Get ready to upgrade your Discovery ads to Demand Gen

August 15, 2023

Consumers today have infinite options of content—everything from 15-hour live streams to 15-second Shorts—prompting actions at varying speeds and in different ways. In June, we introduced Demand Gen, a new AI-powered campaign designed to multiply your creativity and drive demand. It’s built to help advertisers who buy on social platforms find and convert consumers with immersive, relevant, and visual creatives that grab attention and spur action in the right moment. Demand Gen drives conversions, site visits, and actions (like sign-ups and adds-to-carts) on our entertainment-focused touchpoints—YouTube, including Shorts, Discover and Gmail. 

Today, we’re excited to share that you can get access to Demand Gen’s new features by signing up for our beta here. If you have an active Discovery campaign, it will be automatically upgraded to Demand Gen after you enroll in the beta without disruption. Starting in October, Discovery ads will be eligible to upgrade to Demand Gen.

New Demand Gen features to drive performance beyond what you’ve come to expect from Discovery ads

According to a Google/Ipsos survey, 1 in 3 consumers say they have purchased something on Google feeds—like Discover and Gmail—that they were not originally shopping for.1 And 86% of Gen Z users agree that YouTube helps them discover new products they’re interested in.2 Demand Gen campaigns offer a suite of powerful new features designed especially for the needs of today’s social marketers.  

  • Flex your storytelling with video and image ads in one campaign: Engage your audiences with a variety of ad formats—including short-form videos, carousels, portraits, and square images—all within one single campaign.

A screenshot showing the user experience of Demand Gen ad creation flow in Google Ads

  • Find more potential customers with Lookalike segmentsBring your first-party data and we’ll match it with Google’s audience intent and interest signals to help you find new customers similar to those who already engaged with your brand—using inputs like past purchases, website and app activity, or YouTube engagement. 

A gif showing the user experience of creating lookalike audiences in Google Ads.

  • Drive performance based on your unique goals: Similar to Discovery ads, you can optimize Demand Gen for conversions or use value-based bidding strategies. Or, if you want to drive high-value customers to your website, you can optimize for site visits and actions with Maximize Clicks bidding
  • Launch campaigns with confidence with new ad previews: With a redesigned workflow and with new ad previews, you can easily see how your creatives will look across different surfaces. What’s more, you can optimize your placements to find the perfect mix for your campaigns with A/B experimentation

A gif showing creative previews across multiple placements in Google Ads.

What you can expect from the Discovery ads upgrade 

Here’s an overview of upcoming milestones and what to expect to help you get ready for the upgrades:

 An animated GIF that shows the upcoming milestones for Discovery ads upgrade.

  1. Starting today, sign up for the Demand Gen beta to upgrade your Discovery ads: Once accounts are enrolled in the beta, you will be able to create new Demand Gen campaigns, taking advantage of all the latest features. If you have an active Discovery campaign, it will be automatically upgraded to Demand Gen after you enroll in the beta without disruption—all historical data and learnings will be seamlessly carried over to ensure consistent performance. You can enjoy the redesigned UI and start optimizing your Demand Gen campaigns with new features. 
  1. Starting in October, Demand Gen campaigns will be available to all advertisers in Google Ads and your Discovery campaigns will be eligible for upgrades: Contact your Google account team to upgrade your Discovery campaigns on your behalf. And if you don’t currently have a Google account team, your Discovery campaigns will be automatically upgraded by November, with all historical data and learnings remaining intact. You can start optimizing your campaigns with new features in Demand Gen once you’ve upgraded.  
  1. Starting in early 2024, automatic upgrades for all remaining Discovery campaigns will begin: From January to March 2024, all remaining Discovery campaigns will be automatically upgraded to Demand Gen to prepare you for the new year with more AI-powered features that drive demand.

Prepare for campaign upgrades with new resources 

In the coming months, we’ll share more resources and best practices to help ensure your upgrade process is as smooth as possible. In the meantime, check out this overview of what’s new with Demand Gen, or visit the Google Ads Help Center. Make sure to follow @GoogleAds to stay updated throughout the process.

An infographic showcasing the new features in Demand Gen.

Posted by Tobias Maurer, Group Product Manager, Demand Gen campaigns



1. Google/Ipsos, Consumer Feed Behavior Research, August 2022, Online survey, US consumers aged 18+ who browse feeds (feeds defined as: Google, Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest) monthly or more often. Base: Consumers n=2,000.
2. Google/YPulse, Understanding the Gen Z Shopper Journey, US, n=302, Gen Z 18–24. Survey in field June 10–14, 2022.

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