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Beauty Consumer Touchpoints

Whilst 75% of beauty purchases happen in store and only 25% online, our new path to purchase research with Kantar shows that the majority of decision making is happening online. Kantar asked beauty consumers to identify which touchpoints they used at each moment in the consumer journey, and then broke them out into online vs. offline.

Gen Z

Audience Customisation Experiment Case Study

Today, there is more opportunity than ever for us to craft finely tuned stories for our audiences. Ads served with audience intent signals have 20% higher ad recall lift and 50% higher brand awareness lift than when the same ads are served with demographic signals alone. But the quest for greater relevance brings new complexities too, especially in the creative process. So the question is:

In a world with lots of audience signals at the ready, how much customisation is necessary for your creative to be effective?

Google partnered with 10 brands across different categories to design a series of unique experiments to explore two key questions. First, what is the right amount of customisation for an audience-signal-driven story? And second, for which audience signals is it most important to customise creative?

Experimental setup (see below): For each brand’s test, we chose three audience groups to reach with customised ads. Then, for each audience group within a brand test, we developed three versions of creative with varying levels of customisation: a control video, a video with copy-only customisation, and a video with customised copy and visuals.


Three key patterns emerged consistently across all brands tested, no matter the category or the country where the experiment ran:

1: For short-form video ads, custom copy alone is enough to drive higher recall

Coty’s CoverGirl was among the brands we tested to explore the degree of customisation required to have an impact. Using 6-second ads that ran in the US, we built generic and custom creative for three different audiences based on signals: women who recently downloaded a networking app, fitness buffs, and women interested in career development. In nearly all instances, the ad with copy-only customisation outperformed or performed as well as the ad with customised copy and visuals.

2: For longer video ads, more customisation may be required

A different outcome played out, however, when we tested 15-second ads with auto manufacturer Škoda. We tested the generic control against creatives specifically tailored to outdoor enthusiasts, people in the market for investment services, and people interested in exercise. In all instances, the versions with customised copy and visuals drove significantly higher ad recall lift than the control ad.

3: Video ad customisation may be particularly effective when trying to reach an audience based on a timely event

To explore the audiences for which customisation is most effective, we focused on signals relating to timely events, decisions, or purchases. In these instances, we found that highly customised creative can be particularly effective. With Johnson’s Baby, for example, we tested the generic control against ads catering to three audiences rooted in intent-based signals: people who recently became a parent, working parents, and women who prefer products with no parabens, sulfates, or dyes. In all cases, the highly customised ads performed best. For other brands, we also tested serving creative based on life event signals, like graduation where we again saw that highly customised ads were particularly effective.

Read more information on the experiments and methodology on Think with Google here.