Experiment: How Decathlon boosted conversions with customized video ads

October 2019

What we set out to test

Can retailers increase online sales and store visits by serving personalized video ads to consumers?

Decathlon drives online conversions and in-store foot traffic with tailored video spots.

The background

Decathlon is the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, with online and brick-and-mortar stores in 49 countries. When the brand started looking for a new way to strengthen its connection with Singaporean sports enthusiasts, it noticed that many people turned to online video when researching products. Decathlon decided to see if it could further establish itself in a competitive regional market by serving customized video ads to consumers.

How we set the experiment up

To measure the impact of online video on conversions and in-store foot traffic, the brand split its experiment into two parts.

Part one: Adding YouTube into the media mix

Decathlon wanted to see if it could increase online sales by complementing its existing search campaign with Trueview for action ads. The brand created video spots that showcased various sports like yoga and basketball, and encouraged sports fans to click through to its website.

The brand then set up a pre/post-test to assess how online video influences sales.

  • Pre-test: Search ads for three months
  • Post-test: Search ads and Trueview for action ads using signal-based advanced audiences* for three months

*Signal-based advanced audiences used: Affinity + Custom Affinity + In-Market + Custom Intent + Customer Match

Decathlon defined a conversion as when a consumer added an item to cart and then completed a purchase. At the end of the experiment’s first phase, the brand compared online conversions before and after incorporating online video into its marketing strategy.

Part two: Developing customized online video ads

After noticing a spike in online sales driven by its video campaign, Decathlon wanted to see whether customizing its YouTube creative would drive even greater brand impact. Using Director Mix, the brand transformed a handful of images, text, and videos into more than 110 spots featuring different sports and activities Singaporean consumers were interested in.

People who recently searched for hiking gear saw video ads featuring relevant products and promotions.

Decathlon kicked off another pre/post-test to see if personalizing ads would drive even more sales. The brand compared the performance of its Trueview for action campaign from the first part of its experiment to that of its newly customized video campaign.

  • Pre-test: Search ads and generic Trueview for action ads for one month
  • Post-test: Search ads and tailored Trueview for action ads for one month

Throughout the second part of its experiment, Decathlon used Brand Lift surveys to see which video campaign delivered higher ad recall and brand interest.

What we learned

Video campaigns encourage people to shop online and visit stores, and brands that go one step further by creating customized video spots see even more success. After the first part of its experiment — when Decathlon used video ads for the first time in Singapore — the brand saw 175% more incremental online conversions at a 64% lower cost per conversion (CPC).

Decathlon’s Trueview for action campaign also increased store visits by 28%, showcasing online video’s ability to transform online engagement into offline action.


By customizing its video creative, Decathlon was able to unlock even more brand impact by meeting each consumer’s unique needs. The brand boosted return on ad spend (ROAS) by 51%, increased ad recall by 72.7%, and lifted brand interest by 10.6% with its tailored video ads.


“With online video, we’re able to reach new audiences and encourage them to take action — all while engaging them with customized experiences.” – Laurent Petit, Head of Communications and Marketing, Decathlon

This case study is part of the Experiment with Google Ads program.

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