Google Introduces Conversational Display Ads

Google recently rolled out a new conversational ad format through a platform called AdLingo. Users will be able to engage with a chat feature directly within a display ad, with the ability to directly ask questions and receive answers without needing to visit a website. As chatbots are on the rise and every major social network now offers its own version of messaging, users increasingly engage with brands via some sort of messaging platform.

AdLingo ads will show via the Google Display Network, utilizing CPM bidding. Users will be able to see clicks, impressions, and engagement metrics. At the moment, it appears you need to go directly through the AdLingo website to request access and launch a campaign. We’re curious to see if this ad format eventually becomes a part of the main Google Ads interface as it becomes more mainstream.

What You Should Know

In order to use these ads, advertisers must already have a conversational assistant built through Dialogflow, Microsoft Bot Framework, Blip, or LiveEngage. They can request access for other integrations, so we’d expect to see more added to the list eventually.

For those concerned about privacy, AdLingo does not store any transcript records. Users will be in control of how they store transcripts in the platform they use for chats.

So How Will This New Format Impact Online Advertising?

As a unique format, these ads should stand out from standard display ads. At the same time, some users may be annoyed with a chatbot attempting to engage them in a context where they’re not ready to begin a conversation.

Much of the performance will rely on the quality of conversational assistant that a brand has put into place behind the scenes. More than half of users are comfortable with chatbots for answering simple questions, based on a study by Drift. A chat conversation could help narrow down a product a person is looking for based on criteria they select, such as choosing the best set of tires for their car make and model.

However, for aspects such as positive customer experience and answers to complex question, the percentage drops below half of users willing to engage with a chatbot. This type of ad may not work so well for people needing to answer questions about complex B2B software.


We’re interested to see how many advertisers utilize this format and how consumers engage with it. While the barrier to entry does involve having an existing chatbot solution in place, it’s certainly worth testing having one more method for people to contact your brand.

Do you plan to test conversational display ads? What thoughts do you have on this new format? Share in the comments below!