Bing Ads has announced a brand new ad experience today at its Bing Ads Next event, called Hero Ads. The new ads are a very visual ad unit within Windows 8.1 Bing Smart Search and are a great integration between Windows and Bing Ads.
The goal of the new Hero ads is to combine user intent, branding and task completion for consumers. From an advertiser perspective, it enables advertisers to get all the most important and relevant information before consumers, with plenty of call to action.
Hero Ads are very visual ad formats and essentially the ads look to be like a landing page, rather than an advertisement by Bing. Hero ads are currently part of the Windows 8.1 user experience with Bing Smart Search.
One of the example brands that Bing Ads showed off to attendees of Bing Ads Next this morning in Redmond was Land Rover. In addition to a large high resolution photo of one of their vehicles – the "All New Range Rover Sport" in this example, gives consumers plenty of choices of what to click, all with pretty significant calls to action.
The calls to action, complete with arrow icons pointing to each were:: request a quote; schedule a test drive; locate a retailer; build and price. Then further to the right, you see links to: features, performance, design and customize each with a small thumbnail image to each. The overall ad experience looks very good as it is very visual yet contains all the key links for consumers.
Hero ads are only displayed for users searching for specific brands in Windows 8.1 Bing Smart Search. So the ads won't display for someone searching for "cruise lines" but would display Hero ads for "Norwegian Cruise Line".
The ads do look like high level landing pages, but when asked why Bing doesn't simply send users directly to the Land Rover landing page instead, Melissa Mackey of Gyro said "Land Rover hasn't done as good as a job on their landing page," which many people agreed with.
"Hero ads are great opportunity for advertisers to maximize brand impact though a visually rich search experience for consumers," said Lisa Raehsler of Big Click Co., who also attended Bing Ads Next. "The ads also create a more useful experience. For example, an ad could contain your calls to actions 'request a quote', but then also visual site links that drive to deeper information like features or spec sheets. Since the ads are served in the Windows 8.1, we get to "move out of the box" and take PPC to a next level and reach new audiences."
Bing Ads is running Hero ads as a limited pilot with multiple big brands, also including Walt Disney World, Jaguar, Home Depot, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Radio Shack. They are running for brands where they know consumers tend to take a specific set of actions, as many people do when searching for a vehicle or booking a cruise.
Hero ads are currently being run as free of cost during the consumer testing phase.
During the limited pilot, Bing Ads will be scrutinizing metrics for consumer experience and get feedback from both advertisers and consumers. Specifically, they want to test how consumer satisfaction changes with hero ads. They also want to determine whether it should it be a total ad experience or a hybrid of ad and search when serving Hero ads.