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September ad updates from Google, TikTok, and others push AI, audience targeting, and CTV

In July and August, the US ad market saw its first consecutive two months of growth in over a year, according to Standard Media’s US Ad Market Tracker. Platforms are focused on keeping that momentum alive with several updates. Multiple platforms are boasting improved AI targeting and enhanced connected TV (CTV) ad solutions. Here is everything new in September.

Player: Google

It’s been a big month for Google, which saw controversy in response to quietly raising ad prices.

Google is working to boost trust by limiting the impressions unfamiliar advertisers can receive and sending suspended advertisers through a verification process.

The search giant also made relevance and measurement APIs for its Privacy Sandbox—which will replace third-party cookies—generally available. It also added new targeting functionality to Performance Max.

On the AI front, Google expanded AI tools for Search Ads, helping users automatically create assets and troubleshoot. And it launched a new tool that offers best-practice feedback on YouTube ads via AI.

And speaking of YouTube, ads may get longer in length but fewer in number when viewed on TVs. Some creator ad controls are going away as well.

Player: TikTok

TikTok made headlines for a potential partnership with Google. While not an ad update, the links to Google Search results could help Google keep TikTok from eating into its search share.

TikTok launched Attribution Analytics, a first-party measurement tool that will help advertisers understand the platform’s effectiveness.

Player: Microsoft

Microsoft launched its Microsoft Advertising Network, which helps retailers set up retail media networks.

And it introduced CTV and video ads within its ad platform, which will be a good way for it to leverage first-party data in a rapidly growing ad market.

The company is enhancing audience targeting through its Microsoft Advertising Editor. It also created an automated bid strategy to help with audience reach.

And on LinkedIn, any user can now search content partnerships, evidencing the platform's push for more creator activity.

Player: Amazon

Ads are coming to Prime Video. Amazon announced it will run ads on the streaming platform starting in 2024. Unlike other streamers that have introduced ad tiers, Amazon already has a well-established ad network, meaning the new ad spots will probably fill up fast.

Player: Samsung

Microsoft and Amazon aren’t the only players expanding CTV ads. Samsung Ads partnered with BrightLine to make CTV ads more interactive, so they can be more personalized and feature quizzes and polls.

Player: Meta

Meta is calling this year its “first AI-powered holiday season.” It’s expanding audience targeting and campaign management and budgeting through Advantage+ shopping campaigns.

Player: Walmart

Walmart Connect is putting Sponsored Videos in search results. These video ads are an opportunity for visual storytelling within a retail media format.

Player: Pinterest

Pinterest is offering more ad formats. The shoppable social platform now offers more ads in its home feed, contextual ads, and interactive quizzes.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.