Australia’s David Jones engages high-value shoppers with Google Marketing Platform-fueled TrueView campaign

November 2017

When planning its Christmas campaign in July 2016, David Jones came up with a fresh, creative solution: develop and serve highly relevant, targeted TrueView ads using Google Marketing Platform. The campaign helped cut costs and boost engagement across the board.


Drive brand awareness of David Jones as the #1 store in Australia for Christmas shopping

Engage target audiences with different versions and varying lengths of relevant YouTube ad creative


Set up Audience Solutions in Display & Video 360 for precision targeting in fashion and entertainment categories

Used Display & Video 360 to facilitate and monitor media buys, collect real-time data, and optimise campaigns in a single platform

Compared campaign results with Audience Solutions to previous results without this additional layer of targeting


97% viewability

+12% increase in view-through rate

+7% increase in engagement

5% reduction in cost per view

Founded in 1838, David Jones has stood the test of time. As the oldest continuously operating department store in the world, the upscale Australian retail chain has a long tradition of attracting customers to its 43 store locations. But with barbeques on the beach and Santa hats in summer, Christmas in Australia is anything but “traditional.”

At risk of growing stale in its approach to reaching new customers, David Jones needed a creative Christmas campaign that would resonate with a wider audience. So, the brand teamed up with media agencies Carat and Amnet to launch a YouTube campaign fuelled by Google Marketing Platform’s1 precise targeting and uniquely Australian creative.

Building a genuine Aussie connection with TrueView ads

Combining Google Marketing Platform’s video and programmatic technology with Google Audience Solutions’ deep audience insights, Carat and Amnet ran a video ad campaign on YouTube that showcased David Jones as the #1 Christmas shopping destination down under.

The goal of each ad was to speak to the heart of Australian identity by showing how David Jones products could help potential customers do Christmas a hundred different ways, whether that’s doing it in 34-degree heat (in woolly jumpers) or doing it “dressy.” Each ad tapped into what makes Australian Christmas unique with the catchline, “For whatever way you do it, David Jones can make it happen.”

Armed with an assortment of compelling creative, Carat needed a platform to facilitate and monitor its media buys, manage videos of varying lengths, and deliver its ads to the right audience at the right moments. The tool also had to measure performance accurately while continuously collecting data to help Amnet optimise. The solution—Google Marketing Platform's suite of delivery tools—allowed the agencies to tackle those tasks with a single platform.

Driving performance with in-depth customer insights

Setting up Google Audience Solutions in Display & Video 360 and leveraging its refined audience data was key to reaching David Jones’ ideal potential customers. Carat and Amnet also used custom affinity segments in Display & Video 360 across fashion and entertainment categories to reach YouTube users most likely to be interested in David Jones products. To further refine their targeting strategy, the agencies used Amnet’s pay-per-view offering to build custom YouTube channel site lists, which helped ensure David Jones’ ads would only be served across brand-suitable YouTube content.

“Utilising Google Audience Solutions for our TrueView campaign gave us an additional layer of relevancy by ensuring our message reached the right users at the right time.”

Finally, Amnet pulled clear, reliable insights from Audience Solutions to gauge the video ads’ impact on brand awareness, compared them to previous campaign activity, and used that information to guide future campaign strategy.

Heath Irving, Amnet’s video product manager, explained: “Utilising Google Audience Solutions for our TrueView campaign gave us an additional layer of relevancy by ensuring our message reached the right users at the right time.”

Tapping Google Marketing Platform for precision targeting and segmentation

Display & Video 360 allowed Carat and Amnet to manage all their media buys and performance tracking in one place. Using customised targeting enabled the agencies to increase the likelihood that users would see multiple creative, which had a positive effect on view-through rate, cost per view, engagement, and viewability.

Once the custom affinity segments were implemented, David Jones was able to boost the number of people who saw a variety of differently themed creative.

David Jones’ TrueView ads boosted awareness in a big way

David Jones’ Christmas campaign was a rousing seasonal success. Engagement with the video ads’ interactive elements grew by 7%, and overall view-through rate increased by 12% while cost per view decreased by nearly 5%. Average viewability came in at 95% and rose to 97% with the introduction of Google Audience Solutions—results well above industry benchmarks.


Harnessing YouTube’s massive reach in the Australian market was paramount in maximising brand awareness for David Jones. Combining refined audience targeting tools ensured the brand would connect with the right audience without sacrificing scale, and the number of unique, engaged viewers steadily grew. David Jones reached nearly 3M Australians throughout the duration of the campaign at a cost per unique user of just $0.09.

“The recommendation from Carat to run a programmatic TrueView campaign helped us achieve our objective to drive brand awareness and connect with our most valuable potential shoppers,” said Michiel Tops, David Jones’ general manager of marketing and communications.

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