Essence is Google’s global agency of record for digital media - their primary marketing channel in terms of budget investment and strategic priority. In that capacity, we handle communications strategy, media planning/buying, campaign operations, and analytics.

It’s a long-standing relationship; we’ve been partners for 10 years and along the way, we've helped to take products and platforms like Chrome and Android from launch to category leadership. You can imagine, explaining such a significant and complex relationship in a single case study is verging on impossible. So instead, some highlights:

  • We ended 2016 having worked on 560+ campaigns in 46 languages across 45 countries, comprising several hundred million in media spend – a figure that continues to rise every year because our efforts are driving quantifiable results.

  • Our work touches virtually every corner of Google; we led campaigns for 103 products in 2016, including core services (Search, Maps, Chrome) hardware brands (Android, Nexus, Chromebook, Chromecast), entertainment platforms (YouTube, Google Play), B2B (AdWords, Apps for Work) and several new business lines (Fiber, Shopping Express).

Notable recent efforts

Notable recent efforts

Leading in Programmatic

Together, our drive to lead the industry in programmatic has yielded many industry breakthroughs across platforms, inventory, and analytics. In 2015 we executed a number of first-to-market programmatic initiatives with Pandora, Vice, The Guardian and Connexity. These helped contribute to a 300% increase Y/Y for media bought through a Demand Side Platform. And on the analytics side, a development of note is Brand Signals – real-time predictors of causal brand lift that our data science team has proved out for programmatic brand optimization.

Mobile measurement

It’s no secret that effective mobile targeting and measurement is an industry-wide challenge. It’s also well known that Google is laser-focused on mobile-first products that better reach device-happy Gen C-ers. To be sure we’re providing ROI on their enormous investment, we developed the first mobile attitudinal survey that tracks and segments mobile devices with a control versus exposed methodology — major research vendors use inferior techniques. Now, we can measure effectiveness of mobile versus desktop. And as a result, we invest most of Google’s digital media dollars in mobile.

Minimizing wastage

As a trusted global partner to Google, we work hard to eliminate wastage and increase savings on a daily basis. In 2015 we launched an initiative to eliminate excessive frequencies of exposure and build frequency where previously insufficient. This resulted in a reduction of excessive frequency by 50% and generated a 9% boost in ROI, leading to media savings of >$26 million globally.

Notable recent campaigns

Notable recent campaigns

YouTube Beacons

This Adweek Media Plan of the Year award-winning campaign featured YouTube stars Bethany Mota, Michelle Phan and Rosanna Pansino. The effort lifted advertisers’ perception of YouTube as a quality destination a huge 10.5 points. This success led to a second and third wave in six international markets.

Banners with brains

Google’s Search app uses contextual signals to provide relevant information to users before they even ask. However, lots of people still use Google through their browser. Our challenge was to migrate browser users to the app. We did this by creating ads that were as personalized and relevant as the app itself. Specifically, we used Google data to uncover the most common searches made at specific locations. Then, we developed ads that featured those searches - and served them at the precise moment.

Results? App awareness increased by 12.5% and users exposed to the campaign increased search volume by 85%.

Check out our full case study video.

Unboxing Google Store to the world

Google makes an incredible array of hardware - all of which can be found at the Google Store. To raise the store’s profile, and knowing our audience turns to influencers for the latest tech, our strategy was to “influence the influencers” to drive store awareness and preference. So we created the ultimate box to unbox. Enormous, beautiful, bespoke boxes containing all the Google Store’s flagship products. We then selected four of YouTube’s most influential stars and sent them the packages, asking these celebs to record their unboxing.

Results? Over 9 million views, a 38% awareness lift, and a 50% lift in purchase consideration.

Check out our full case study video.

All this is underpinned by Essence’s proprietary platforms, delivering consistency, control and enabling deep analytical insight at scale. This provides global reporting but also much more; Essence stewards an ambitious long-term global learning agenda for Google, running complex marketing experiments at a scale few brands can contemplate, and answering some of the toughest questions out there.


MMA Smarties

Gold - Native Advertising

Silver - In-App or Gaming Advertising

Adweek Media Plan of the Year

2014: Campaign Spending $10 Million–$25 Million

2015: Mobile in campaigns spending $500,000 - $1 Million

Effie Awards

Silver EMEA - Telecom, Internet and other communication services category

Cannes Lions

Silver Cyber Lion - Storytelling

Bronze Cyber Lion - Interface Navigation