How a controlled experiment revealed Chromecast's remarketing had produced an uplift of over 30%

October 2015

Essence found that remarketing activity was extremely effective in converting users and that remarketing text ads delivered the most efficiency from a direct response standpoint. However, they wanted to test whether users would have converted anyway, even without seeing the remarketing ads.


Initiated image and text ads on the Google Display Network

Used targeting techniques including remarketing, keyword contextual targeting, in-market, affinity and topic

Performed a conversion lift experiment to measure the effect of remarketing on incremental conversions and site visits


Drive purchase intent by measuring clicks on the “buy now” button

Meet ambitious cost per acquisition targets

Use remarking to increase leads (a click on the “buy now” button)


31% incremental lift in purchase intents

33% lift in site visits

A controlled experiment was performed over a period of three weeks to measure whether conversions occurred because the ad was seen, or if they would have occurred without it. The A/B test compared users who were exposed to a Chromecast remarketing text ad versus the group of users that would have seen the ad but to whom the ad was not shown. These “ghost ads” – impressions that were intentionally suppressed – were used to create the control group.


The conversion lift experiment confirmed that over 30% of conversions from remarketing ads were actually incremental. What’s more, remarketing drove similar significant uplifts in site visits, proving the full impact of the campaign.

We found that by using these broader targeting types, we were able to continuously fill the upper funnel and then drive efficient conversions with remarketing, which had great impact.

— Sophie Pitt, Account Director, Essence

With experiment results to support the fact that remarketing was working, Essence tagged more pages on the site and built more remarketing lists to feed the upper funnel and scale the program further. The team extended the remarketing activity into three key markets – Germany, the UK and France – and adopted DoubleClick Bid Manager to increase reach even more. They are currently investing as much as possible into remarketing and are planning to expand to new markets and products going forward.

Searching for the way