brand Metrics is another new measurement tool that quantifies opportunities for your brand at each stage of the customer journey on Amazon. The key signals include:
  • Performance percentile within peer group
  • The total number of shoppers at major stages of the journey across the funnel 
  • Total number of shoppers at engagement action level

“Amazon continues to release tools that allow brands to double click into their category, which allows brands to benchmark themselves against competitors. The opportunity to see these metrics by week or month allows us to measure the impact of new ad strategies we’re implementing to see if we’re increasing SOV at all stages of the shopper funnel.”

Courtney Macfarlane, Marketplaces Strategist at Tinuiti

  1. Amazon Brand Lift (beta) is the third new advanced measurement solution Amazon announced during this session and this solution allows brands to quantify how campaigns are driving brand metrics like awareness, preference, or purchase intent.

And while all three solutions are incredible assets, Wang wants you to keep in mind that… 

“There is absolutely no prescribed sequence of adoption, and it’s not always necessary to take on all three [advanced measurement solutions] at once. Based on your business objective, media usage, and campaign flight times, you may need one more than another at some point.” 

Laurie Wang, Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

For more information on these new solutions, and for tips for getting started, check out Amazon’s cheat sheet. 
 

Connect Across the Purchase Journey with Sponsored Display

 
Starry Peng | Senior Product Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

To start this session, Starry Peng, Senior Product Manager at Amazon Ads, walks us through the consumer shopping journey, and explains how shopping habits are ever-evolving. She highlights that the shopping journey doesn’t just include when people are actively shopping; it now includes when they are being entertained in a non-shopping context. It’s now more important than ever to reach the right audiences for your business both on and off Amazon, and Peng explains how Sponsored Display can help you do just that. 

“According to Amazon Insights, audiences typically take 6-7 days to make a purchase. That’s right, 6-7 days! This means that research and discovery are foundational parts of the shopping journey and it is critical to stay top of mind during these phases.” 

Starry Peng, Senior Product Manager, Amazon Ads

Sponsored Display is a retail-centric display advertising solution to support your goals. Utilizing Sponsored Display allows you to extend your presence to other critical parts of the shopping journey (Amazon homepage, product detail pages, off-Amazon placements, and Twitch). She highlights how advertisers can use two tactics in Sponsored Display:

  • Product targeting: where customers are shopping, when in Amazon’s store 
  • Sponsored Display audiences: which audiences you are reaching, in and outside of Amazon’s store (ideal for the awareness and consideration phases)

Peng highlights four key features of Sponsored Display:

  1. Measure success for your goals – access key metrics like click-through rate and new-to-brand
  2. Built API-first – leverage third-party tool providers, if preferred
  3. Machine learning-powered recommendations – remove the guesswork on inputs like bidding and targeting
  4. Signal your campaign goals – optimize, pay for, and measure your campaign based on your objective

After diving into the four key features of Sponsored Display, Peng covers Sponsored Display audiences in a bit more depth, highlighting the two ways to use them:

Pre-build Amazon audiences

These audiences are specifically designed by Amazon audiences to be easy to use and ready to go. These can include lifestyle, interest, life events, and in-market audience segments.

Custom-built audiences

This option allows for more flexible controls. An example of this includes “views remarketing” to reach audiences who have previously viewed products in certain Amazon retail categories.

While all of this might sound great… you might be wondering, “what ad creative should I be leveraging for Sponsored Display?” Peng covers two creative options that will allow you to convey your brand story:

Auto-generated ad creatives

These creatives automatically pull product imagery from your promoted products detail page and are specifically designed to engage audiences with familiar Amazon retail elements.

Custom image ad creatives

These ad creatives give you the ability to tell your story in your brand’s own visual language. Additionally, you can upload your own lifestyle images to convey your product and brand story.

During this session, Peng unveiled a few key announcements from Amazon to keep in mind:

  • Sponsored Display Launched on Twitch – For the first time, brands who use Sponsored Display will be able to reach audiences with display ads as they watch a twitch stream without disrupting the streaming experience
  • New Brand Safety Controls – This means more controls than ever to help build your brand with Amazon while keeping peace of mind as you serve ads outside of the Amazon store
  • Lookback Windows – A new feature for Sponsored Display custom-built audiences which allows you to re-engage audiences in your product’s consideration window

“Previously, we were limited to a 30-day lookback for the Remarketing or Similar Product Remarketing audiences. For certain brands, a 30-day lookback is too long, which meant we were targeting shoppers that had likely purchased a different brand. The opportunity to now retarget based on 7,14, or 30 day lookback windows helps us to finetune our Sponsored Display ads to improve CTR and ROAS.”

Courtney Macfarlane, Marketplaces Strategist at Tinuiti

  • Purchases Remarketing – Reach custom audiences who purchased products matching criteria you choose

 

A Holistic View of Video Advertising

 
Ranji Bissessar | Senior Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

In this session, Bissessar dove into the incredible reach video advertising offers, and how building a cross-screen, video-first Amazon advertising strategy can help you reach a “leaned-in audience.” 

He kicked things off with some impressive statistics to consider:

  • 49% of surveyed consumers watch more than 5 videos every day (Source: IAB, May 2019)
  • This year, American adults will spend approximately 2.5 hours watching video daily (Source: eMarketer, April 2020)
  • Projections estimate that by 2022, 82% of all global internet traffic will come from streaming video (Source: Cisco, 2019)
  • A recent study showed that two-thirds (⅔) of consumers would prefer to learn about a product or service by watching a video as opposed to reading about it (Source: Wyzowl, The State of Video Marketing, January 2021)
  • 83% of video worldwide is watched on a mobile device
  • 80% of viewers are open to ads being part of their viewing experience “in exchange for free content”

“With more content being consumed in video format, we’ve seen a rise in video ads that play alongside this content. In the last year, viewers have become more accustomed to ads in video.”

Ranji Bissessar, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

Next, Bissessar dove into the myriad, non-linear ways consumers discover these advertised products, including through hearing audio ads, reading reviews, and performing personal research

“Video ads can help brands meet customers where they are in the customer journey, and provide them with rich information about a product or service that can’t be conveyed through image or text.”

Ranji Bissessar, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

Amazon Ads Video Solutions

After exploring why video ads are so important and impactful, Bissessar highlighted the suite of video solutions available from Amazon Ads, and how each helps you reach audiences at differing stages / to achieve different goals, create relevant brand moments, and importantly, measure the results of those moments on, and off, Amazon. 

“For customers, time spent streaming video across Amazon not only helps them to discover new brands, but this time, also translates to billions of first-party shopping and streaming insights that helps advertisers deliver more relevant ads to their audiences.”

Ranji Bissessar, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

These solutions include:

  • Streaming TV Ads: These long-form ads can be streamed on TV and other internet-connected video devices, reaching “Amazon audiences alongside premium content that is aligned to your brand”
  • Interactive Video Ads: These IMDb TV app ads are designed to “reduce friction in the customer journey” by giving customers the ability to make decisions without interrupting their viewing experience. Using their voice remote, viewers can easily add items to their Amazon cart, learn more about them, or complete a purchase
  • Brand Store Video: These are designed to reach customers further along in their shopping journey, and appear on your brand’s Amazon Store 
  • Sponsored Brands Video: These ads are shown within the Amazon search results, and include your logo, a custom headline, and multiple products, enabling you to reach audiences browsing within your product category. Bissessar notes: “These types of videos can be hosted on Product Detail Pages to showcase your product when shoppers are in the final stages of the customer journey, but are trying to figure out the product that’s right for them.”
  • Amazon Live: This video solution enables brands to “create shoppable live streams to drive consideration of their products, while educating and interacting directly with customers” 
  • Online Video Ads: These ads exist outside of Amazon’s channels, and enable you to convey your brand story through video ads delivered with Amazon DSP

Bissessar closes out his session by explaining the extensive measurement capabilities Amazon Ads video solutions offer, and how you can use those metrics for a more comprehensive understanding of what’s working best for your brand. 
 

A Practical Guide to High-Impact Media Planning

 
Eniola Tay-Agbozo | Senior Manager, Analytics and Media Management, Amazon Ads

Janani Prithviraj | Senior Analytics and Media Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

You might be building amazing campaigns, but how do you know if they are really working? In this lightning session, Eniola Tay-Agbozo and Janani Prithviraj take a deep dive into the planning tools you should be utilizing to drive continued growth. They begin this by honing in on the following questions/three building blocks advertisers need to start with:

  • Who are my customers? Do you know how and where consumers show up in digital environments?
  • What is the media opportunity based on my marketing objectives?
  • How do I measure success?

Prithviraj walks us through each of the building blocks and shows how Amazon provides scaled and brand-specific solutions to unlock these insights like their audience planning tool and brand overlap reports. She then walks through Amazon’s three proprietary insights categories and what they can offer advertisers:

  • Browse Insights: This category reflects retail and grocery search activities
  • Buy Insights: These reflect the same activities but at the customer journey level for Amazon and non-Amazon sellers, it can include third-party research
  • Stream Insights: These reflect trends Amazon is seeing across Prime Video and Amazon Music that inform channel and ad placement decisions

When it comes to measuring success, Prithviraj encourages advertisers to utilize Amazon’s two flagship solutions for this work:

  • Amazon DSP Campaign Reports – These reports help track baseline success metrics like which audiences are driving new-to-brand-sales
  • Amazon Marketing Cloud – This tool helps seasoned brands synthesis a wider range of insights to drive goal-setting exercises 

Tay-Agbozo wraps up this breakout session with a case study Amazon conducted to see whether brands that paired their off-Amazon spend with Sponsored Ads performed better than those that did not run Sponsored Ads…

“Leveraging Amazon attribution data, we observed that advertisers that paired their off-Amazon spend with Amazon Sponsored Ads delivered a 20% lift in detail page views per click and a 57% lift in sales per click for their off-Amazon ads than brands that did not spend on Sponsored Ads at all. Through these insights, we can see that the use of Sponsored Ads to create a strong brand presence on-site actually improves the efficacy of your off-Amazon media.” 

Eniola Tay-Agbozo, Senior Manager, Analytics and Media Management, Amazon Ads
 

Best Practices for Reaching Customers During the Holidays

 
Awilda Hancock | Global Vertical Marketing Lead, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

Hancock, a self-professed last-minute gift shopper, dives into ways that brands can make the most of the final shopping month of the holiday season. She highlights which ad types/locations are best designed to reach shoppers throughout the full funnel.

“Holiday shopping peaks during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but consumers will continue shopping well into December. There’s a big opportunity to reach shoppers who are waiting until the last minute to purchase the perfect gift.”

—Awilda Hancock, Global Vertical Marketing Lead, Amazon Ads

Amazon conducted a study with Kantar to learn more about what matters most to holiday shoppers this year, and when/where they’ll be spending. The results of that study found:

  • The holiday gifting opportunity extends into December. 67% of respondents reported that they wouldn’t cross the last item off their list until after Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • 80% of shoppers are more likely or highly likely to be shopping for others this time of year
  • 43% of shoppers are more likely or highly likely to make donations to charitable causes during the holiday season
  • 1 in 3 shoppers report they are more likely or highly likely to shop with brands that promote social values

“Shoppers want to know what a brand stands for, and whether that aligns with their personal values. Shared values create a level of trust between shoppers and brands. If shoppers are choosing between two brands, they’re more likely to buy products from a brand with similar values to their own.”

—Awilda Hancock, Global Vertical Marketing Lead, Amazon Ads

Hancock also provided 3 steps brands should take when building their December marketing strategy (post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday), and which Amazon Ads types are ideal for reaching varying audiences.

Step One

What To Do: Expand your reach to ensure your ads are delivered to shoppers in the inspiration/consideration stage

What Ads to Consider: Amazon Streaming TV Ads (shown on IMDb TV, live sports, Twitch, and leading broadcaster apps on Fire TV) & Amazon Audio Ads

“During the 2020 holiday season, we saw listening on Amazon Music Free spike around Christmas time. As audiences tune in for their favorite music throughout the holidays, it’s a great time to reach them with Amazon Audio Ads.”

—Awilda Hancock, Global Vertical Marketing Lead, Amazon Ads

Step Two

What to Do: Enhance the opportunity to secure a sale with purchase-ready shoppers who are already aware of your brand by “owning your aisle”

What Ads to Consider: Amazon Live

“Owning your aisle means standing out in your category, and differentiating your brand from others within the same category.”

—Awilda Hancock, Global Vertical Marketing Lead, Amazon Ads

Step Three

What to Do: Re-engage with your existing customers as they shop for gifts

What Ads to Consider: Remarketing with Sponsored Display

Hancock wrapped up her recommendations with some impressive stats from December 2020 that underscore the value of strategically combining tactics for the biggest return. 

  • According to Amazon Internal Data from last December (US, Holiday gifting season 12/1/20 – 12/31/20) brands who combined Sponsored Ads and Display saw up to a 15% increase in new-to-brand shoppers compared to those who only used Sponsored Ads
  • When advertisers added Streaming TV ads to the mix, combined with Sponsored Ads and Display, their ability to reach new-to-brand shoppers was propelled even further—up to a 32% increase compared to those only using Sponsored Ads.

 

Leverage Premium Content that Puts Viewers First with IMDb TV and Twitch

 
Jesse Shaw | Head of Sales Partnerships, Twitch

Edwina Cumberbatch | Senior Branded Entertainment Partner Manager for IMDb TV, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

Shaw and Cumberbatch explored the evolving preferences of modern consumers, how Twitch and IMDb TV are responding to those adjusting preferences, and how brands can work with Twitch and IMDb TV to reach their desired audiences in this choice-driven landscape. 

Cumberbatch and Shaw explained that one of the most impactful changes we’ve seen in the 21st century is a dramatic increase in the number of entertainment options competing for our time.

“The entertainment landscape has undergone a sea change within the past two decades, and this change has been accompanied by a shift in media consumption habits. Whereas before, we had limited entertainment options, nowadays consumers have nearly limitless choices across podcasts, TV, online, and more. And this has caused a fragmentation of attention.” 

—Edwina Cumberbatch, Senior Branded Entertainment Partner Manager for IMDb TV, Amazon Ads

“At its core, it comes down to the consumer. Consumers are demanding more choice and control over their viewing experiences, and the entertainment providers that can provide that choice are the ones that are seeing the biggest gain from this shift in consumption. Content availability, ease of use, accessibility, and control over the viewing experiencethese are all attributes that consumers stated as being important when choosing a streaming service in a recent KPMG study.

—Jesse Shaw | Head of Sales Partnerships, Twitch

As for why Twitch, IMDb TV, Wondery, and Audible are designed to help you reach more viewers in this sea of options:

IMDb TV

According to the 2020 Cord Evolution study:

  • 86% of IMDb TV viewers report they are “always on the hunt for new content” 
  • 68% rely on free streaming services to access content
  • 79% use online streaming services for binge-watching shows

Brands can connect with IMDb TV viewers a few ways, including:

  • Sponsorships (ie. seasonal/holiday sponsorships, cultural events, bespoke collaborations)
  • Non-intrusive branded integrations (ie. a beverage company can have a main character on an IMDb TV show sip their drink during an IMDb Originals program)
  • Custom storytelling content (ie. co-branded ad spots that can include IMDb TV talent)

Twitch

While many of us still think of gaming first and foremost when it comes to Twitch, the service has expanded in recent years, including content focused on cooking, music, sports, and more.

“Gaming—it’s in our DNA. However, these past few years we’ve seen incredible growth of all types on the service, from different types of content, to hours watched, to viewership, and more.”

—Jesse Shaw | Head of Sales Partnerships, Twitch

Twitch Stats and Advertiser Considerations

  • 7 million+ streamers create fresh content monthly
  • Twitch averages 2.5 million viewers “at any given moment”, with an average 30 million site visitors daily
  • Twitch viewership doubled YoY in 2021 
  • Twitch is especially valuable for advertisers looking to reach “young adult consumers who have never known a world that limits the way they consume content”
  • 75% of Twitch’s audience is comprised of Gen Z and Millennials

For an example of the unique possibilities advertisers have available on Twitch, check out the Pringles campaign featuring Frank the zombie cowboy!

“By leveraging a mix of custom commercials and custom streams featuring our popular creators, Pringles ensured that they hit the right tone and message in their advertising, and were additive to the viewing experience, surprising and delighting our viewers, and earning a ton of positive, earned media in the process.”

—Jesse Shaw | Head of Sales Partnerships, Twitch
 

SharkNinja’s Approach to Connected Home Ad Creative

 
Heather Kehrberg | Director of Campaign Management, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

In this lightning talk, Heather Kehrberg, Director of Campaign Management at Amazon Ads shares the work they’ve done with SharkNinja over the past four years and the brand’s investment in the connected home space. But what is “connected home space?” Kehrberg explains…

“The connected home is a way of referring to households that have internet-enabled devices. For example, streaming TVs, smart speakers, Ring doorbells or robot vacuums. When we are talking about the connected home in advertising, we’re talking about how Amazon ads enable our advertisers to reach audiences through these devices that they have in their homes.” 

Heather Kehrberg, Director of Campaign Management, Amazon Ads

Kehrberg highlights the popularity of connected homes. In fact, according to a study by eMarketer, 78% of U.S. households own a connected TV, a number that is expected to grow to over 300 million by 2023. It’s clear that this space is growing rapidly, but how can advertisers make ad creative that resonates? Kehrberg shares how SharkNinja has been doing just that with their recent streaming TV campaigns in a few different ways.

For example, in a campaign for the Ninja Foodi Blender, SharkNinja created a variety of ads tailored to different use cases for the same product and broke them down into different categories like a casual, snacking audience (think: salsas and dips) vs. a “foodi with flare” (think: creative side dishes and recipes). In this example, SharkNinja maximized their creative efforts by using the same visuals in their ads, but altered the copy to reflect the messaging for each audience.

Kehrberg shares another way to “uplevel” connected home creative is by utilizing Amazon Ad’s Streaming TV Studio. This tool enables advertisers to enhance their brand videos using customized templates. She highlights how SharkNinja used this tool for their Shark Robot ads and incorporated Amazon brand elements into their video.

“Using Streaming TV Studio and integrating the digital shelf right into the creative attracted shoppers who have not purchased Shark products before and 84% of shoppers were new-to-brand.” 

Heather Kehrberg, Director of Campaign Management, Amazon Ads

Kehrberg wraps up the session with three things to remember when developing creative for your next connected home campaign:

  1. Know your audience – Make sure your messaging is relevant to them
  2. Show the shelf – Bring the digital shelf into connected homes by integrating Amazon product information 
  3. Ask Alexa – Utilizing Alexa CTAs allows your audience to engage in new ways with the creative and your products

For more information on SharkNinja’s success, check out Amazon’s recent case study.
 

 
Katelynn Gonzalez | Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

Gonzalez began her session with an overview of Sponsored Brands ads—available in product collection, stores spotlight, and video formats. She explored why it’s so important to set goals for your SB campaigns, reviewing three available goals for consideration, and tying those goals back to the ad formats that best align with them.

“Before you create a campaign, it’s important to know what business goal you want to accomplish through your advertising. Deciding on your goals upfront will help guide your decision-making.” 

—Katelynn Gonzalez, Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads
 

Goals, Recommended Ad Formats & Best Practices

 
Goal 1. Cross-selling complementary products 

Recommended Ad Formats: Product Collection, Stores Spotlight

Best Practices for Cross-Selling in Ads:

  • Choose products to feature that have a rating of 4 stars or higher
  • Promote related/complementary products together within the ad creative (ie. including separately-available accessories for a product within the ad for the primary product you’re advertising)
  • Maintain consistent messaging in all facets of your ad, including the products your promoting, your headline, and your CTA (call-to-action)

Goal 2. Building brand awareness and loyalty

Recommended Ad Formats: Linking Product Collection Ads to your Amazon Store

“For this goal, instead of linking your product collection to a landing page featuring a list of your advertised products, we recommend linking these campaigns to your Amazon Store to help shoppers explore your entire product selection and brand.”

—Katelynn Gonzalez, Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

Gonzalez shared that Amazon’s internal data has shown an average 28% better ROAS (return on ad spend) when linking sponsored brand campaigns to your Store page, compared to linking to a product list page.

Best Practices:

  • Consistent messaging, and branding elements, between your ad creative and your Amazon Store landing page
  • Promote complimentary products or product categories
  • Include strong brand messaging, and your brand’s value propositions and social responsibility guidelines

Goal 3. Driving product discovery and purchase

Recommended Ad Formats: Video

“With video, you have an opportunity to engage shoppers with your product in a short, but informative video, that displays in high-visibility placements. In your video, you can feature your product—or multiple variations of the product you are advertising—while showing the product in action, or showing its benefits, and beyond.”

—Katelynn Gonzalez, Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads
 

Amazon Marketing Cloud Deep Dive

 
Crystal Astrachan | Senior Technical Product Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

This session explored how to use the privacy-safe Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), to better evaluate cross-channel performance, refine your audience planning, and optimize your media investment. 

“Amazon Marketing Cloud, or AMC, is part of the Amazon Ads technology suite. Our technology suite is a set of solutions built for helping advertisers achieve a greater level of sophistication in the planning, purchase, measurement, and optimization of their media. AMC is a primary measurement engine within our technology suite; it is an advanced insight and data clean room solution designed to help advertisers analyze investment across multiple channels, such as search, display, video, and audio.”

—Crystal Astrachan | Senior Technical Product Manager, Amazon Ads

AMC Dataset Inputs & Information

  • Amazon Ads campaign events, including Ad impressions, Ad clicks, and Eligible conversions
    • Ad formats include display, video, streaming TV, audio, and Sponsored Products
    • Formats that will be added soon include Sponsored Display and Seismic Ad Suite
  • Advertiser-owned datasets can also be onboarded
  • Datasets are at the event level
  • AMC only accepts pseudonymous datasets

The advantages of AMC being built on AWS include “scalable data computing and safe storage capabilities” through advertiser-dedicated AMC environments. AMC enables you to “link the datasets you own with Amazon’s rich advertising and retail signals in a clean room environment that is exclusively accessible to you.”

Next, Astrachan provided a walkthrough demo of the AMC web user interface, showcasing how to use:

  • Schema explorer
  • Query editor
  • Previously submitted queries table
  • Instructional query library (templates and directions)

“We have named the queries we offer in AMC “instructional queries,” because they provide more than just annotated sequel code. Each instructional query helps you learn how to use AMC, one example at a time.”

—Crystal Astrachan | Senior Technical Product Manager, Amazon Ads

How Advertisers Can Upload Their Datasets to AMC

  1. Hash your dataset 
  2. Add the hashed dataset to your S3 bucket in your AWS account
  3. Orchestrate the dataset upload through the AMC API
  4. Query uploaded datasets

Astrachan then walked viewers through an array of common AMC use cases, including media mix analysis, omnichannel impact analysis, custom attribution, audience insights, and journey assessment, and some best practices to consider. 

This information-packed session concludes with a success story, and is a must-watch for anyone considering Amazon Marketing Cloud. 
 

Understand the Connected Consumer

 
Victoria Drake | Senior Program Manager, Measurement, Amazon Ads


Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

Drake’s session kicked off with the findings from a 2021 study aimed at better understanding connected consumers.

“Amazon Ads worked with Ipsos to conduct a study that surveyed 3,000 Americans, ages 18-64, to learn about the ways that audiences are streaming, shopping, and how they interact with brands.”

—Victoria Drake, Senior Program Manager, Measurement, Amazon Ads

Drake dove into the results of that study to explain who connected consumers are, what streaming and device behaviors they exhibit, and why they’re such an important group for advertisers to reach, “engage and delight.”

Connected Consumers Stats & Survey Results

  • Stream video and TV-like content at least once monthly
  • 6 out of 10 are aged 18-44
  • Average annual income is ~$80,000
  • 20% consider themselves trendy
  • 24% consider themselves tech-savvy
  • 34% actively seek out learning more about other cultures
  • 49% bought something online in the past week
  • 40% purchased something on Amazon.com in the past week
  • 64% prefer streaming to traditional cable/linear TV
  • 42% find streaming ads to be more relevant than traditional television ads
  • More willing than general consumers to understand and accept ads as part of their free streaming experience

Amazon Connected Video Customers Stats & Survey Results

  • Connected consumers who use Amazon devices, or ad-supported video services, to stream TV-like content at least once monthly
  • 7 out of 10 are aged 18-44
  • Average annual income is ~$95,000
  • 33% consider themselves trendy
  • 38% consider themselves tech-savvy
  • 41% actively seek out learning more about other cultures
  • 69% bought something online in the past week
  • 60% purchased something on Amazon.com in the past week
  • 70% prefer streaming to traditional cable/linear TV
  • 57% find streaming ads to be more relevant than traditional television ads
  • More willing than general consumers to understand and accept ads as part of their free streaming experience

Why are these groups so important for advertisers?

“Perhaps due to their age and affluence, connected consumers and Amazon connected video customers are more likely than the general population to make some big moves in the next year. Many of them are planning to travel, start new jobs, move, and buy a home.”

—Victoria Drake, Senior Program Manager, Measurement, Amazon Ads

Drake advises that brands leverage life events audiences to reach these “milestone moments” shoppers.

Which streaming TV tools, ad formats and services can help brands reach these viewers on Amazon?

  • Streaming TV Studio: This tool enables brands to “enrich your ad with unique Amazon elements, like price or star rating”
  • IMDb TV: Entertainment package options allow brands to be featured in original Amazon programming
  • Interactive Video Ads: Viewers can take action on ads

 

Amazon unBoxed 2021: Day Two Keynote

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

Simone Biles | World’s Most Decorated Gymnast

Claudine Cheever | VP, Global Brand and Marketing, Amazon

Latasha Gillespie | Executive Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Amazon Studios, Prime Video, and IMDb

Philippe Krakowsky | Chief Executive Officer, IPG

Sonika Malhotra | Co-Founder and Senior Global Brand Director of Love Beauty and Planet, Unilever

Claire Paull | Director, Global Marketing and Training, Amazon Ads

Cameron Westfall | Head of Product and Engineering, Climate Pledge Friendly, Amazon

Day two kicked off with an insightful keynote session, which put an important focus on storytelling, brand authenticity, purpose-driven marketing, inclusivity, and sustainability. 

The session starts with a sit-down chat with Latasha Gillespie, Executive Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Amazon Studios, Prime Video, and IMDb and Simone Biles, the World’s Most Decorated Gymnast. They both chat through the importance of authenticity and inclusion in storytelling. Here are a few soundbites:

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are an important part of storytelling. Whether it’s in television and film, which is my business, or brand campaigns and creative ads in yours, collectively, we can challenge harmful stereotypes and tropes.” 

Latasha Gillespie, Executive Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Amazon Studios, Prime Video, and IMDb

“[When it comes to evaluating brand partnerships] I look for support in and out of the job and what I want to do in the future. It also has to be something that I 100% believe in so that’s why I’ll never sign with a brand that I don’t use, believe in, or support.”

Simone Biles, World’s Most Decorated Gymnast

Next, Claudine Cheever, VP, Global Brand and Marketing at Amazon shares her take on brand authenticity. She also sits down with Philippe Krakowsky, Chief Executive Officer at IPG to gather his take on the same topic. Check out a few soundbites from their important conversation:

“If the truth about your brand makes you a bit uncomfortable, if it makes you feel vulnerable, it’s probably where you should lean in. And that’s what’s going to make a good story. One that’s authentic and one that’s memorable.”

Claudine Cheever VP, Global Brand and Marketing, Amazon

“The most important part about authenticity is how we identify and how you empower people to do that.”

Philippe Krakowsky, Chief Executive Officer, IPG

“Brand purpose doesn’t just help you differentiate your brand, I think it’s an important way to connect with your own employees and motivate them as well.”

Philippe Krakowsky, Chief Executive Officer, IPG

Cameron Westfall Head of Product and Engineering, Climate Pledge Friendly at Amazon highlights how a growing number of customers today care about sustainability. In fact, according to IBM and the National Retail Federation, 8 in 10 say sustainability is important and 6 in 10 would change shopping habits to reduce environmental impact. Westfall describes how Amazon founded The Climate Pledge, committing to be net-zero carbon by 2040. He covers how Amazon’s program, Climate Pledge Friendly, makes it easier for shoppers to purchase sustainable products online. Westfall sits down with Sonika Malhotra, Co-Founder and Senior Global Brand Director of Love Beauty and Planet who has a mission of making the planet and its people cleaner, greener, and more beautiful. Here are a few soundbites from their chat:

“We need millions of imperfect environmentalists rather than the few perfect ones and hopefully, as a brand, we are creating many of them.”

 Sonika Malhotra, Co-Founder and Senior Global Brand Director of Love Beauty and Planet, Unilever

“If I had to give one piece of advice, or maybe two, the first would be to just get started. As human beings we have damaged the environment so much over the years that we are already super late to start so let’s not intellectualize this too much, we just need to get started. The second would be, don’t wait for the perfect solution… the pursuit of goodness or doing something more is more important than perfection. Lastly, educate yourself… read, take classes, and visit a recycling center. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know, so every time you are trying to offer a solution, you’re pushing yourself a little more.” 

 Sonika Malhotra, Co-Founder and Senior Global Brand Director of Love Beauty and Planet, Unilever

“Time is fleeting. It’s going to take brands like yours – creating, innovating, committing to more sustainable products and practices to help preserve our natural world.” 

 Cameron Westfall, Head of Product and Engineering, Climate Pledge Friendly, Amazon

Key takeaways:

  • Commit to the issues that matter to you and your customers
  • Create products, services, and experiences that meaningfully enhance customer’s lives
  • Consider the future as you pursue innovation 

This keynote session is a must-watch so we encourage you to view the session here
 

Brand Metrics (βeta) Deep Dive

 
Scott Collins | Senior Product Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

Collins walked us through the abundance of insights packed into Amazon’s new Brand Metrics tool, explaining how to use it for optimization, benchmarking against your category peers, measuring performance, and crafting your brand-building strategy.

“Brand Metrics helps establish a baseline that can inform both your retail and advertising efforts. Brand Metrics quantifies opportunities for your brand at each stage of the customer journey, and helps you understand the value of different shopping engagements as customers move closer to purchase and loyalty.”

—Scott Collins, Senior Product Manager, Amazon Ads 

Brand Metrics Capabilities

  • Measure the impact of mid-funnel and upper-funnel tactics, learning more about how shoppers interact with your brand prior to making a purchase
  • Better understand the value of shopping engagements by evaluating sales from the past 12 months
  • Optimize your Amazon Store organic marketing and advertising efforts to promote shopper engagement and brand-building 
  • Monitor how your performance at all stages of the shopper journey compares to your category peers 

Each of the Brand Metrics 

Brand Metrics includes 19 different individual metrics brands and advertisers can dive further into to better understand what’s working well, what additional sales can be expected based on current data, where they have room to grow, and more:

  • Category median 
  • Category top
  • % Change
  • Engaged shopper rate
  • Customer conversion rate
  • % New to brand sales
  • Return on engagement
  • Detail page view only
  • Searched brand and viewed detail page
  • Add to cart
  • Purchased
  • Total number of consideration
  • Total number of brand searches only
  • Total number of shoppers
  • Total number of all other brand customers
  • Total number of top 10% and Subscribe & Save customers
  • Awareness index
  • Consideration index
  • Purchase index

After exploring some ways brands and advertisers can interpret and use Brand Metrics insights, Collins discussed how brands can “pair the insights you get from Brand Metrics with the tactics you can take with your Sponsored Ads to Amazon Display Ads, or Streaming TV Ads, to help continuously grow on Amazon.” 

We’re excited to see Brand Metrics in action, and look forward to leveraging insights from this suite of valuable tools to help our Amazon clients see even greater results.
 

Create Lasting Connections with Brand Content Solutions

 
Becca Zabow | Senior Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

Ready to create lasting connections with customers who shop on Amazon? In this session, Becca Zabow, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Amazon Ads shares her tips and tricks to do just that. She kicks off her keynote by exploring the evolving consumer shopping journey. During this journey, Zabow explains how consumers are in a discovery mindset, meaning they are open to discovering and shopping from new brands. In fact, she highlights a few impressive stats from Tinuiti including that 75% of shoppers on Amazon are open to discovering new products and brands, and 52% of shoppers are more willing to buy from a brand they’re not familiar with on Amazon. 

“This means that discovery, exploration, and creating lasting impressions can help you connect with shoppers on Amazon.” 

Becca Zabow, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

But how can you get consumers to connect with your brand on Amazon? Zabow explains that having an Amazon store is a great place to start. It’s a place where you can tell your brand’s story and curate content that connects with your customers through lifestyle and video creative. But, what makes a good store? According to Zabow, a good store includes fresh content, a thoughtful structure, and multiple sub-pages.

“On average, stores updated within the past 90 days have 21% more repeat visitors and 35% higher attributed sales per visitor.” 

Becca Zabow, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

Zabow also highlights the variety of content you can and should add to your Amazon store:

  • Brand messaging 
  • Lifestyle content 
  • Rich media (videos, engaging media, etc.)
  • Livestream content
  • New arrivals and deals

Next, Zabow shares her top three ways to drive discovery on Amazon:

  • You can drive external traffic to your Store from other marketing channels
  • Your brand logo may now show up in more places, such as next to the byline
  • You can leverage posts (beta) to inspire shoppers to engage with your brand by sharing curated lifestyle images that really express your brand story and unique values 

Interested in posts (beta)? Zabow shares that posts (beta) helps brands build an emotional connection with shoppers while they are in discovery mode. With posts (beta), you can make your product stand out and grow your follower base. Shoppers can find your posts in carousels on product detail pages, in content feeds for related products and categories, and in your store. Amazon’s system will automatically set where your posts will live based on relevance and shopping engagement.

Top tips for posts (beta):

  • Authenticity is key
  • Highlight products, deals, best sellers
  • Post regularly
  • Tag multiple products
  • Be creative with your captions

Next, Zabow covers how brands can build a loyal shopper base and consumer connection on Amazon. She encourages brands to use Brand Follow (available in the U.S.). Brand Follow allows users to engage with brands on Amazon and allows brands to grow their shopper base on Amazon. There is no action you need to take to enroll in the Brand Follow program. Amazon provides users with the ability to easily follow brands at any stage in the shopping journey. To gain more followers, Zabow encourages brands to:

  • Post regularly
  • Keep fresh content on your store
  • Run campaigns to encourage existing customers to follow your brand

“Shoppers who follow a brand on Amazon spend 2.3x more and purchase 1.8x more frequently than non-followers.” 

Becca Zabow, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

Zabow shares four different ways to re-engaging followers on Amazon:

  • Your followers will receive a notification whenever your brand goes live with Amazon Live
  • Your followers may see your deals in the new “deals from brands you follow” placement on their Amazon homepage
  • Brands participating in a closed beta can now send customized emails to share promotions directly to their followers 
  • In the future, brands may be able to create and share exclusive deals to reward followers 

Additionally, Zabow highlights a new launch from Amazon: Creative Assets. Creative Assets is an asset library designed to make it easier for brands to leverage their assets across your no-cost and ad placements. With Creative Assets brands can:

  • Easily access approved assets
  • Store and organize assets
  • Find what you need with custom tags

To wrap up her session, Zabow covers the importance of measurement for optimizing and understanding success. She covers the metrics available to brands including: 

  • Store insights dashboard (see sales, traffic, and engagement metrics)
  • ASIN Engagement Metrics (beta) allows brands to optimize store layout, identify missing ASINs, and find products to promote
  • Post publisher (see reach and impressions that posts are driving as well as product clicks and follow clicks in downloadable reports)
  • Amazon attribution (see how your non-Amazon marketing strategies perform on Amazon)
  • Brand metrics (quantify your brand’s health and identify growth opportunities) 

 

Expand Your Reach with Streaming TV Ads

 
Andrew Cole | Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

The streaming landscape is ever-evolving and growing, that’s why Andrew Cole, Product Marketing Manager at Amazon Ads is bringing it back to the basics at the start of his session covering all things streaming TV. Cole begins by highlighting essential terms to know before getting started in the streaming space including:

  • OTT (Over-the-top) – Content that only used to be accessible through broadcast, cable, or satellite TV, in the not-so-distant past, came to be accessible through the internet. Cole explains that this streaming content is now available over the top of traditional distribution channels
  • CT (Connected TV) – Connected TV refers to devices. CT TV connects to a TV with a streaming media player like a Fire TV Stick or through smart TVs
  • AVOD (Ad-supported video on demand) – This represents any service where video content is free, but in exchange for far fewer ads than traditional TV 
  • SVOD (Subscription-based video on demand) – This represents services where you pay a monthly subscription fee to stream content without the inclusion of ads
  • TVOD (Transactional video on demand) – TVOD allows you to buy or rent content for a one-time fee and for a specific period of time
  • PVOD (Premium video on demand – This newer format is when content providers charge a premium, movie theater price for bringing first-run content to your home

After briefing viewers with the basic verbiage, Cole also shared some impressive statistics to consider when it comes to streaming TV:

  • There are 82 million U.S. households that are equipped with streaming TV devices
  • On average, those households view 100 hours of streaming TV content monthly
  • Last year, there was a 21% year-over-year increase in total hours streamed  
  • Amazon streaming TV content and Twitch jointly reached an unduplicated monthly audience of 135 million viewers across the U.S.
  • 1 in 3 connected TV households in the U.S. have a Fire TV
  • 89% of those homes say they primarily use their Fire TV

After covering the basics and need-to-know stats, Cole dove into the ways advertisers can utilize streaming TV ads to their benefit in a variety of different formats like:

Amazon streaming TV ads

On Amazon’s IMDB TV, each show has unskippable ads integrated within the viewing experience. 15 or 30 second streaming TV ad spots will show up directly within Amazon’s premium ad-supported content.  This streaming TV ad experience includes full-screen ads, brand safety controls, and these ads are non-skippable and boast a 97% completion rate.

Sponsorships and brand entertainment

Amazon offers advertisers a way to align their brand with Amazon IMDB TV original shows through sponsorships with limited commercial interruptions, branded integrations, and custom storytelling.

Interactive video ads (beta) 

These ads invite viewers to interact with a brand using their voice or remote these ads activate a traditionally passive experience. Viewers can use their voice or remote to “add to cart”, “learn more”, or “buy now.”

Cole wraps up this session by highlighting the main benefits of streaming TV ads including:

  • These ads show up in premium content
  • Streaming TV ads allow you to reach audiences unique to streaming TV
  • Reach relevant audiences by using Amazon audiences and insights 
  • Access to first-party and third-party measurement solutions to track success 

“In a recent study we conducted with Nielsen, we found that Amazon streaming TV campaigns delivered an average of 7.4% incremental reach to a brand’s linear TV campaign reach. That means if you had a campaign that engaged 100 million viewers on broadcast TV, you could reach an incremental 7.4 million viewers if you added Amazon streaming TV ads to your media mix.” 

Andrew Cole, Product Marketing Manager, Amazon Ads
 

Engage Connected Home Audiences with Amazon Audio Ads

 
Patrick Givens | Principal Product Marketing Lead, Amazon Ads

Alyson Sprague | Senior Program Manager, Audio Measurement and Research, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

Givens kicked off the session with some impressive stats advertisers should consider when determining the impact that highly-engaging streaming audio advertising can have on their business:

  • Streaming audio has grown 64% since 2014 (Source: Q1 2021 Edison Research, Share of Ear Study)
  • During that same period, there was a 44% decline in owned music purchases (ie. CDs and downloads), with AM/FM listening seeing a 24% drop
  • 68% of Americans tune into online audio at least once monthly, averaging 4 hours daily  (Source: The Infinite Dial
  • 1 in 3 Americans currently use smart speakers, averaging 2 speakers in each household (Source: The Infinite Dial)
  • Amazon Music is the most popular streaming music source (Source: Edison Research) 

Next, Sprague reviewed some of the top findings from a study conducted by Amazon Ads and Ipsos, focused on connected consumers and the connected home.

“We surveyed 3,000 US respondents, trying to understand the differences between customers who use connected devices, and those that do not. One of the subsections of connected consumers that we dug deeply into is what we are calling Amazon Connected Audio Customers. These are customers who reported that they use their Alexa devices at least once per month.” 

—Alyson Sprague, Senior Program Manager, Audio Measurement and Research, Amazon Ads

About Amazon Connected Audio Customers

  • 48% more likely to own a smart TV (compared to general population)
  • More than 2x as likely to own other smart devices (ie. wearable devices, wifi-enabled thermostats, etc.)
  • 38% say they pay the highest attention to ads delivered by smart devices
  • 32% more likely to stream audio at least once weekly
  • 21% more likely to pay the greatest attention to ads delivered during in streaming audio
  • 64% more likely to have embraced new innovations in audio (ie. Clubhouse users), compared to the general population
  • Up to 35% more likely than general consumers to appreciate ad content that is tailored and contextually-relevant

About Amazon Audio Ads

  • Run on Amazon Music’s free, ad-supported tier
  • Of all listeners tuning into ad-supported Amazon Music, 90% are using Alexa-enabled devices (Source: Amazon Internal Data, January 2021, US)
  • Targeting options include: demographic composition, preferred music genres, in-market shopping signals
  • Measurement insights focus on 4 primary categories: Amazon Ads 1P metrics, brand lift, visitation lift, sales lift

What’s Next from Amazon Audio

“We are innovating on behalf of our customers, developing solutions that help brands reach audiences with relevant messages across a range of different types of high-quality, streaming content experiences. To start off, we’re expanding Amazon Audio Ads beyond the free tier of Amazon Music. For example, working with Amazon Publisher Services (APS), we’re helping advertisers gain additional reach on premium, third-party audio supply from top music and radio publishers.     

—Patrick Givens, Principal Product Marketing Lead, Amazon Ads

Amazon Audio Ads through APS – Currently in beta

  • Enables advertisers to optimize campaign frequency across ad-supported tier and other supported publishers
  • Offers reserved access to inventory, with no supply-side fees
  • Genre-suppression tools are available

Another announcement shared was the launch of Interactive Audio Ads, currently in closed beta. In addition to the current calls-to-action available, Amazon is in development on additional CTAs for listeners to engage with their audio ads. 
 

Advanced Techniques to Grow Your Business Using Sponsored Display

 
Marc Tian | Senior Manager of Product, Amazon Ads

Sourav Singh | Senior Product Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

Before diving into the advanced techniques to come, Tian first offered an explanation of Sponsored Display, and what’s unique about the ad solution compared to some of their other ad offerings. 

“We enable advertisers to engage audiences based on both contextual and first-party signals.”

 —Marc Tian, Senior Manager of Product, Amazon Ads

Next, he shared an announcement that Sponsored Display is expanding to Twitch, a service that got quite a bit of airtime throughout the entire event. 

Singh underscored the benefit that extending to Twitch can bring advertisers already using other sponsored ad solutions, sharing that: 

“Advertisers with a balanced investment across Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display saw up to 15% higher year-on-year sales at a better ROAS compared to those only using Sponsored Products.”

Use Case Examples 

  • Launching a new product? Assuming an advertiser’s current goal is to reach and inform potential customers about their new product, even if they won’t likely be converting just yet, Tian recommends using “a custom image creative that showcases the brand’s personality”
  • Already have an Amazon bestselling product and want to boost consideration and sales? Tian recommends using creative that highlights your bestseller status with a badge
  • Does historical data show that certain package sizes perform best during tentpole events like Black Friday? Consider advertising those sizes more heavily during higher-traffic shopping periods

Next, Singh shifted gears to Sponsored Display specifically, highlighting some of its benefits, including intuitive controls and campaigns and easy set-up. Singh noted that 40+ retail signals are used during bidding, helping “serve relevant ads to relevant audiences cost-effectively.”

Sponsored Display Controls

“These imports allow an advertiser to create a campaign that aligns with their needs, fits their goals, and allows them to bring their unique insights.”

—Sourav Singh, Senior Product Manager, Amazon Ads

  • ASIN: Up to 10k per campaign
  • Targeting: Available options include product targeting and Sponsored Display audiences, and allow you to show ads in specific context (ie. on Product Detail Pages)
  • Bidding: Augment your targeting strategy through bidding optimization and values. Depending on your campaign goals, you can optimize your bid for viewable impressions, detail page views, or conversions
  • Creative: Auto-generated and custom options to suit varying goals and bandwidths

Campaign Recommendations & Tips

    • Ensure the products you’re advertising feature clear images, descriptive titles, and solid reviews
    • “Don’t feel limited to bestsellers with Sponsored Display” as it “reaches audiences throughout the full purchase journey”
    • Advertisers can find recommendations in the “Suggested” tab; these recommendations are based on the products you’ve chosen to advertise, built by machine learning models, and “suggest product targeting and audience segments that are most likely to be successful for your campaign”
    • Campaigns leveraging category targeting recommendations average a +70% ROAS, and +34% CTR, “compared to selected categories which are not recommended” 
    • Dynamic segments are available

Auto-Generated Creative

  • If your goal is to drive higher performance across consideration, conversion, and loyalty campaigns, Amazon recommends using their auto-generated ad creatives, as they were “designed by Amazon to help drive performance by leveraging familiar Amazon creative elements,” in addition to automatically-highlighted deals, and dynamic price updates
  • An Amazon Internal study found that “adding a headline and logo to your auto-generated creative” leads to a 37% increase in purchase rates on-site
  • Already have campaigns with auto-generated creative launched, and forgot to add a custom headline or logo? Announcement: Amazon recently launched Creative In-Flight Editing, allowing advertisers to make creative adjustments as needed throughout the life of their campaign

Custom Creative

  • Recommended for awareness campaigns
  • Want to increase your Detail Page View Rate (DPVR)? Amazon Internal research from September 2021 showed a 30% increase in DPVR when using custom image creative, compared to auto-generated creative, when served off-site

“We’re evolving our creatives to be both responsive and dynamically optimized using machine learning algorithms to serve the ad creative most likely to fulfill your need for any impression. This means your Sponsored Display creative will be optimized to an infinite number of sizes, across devices and publishers, giving you more opportunities to reach relevant audiences.”

 —Marc Tian, Senior Manager of Product, Amazon Ads

Announcement: Amazon is launching Purchases remarketing, aimed at helping “advertisers level-up a loyal customer base.” This will be especially valuable for advertisers looking to drive repeat customers for items that frequently need replacing or restocking, like pet food
 

The Beginner’s Guide to Brand Advertising

 
Neha Patel | Senior Account Executive, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

In this session designed for the newer-to-Amazon Ads audience, Patel explained why sales activation alone won’t help achieve lasting success, rather it needs to be executed in conjunction with ongoing, active brand-building efforts. 

“Brand advertising allows you to generate brand awareness, expand your reach, and make your brand name and story more recognizable to customers. Brand advertising is key to building trust and emotional connections with customers, which is vital for any brand no matter what industry you are in.”

—Neha Patel, Senior Account Executive, Amazon Ads

Patel provided a detailed example of how The Honest Company adjusted their Amazon advertising efforts to create a greater sense of trust, and reach a wider audience, by broadening their efforts beyond the lower-funnel. 

Some highlights included:

  • The Honest Company moved 30% of their Amazon advertising spend from lower-funnel to mid-and-upper funnel tactics, including Amazon Display, Video and Streaming TV, using Amazon DSP, Sponsored Brands, and Amazon Live
  • As brands change how and where they advertise, they also have to adjust which KPIs to consider when analyzing the performance impact, and deciding what can benefit from further optimization
  • Amazon Ad insights offer advertisers valuable data that can help in designing creative that is likely to resonate with new-to-brand audiences

 

 
Nicole Kocherov, Principal Technical Product Manager, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

Nicole Kocherov, Principal Technical Product Manager, Amazon Ads starts her lightning chat by highlighting the two key inputs in Sponsored Products – your budget and your bid. She notes that even with Amazon’s recommendations, it can be difficult to know exactly what to set.

Amazon advertising currently provides advertisers with suggestions to set bids for every target and budget suggestions when you go out of budget. Kocherov states that it’s hard to know how often you need to adjust these inputs to ensure that your campaigns are performing at their highest levels. To combat these issues, Kocherov highlights a new control that Amazon has introduced called Rules. 

Rules lets you set a business rule that Amazon Advertising will use as inputs to adjust your bids and budgets. These rules allow advertisers to set performance expectations based on business and goals.

Kocherov also covers another issue that advertisers occasionally deal with, running out of budget on special days like Black Friday or Prime Day. Luckily Amazon just announced that they have just launched schedule based budget rules and event based budget recommendations.

“By using schedule based budget rules with event based recommendations, you can set your campaigns to adjust budgets only on these peak days ahead of time. Through Amazon Advertising API or Advertising Console, you can set the date range and the percentage by which you want to increase your budget.”

Nicole Kocherov, Principal Technical Product Manager, Amazon Ads

After covering schedule based budget rules and event based budget recommendations, Kocherov moves into performance based budget rules and rule based bidding.

Performance based-budget rules

You can manage your daily budgets based on a performance metric. By setting a rule if a campaign is meeting your performance goals, you can automatically increase your budget through performance based budget rules. Performance based budget rules are available for CTR, conversion rate, and ACOS.

Rule-based bidding

To optimize your campaign bids in an automatic fashion, Kocherov announced that Amazon has a new performance based rule for you to use. With rule based bidding, Amazon has taken out the guesswork for you to understand your optimal bid at each impression opportunity. 

“Rule based bidding gives you a tool to continuously adapt advertising bid suggestions based off of a ROAS guard rail.” 

Nicole Kocherov, Principal Technical Product Manager, Amazon Ads
 

Deliver Brand Growth with Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP

 
Raja Ghanta | Manager, Product Management, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

Raja Ghanta, Manager, Product Management, Amazon Ads begins this lightning chat by explaining how purchases often don’t happen immediately. Many consumers take time to browse, research, and ask friends for recommendations. During the overall shopping journey, consumers interact with a wide variety of brands. He highlights how display advertising can help reach audiences in every phase of the shopping journey.

“When advertisers combine Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands with Display, the results speak volumes. On average advertisers who did this saw an 11% increase in new-to-brand sales compared to advertisers who only used Sponsored Products and/or Sponsored Brands and 4% higher month-over-month sales growth than brands using only Sponsored Products.” 

Raja Ghanta, Manager, Product Management, Amazon Ads

Overview of Amazon’s display solutions:

Amazon DSP allows advertisers to programmatically reach audiences both on Amazon sites and apps as well as off Amazon through Amazon publisher services and third-party exchanges. Ghanta encourages Amazon’s largest advertisers to utilize DSP because it does the following really well:

  • Helps reach audiences at scale 
  • Allows advertisers to access interoperability 
  • Provides access to Amazon’s technology suite

Sponsored Display is different from DSP as it is available to all brand owners selling on Amazon, no matter the size. Ghanta explains that Sponsored Display is also API first, meaning advertisers and their partners can use API for all of Amazon’s features to scale and innovate quickly to help meet their unique needs.

Sponsored Display allows advertisers to reach audiences both on and off Amazon (like DSP). Ghanta covers three things that Sponsored Display does extremely well:

  • Helps to reach audiences on specific detail pages
  • Refine on attributes like brand name, price, and star rating
  • Bid optimizations allow advertisers to create and manage Sponsored Display campaigns to meet your needs.

“This feature not only enables you to optimize bidding based on your needs, but also offers multiple attribution types and cost types to match.” 

Raja Ghanta, Manager, Product Management, Amazon Ads

Should you consider Amazon DSP or Sponsored Display?

Ghanta encourages advertisers to consider using both solutions to yield even better results. In fact, according to Amazon, brands that use both Amazon DSP and Sponsored Display see 15% increase in new-to-brand customers and a 7% increase in sales compared to those who only used one solution. 

“Many advertisers use Amazon DSP today. If you do, then you should consider Sponsored Display for that unique opportunity to reach shoppers on product detail pages – and vice versa. If you use Sponsored Display, you should consider Amazon DSP for its unique opportunities such as reaching audiences with audio ads.” 

Raja Ghanta, Manager, Product Management, Amazon Ads
 

The Blueprint for Driving Creative Performance

 
Jarett Coy | Senior Program Manager, Video, Amazon Ads

Image Source: https://www.amazonadvertising-unboxed.com/

At the beginning of this lightning chat, Jarett Coy, Senior Program Manager at Amazon Ads encourages viewers to consider advertising through the eyes of customers. He highlights a quote from Scott M. Davis’ book, Brand Asset Management…

“On an average day, consumers are exposed to six thousand advertisements and, each year, to more than twenty-five thousand new products… Brands help consumers cut through the proliferation of choices available in every product and service category.” 

Scott M. Davis

This bolsters the importance of intentional and compelling ad creative. Coy notes that the blueprint for driving creative performance hones in on the following three questions:

  1. What is my objective or goal?
  • Coy highlights the importance of getting hyper-specific with your objective or goals
  • This is where core growth objectives can come into play like: awareness, consideration, purchase, and loyalty
  • He encourages advertisers to develop a campaign strategy specific to growth objectives
  1. What insights or best practices exist to inform my creative?
  • Coy covers the wide range of insights Amazon Ads provides to inform your creative decisions and to help boost performance like: vertical creative guide, category benchmarks, past campaign performance, customer reviews and audience insights, and creative insights
  1. What creative elements can I test to drive performance?
  • Coy covers the importance of A/B testing in a variety of ways through copy, colors, backgrounds, CTAs, and more to help drive optimal performance

Coy shares a detailed case study from San Francisco Bay Coffee and how they used this creative blueprint to garner successful results. Some highlights included:

  • Through the power of Amazon audience insights, Amazon was able to determine that SF Bay had fewer purchasers in the 25-35 age range than similar brands
  • From there, Amazon took a look at customer reviews to see if any common attributes were called out by customers (many focused on flavor and its environmental friendliness)
  • Amazon then took a look at grocery-focused creative insights to understand what would help performance across all KPIs. From there, they tested a variety of messages and creative to see what really resonated with consumers.
  • Amazon found an 8% increase in CTR with flavor focused messaging as opposed to environmentally friendly messaging and by leveraging audience insights, just one year later, SF Bay has grown their millennial audience significantly (their intended goal)

Click here to view the entire event on-demand.

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