Sponsored Display ads on various devices.

Amazon Releases Five Important Updates to Sponsored Display Ads

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key

July 5, 2022

Sponsored Display is a self-service ad solution that helps brands reach audiences at scale both on and off Amazon. Launched in 2019, Sponsored Display helps you increase your product awareness across the web by reaching targeted customers. Recently, Amazon announced a series of updates to Sponsored Display that provide better control over where these ads appear and the audiences they reach. The following is a summary of each update, along with a brief explanation of how it will make it easier for you to reach your Sponsored Display campaign objectives.

Sponsored Display Product Targeting Has Evolved to Contextual Targeting

Amazon is evolving Sponsored Display product targeting into contextual targeting, allowing advertisers to reach more of their audiences at more points in their shopping and entertainment journey. The contextual targeting strategy will allow advertisers to reach audiences both on and off Amazon when customers view content related to targeting strategies. Advertisers do not need to change their targeted products or categories to enable the new feature. Sponsored Display will automatically find the right opportunities to expand your reach beyond the store to web pages and mobile apps.

  • Why It Matters
    Vendors and registered sellers can use Sponsored Display to reach audiences throughout their shopping journeys to drive product consideration and awareness. Previously, contextually targeted campaigns would only show on the Amazon store (e.g., on product pages in the “Fitness and Exercise” category). However, there are many opportunities to reach fitness enthusiasts at other points in their day as they browse other web pages and/or use their favorite mobile apps. Amazon’s machine learning models will now automatically find more opportunities to deliver campaigns, while still adhering to advertiser bidding strategies and objectives. For example, when optimizing for page views, Amazon will help find additional opportunities beyond Amazon to serve ads at the same or improved cost-per-click. Advertisers can pair contextual targeting with page view optimization strategies alongside a remarketing strategy that can help drive additional reach and conversions from the increased visitors to their detail pages.


Sponsored Display Launches Deny Lists, Helping Brands Control Ads off Amazon

Sponsored Display deny lists are now available in the Amazon Ads console and Amazon Ads API for vendors and sellers enrolled in Brand Registry. The deny list functionality provides you with greater control over your brand presence off Amazon (on third-party properties that don’t align with your brand). You can upload a deny list of websites and mobile apps where you don’t want your ads to show across all your Sponsored Display campaigns.

  • Why It Matters
    Vendors and registered sellers are now better equipped to engage with audiences off Amazon without concern about their ads showing on websites and mobile apps that are not aligned with their brand. Deny lists provide an additional layer of protection (on top of the Amazon Ads Global Brand Safety Policy) to allow advertisers to remove websites or mobile apps that are generally brand-safe but don’t align with the brand’s value. For example, a vegan food brand may choose to not advertise on websites that discuss meat products to protect their brand reputation, even though the website does not contain sensitive content.

Screenshot of Sponsored Display Deny List on Seller Central.

Sponsored Display Launches Matched Target Reporting in the Amazon Ads Console

Matched target reporting is now available for Sponsored Display vendors and sellers enrolled in Brand Registry. With the release of this report, advertisers can dive deep into the product detail pages that display their ads. This report is available through downloadable reports within the Amazon ads console and Amazon Ads API.

  • Why It Matters
    The matched target report gives visibility into which ASINs and their related product detail pages your ads appeared against and resulted in at least one click. For example, if you are using Sponsored Display product targeting to help reach audiences within a specific category like “running shoes,” you are now able to not only analyze performance at the targeting clause level (i.e., the “running shoes” category), but also break down the performance based on the specific product detail pages your ads appeared on within that category. You can use this data to gain confidence when using category or dynamic segments by understanding which products were being targeted.

Screenshot of Sponsored Display Matched Target Reporting on Seller Central.

Sponsored Display Expands Available Metrics for Reach Campaigns

Amazon has expanded the metrics available for Sponsored Display’s reach campaigns (vCPM) to include click-based attribution when accessing reports within the Amazon Ads console or the Amazon Ads API. These new metrics for Sponsored Display will allow advertisers to further analyze the impact of awareness campaigns by using consistent attribution and metrics across their campaigns.

  • Why It Matters
    Now that advertisers can access click-based sales metrics in addition to click and view- based sales metrics, they can better understand which sales were generated from either clicks or views. This information will help advertisers better understand the impact of their Sponsored Display campaigns, regardless of if they’re using click-based (CPC) or view-based (vCPM) bidding and attribution.

Sponsored Display Bid Recommendations Expands to Additional Regions

Amazon has expanded the suggested bids for Sponsored Display to AU, IN, MX, and NL. These recommendations will now be provided for Sponsored Display views remarketing and product targeting campaigns within the ad console and API for those new regions in addition to the existing regions of CA, DE, ES, FR, IT, JP, UAE, UK, and the US. These suggested bids will be added by default in the ad console.

  • Why It Matters
    Bid recommendations help remove the guesswork when selecting a bid. Now, when you create any CPC-based or vCPM-based Sponsored Display campaigns with product targeting (products, similar products, and category) or views remarketing in AU, IN, MX, or NL, you’ll receive machine learning-powered bid recommendations. These recommendations are presented as a suggested bid and a bid range. Both are calculated by analyzing a group of winning bids for recent, similar ads within your category. Suggested bid and bid range update daily, based on the increase or decrease in competing bids and ads in each auction.

Channel Key Takeaway

Sponsored Display ads are an excellent way to reach relevant audiences throughout their shopping and entertainment journeys. Many brands find success by complementing Sponsored Display with other ad types to reach shoppers at each area of the funnel. According to Amazon, Advertisers with a balanced investment across Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display increase sales by an average of 15% YoY at a better return on ad spend (ROAS) compared to those only using Sponsored Products. These recent updates to Sponsored Display will only help to improve the precision of your targeting to further increase the likelihood of reaching more customers who are likely to make a purchase.

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