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  • Global digital agency of record
  • The largest user of Google's marketing platforms
  • 14 years of digital marketing excellence

We’ve been working with Google since the beginning.


Essence has served as Google's global digital media agency of record for over a decade. We're proud to help the world's leading technology company define excellence in digital marketing with advertising that makes people's lives easier.

By the Numbers

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    Products supported in 2019

    From core brand services to hardware brands, entertainment platforms, and growth products.

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    Agency of record

    A relationship recognized as one of the industry's most enduring partnerships

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    Campaigns launched in 2019

    All employing and advancing best practices in digital marketing to drive business growth

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    Our campaigns for Google reached millions of people in nearly a hundred different countries in 2019.

Recent work

  • Project Pegasus

    To market Google Home, Essence and Google sought to create a new way to deliver ultra-relevant messaging that feels personal, while being sensitive to consumers’ concerns about how their personal data is used. 

    To achieve both, we devised a way to anchor the relevance of campaign creative to the unique content of the individual articles and webpages being viewed by our target audience, customizing for contextual relevance without needing to use personal user data or behavioral targeting. Partnering with The Guardian, we built  an automated system that ingested each day's content on the site, performed brand safety evaluations, created consumer-facing contextual copy, and utilized Google APIs to deepen contextual relevance.  Leveraging Google Marketing Platform allowed us to deliver a compelling ad experience regardless of where users interacted with The Guardian.

    This machine learning-driven approach allowed us to crack the challenge of executing automated page-level contextual advertising at scale. Over the course of two weeks, we delivered contextual ad copy for 608 articles with 260 uniques pieces of ad copy, which were translated for 73 countries.

    In 2019, campaigns using Pegasus to promote Google products demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach, driving a 5.2% increase in purchase consideration and a 5.1% increase in category understanding where generic ads drove no lift.

  • Curiosity Rooms

    In late-2018, Google was preparing to launch the Pixel 3, seeking to drive consideration among target audiences. Recognizing the critical need to differentiate, Pixel sought to bring their global communication platform Be Curious: Make Every Day More Extraordinary to life, so "Curiosity Rooms" - a stunning landmark destination in the heart of London - was born.

    We knew that the Curiosity Rooms experience wouldn't deliver the scale needed to reach Pixel's consideration goal by itself, so we developed a media strategy that would not only drive crucial footfall over five weeks but also transport the magic of the brand experience beyond its four walls. Our strategy ignored traditional ATL advertising and instead promoted the opening with fly posters, paid social, and influencer posts - channels that directly appealed to our audience.

    Partnering with nine publishers from well-known to relatively unknown brands, to create talks, podcasts, workshops, fashion shows, gigs, and more, we transformed the Pixel Curiosity rooms into a stage for compelling programming that brought the space to life for consumers in person and online.

    Our campaign achieved 34% uplift with visitors to the Curiosity Rooms and 17% uplift with people who interacted with our content online, as well as an increase of 14% in purchase intent among people exposed to the Curiosity Rooms experience.

  • Google Store x D&V 360 Custom Bidding

    Google and Essence are on a mission to use machine learning to improve the performance and relevance of Google’s advertising. In 2018, we delivered on this goal by developing a direct response, AI-driven buying protocol to run in Display & Video 360. Deployed against a campaign to promote Google Store sales, this algorithm used machine learning to optimize customer value and produced a 22% higher return on investment. We not only succeeded in optimizing media bidding toward predicted revenue, but used pattern recognition across large data sets to improve scalability, reducing the time it takes to develop models by 60% and simultaneously improving accuracy by 40%.  

    Using Google’s Display & Video 360 Custom Bidding (in beta) we were able to go beyond DSP models and leverage first party data at a much broader and more time efficient scale. Our data science team analyzed the lifetime value of Google Store customers and data points correlated to sales and then developed and uploaded a customizable scoring model to Display & Video 360 to determine our bids in real-time. 

    To drive higher value Google Store sales, Essence used Google Store site tags and inferred metrics to make iterative improvements to our scoring model based on daily campaign data. Powered by machine learning, this approach allowed us to automatically score and prioritize our bids based on expected revenue at the impression level. Predicting purchases based on user actions when they first reach the Google Store - and then adjusting auction bids for media - improved DR optimization in programmatic by bringing in new data signals. The results were clear: 9% higher average revenue per customer; 50% time saved in modeling; 50% improvement in model accuracy over two months; and an estimated media savings and value greater than the total value of the media plan.

    The application of machine learning to our bidding efforts transformed the performance of our Google Store campaign, delivering stronger brand lift at a lower cost and demonstrating the power of AI when applied against measurable - and even granular - business goals. Our approach has been recognized as groundbreaking for the industry, winning Adweek's Project Isaac award for Invention in Media Planning and Buying, AdExchanger's award for Best Use of Programmatic in a Marketing Campaign in 2019, and the programmatic category at the 2019 I-COM Data and Creativity Awards.

  • The Chain

    This branded campaign, the winner of Adweek's 2018 Project Isaac award for invention in digital publishing, promoted Google's flagship Pixel 2 smartphone to fashion-forward influencers.

    Launched in conjunction with Guardian Labs, The Chain consisted of a 36-page print and online magazine accompanied by an online experience where some of fashion's biggest influencers gave a "behind the scenes" look at their daily lives via the Pixel 2.

  • Ultimate Fantasy Advisor

    With more than 40 million players in the US, fantasy football is one of America’s most popular social activities. But the time it takes to extensively research players and monitor statistics can be daunting for both diehard fans and newcomers alike. In the lead-up to the 2018 football season, we partnered with Google and CBS Sports to create The CBS Sports Ultimate Fantasy Advisor, a frictionless way to make fantasy football fun again.

    Recognized as the "Best Use of AI/Machine Learning in Storytelling" in the 2018 Adweek ARC Awards, the Ultimate Fantasy Advisor offers users constantly-updated fantasy American football advice and information via the Google Assistant, helping fantasy football players determine determine who to draft, start, trade, and more. The action provides a way for Google to get more people into the habit of using Google Assistant to answer the questions that matter most in their lives and for both Google and CBS to deepen their engagement with football fans.

    Throughout the 2018 football season, the Ultimate Fantasy Advisor created more than 170 million impressions, increasing usage intent for Assistant by 11 points and became one of the most used Assistant actions on Sundays.

  • Condé Covers

    To launch the third generation Google Pixel, we partnered with Condé Nast to change the way covers are made with Condé's biggest-ever simultaneous cover campaign and the Pixel 3's best-in-class camera.

    Working with Allure, Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, Condé Nast Traveler, Glamour, W, GQ, Vogue, Teen Vogue, and WIRED, we shot covers and behind the scenes content using the Pixel 3. Our covers and content were then promoted across Condé' Nast's social channels, timed to correspond with high visibility cultural moments. Celebrity couple Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra's Vogue cover, shot by the photography legend Annie Liebovitz, launched on their wedding day and our "Newlyweds" couple content trended at #3 on YouTube. For sports fans, NBA star Joel Embiid's GQ cover launched during his first game of the 76ers season.

    Our cover reveals reached 31% of millennials in the US. Social accelerated the program as influencers (photographers, editors, talent, and brands) generated 28 million impressions, five times more than the average Condé Nast post. In total, the campaign generated 200 million social impressions, a first for any Condé partnership, and a 12 point lift in Pixel consideration for the general population.

  • Home Hub: Director Mix

    Dynamic context matters when it comes to online video and new technology means new ways to create amazing content.

    In the fall of 2018, Essence utilized YouTube Director Mix, a Google tool that helps brands create video assets at scale, to produce more than 80 holiday-themed, personalized, and useful :06 spots promoting Google's new Home Hub - a smart speaker equipped with a screen. Each ad was perfectly matched with popular "How-To" search moments in which the Home Hub could make a difference for our audience.

    In addition to producing lifts in product awareness and purchase intent, automation enabled our team to produce creative for the campaign at just 1/10th the cost, allowing us to make the Home Hub more relevant, to more people, than ever before.

  • Love Your Way

    Attached, single, or somewhere in-between, February 14th can stir up strong emotions in almost anyone. And for people without partners or in different kinds of relationships, it’s easy to feel left out on a day when everyone deserves to feel loved regardless of their status. In 2018, we launched “Love Your Way,” a modern and mobile-first Valentine’s Day campaign that reflected the diverse array of ways in which real people celebrate love, and lifting brand sentiment associated with Google’s Pixel 2 smartphone by more than 60%. 

    This series of commercials featured Broad City's Ilana Glazer and Abi Jacobson, pop culture icon RuPaul, and internet personalities Hannah Hart and CHLOEXHALLE celebrating Valentines Day in non-traditional ways.

    Our advertisements, featuring the tagline "Love Your Way. Captured with Pixel 2" appeared throughout the North American market as an example of the diverse and inclusive approach that led to Google's recognition as brand marketer of the year in 2018 at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

  • Look Before You Leave

    Essence and Google worked together to promote Google Maps in India to a large audience in a crowded market. The #LookBeforeYouLeave campaign encouraged commuters to check Google Maps and utilize real-time traffic updates before leaving their home, office, or other destinations through components including OOH with real-time traffic information, branded television traffic updates, YouTube bumpers, and more.

    Campaign components resulted in increases in daily active users and feature awareness and reached approximately 30 million potential users.

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