Goodbye Discovery Campaigns, Hello Demand Gen Campaigns

With the technology of artificial intelligence (AI) advancing, Google Ads is guaranteed to see many changes. The latest change is happening right before our eyes: Demand Gen campaigns. In October 2023, our current discovery campaigns can be upgraded to Demand Gen campaigns. Starting in early 2024, all discovery campaigns will be automatically updated. In the coming weeks, we will be familiarizing ourselves with the changes and upgrading our current eligible campaigns.

What is Demand Gen? 

The shift to demand gen is currently ongoing and still in the beginning stages. What we do know, based on the information provided by Google, is that Demand Gen is an AI-powered campaign described as a more advanced discovery campaign. Although there are a significant amount of changes to the new campaign, such as an expanded reach, reporting and measurement improvements, tailored ad experiences, and more flexible bidding options, the most intriguing change is the option of targeting lookalike segments. 

What’s New?

Demand Gen ads will be shown on the following platforms:

  • YouTube shorts
  • YouTube in-stream
  • YouTube in-feed
  • Discover feed
  • Gmail

Additionally, we will be able to reach a whole new audience with the lookalike segments. Like the former “similar audiences” feature that Google recently revoked, lookalike segments are built from first-party customer data including existing customer lists, activity on the website, and engagement on YouTube content. These segments, divided into three options based on the percentage of users in an ad’s target location that are more similar to the original seed list, include:

  • Narrow: (2.5% of users)
  • Balanced: (5% of users)
  • Broad: (10% of users)

Unlike discovery campaigns, we are now able to include image and video ads in one campaign, giving the audience a more captivating experience. Google has redesigned the ad workflow and previews for advertisers to see how creatives will look across all platforms. This will give us more opportunities to optimize ad placements and find the perfect design and to confidently launch the new Demand Gen ads.

Why the Change?

According to Google, the switch to Demand Gen is centered around the way Gen Z users discover products and services. Non-direct search inventory is becoming more common to this generation, who are getting increasingly more spending power. They are using platforms such as YouTube, discover, and Gmail to find products they are interested in. Google is taking advantage of this advancement and introducing a campaign that hits this audience more than ever before. 

Advantages for Advertisers

Not only is Google making a better experience for the audience, but also for us, the advertisers. As mentioned before, we are provided with a better workflow experience. Demand Gen campaigns have different options for bidding strategies, as all campaigns do. We are able to bid for conversions or use value-bidding strategies. As advertisers, we are constantly testing different bidding strategies and finding the best ways to optimize campaigns. The most efficient way to do this is through A/B testing, which discovery campaigns did not feature. Demand Gen campaigns will provide the option to set up an A/B experiment directly through Google, allowing us to measure the performance of two strategies side-by-side and find the best possible way to launch ads. 


AI technology is taking over the customer and advertiser experience quickly and efficiently. New campaigns and opportunities are being created every day. Demand Gen campaigns are one of many changes that are being made by Google. Planning migration early, preparing creative assets, building audiences, testing, and learning from different features are all equally important. As we learn more about the transition from discovery campaigns to Demand Gen campaigns, we are excited to provide more insight into how these campaigns are able to benefit both advertisers and audiences. If you’re ready to take your SEM strategy to the next level and unlock the full potential of Demand Gen campaigns, don’t hesitate to reach out to Aronson

Learn how Aronson can help your business grow!