Making it easier for football fans to stay in the know with Google

Challenge: Changing the search playing field

Google Search is the preferred search engine in Indonesia - but even though users knew and loved search to check in on their favorite football teams and players, their usage was less frequent than could be expected for such a football-crazy nation. There was tremendous room for growth in habitual Daily Active Users.

On hearing from consumers, we realised Google Search was being perceived as a vast encyclopedia of obscure information but not as a go-to resource for everyday football queries. This resulted in a lot of occasional users who were not yet fully fledged fans of search.

So, we sought to establish Google Search App as the easiest way to get real-time football updates.


Indonesians who were interested in football were relying on local websites, news and vertical websites/apps to get their soccer information.
We set out to make Google Search the destination for all football information.

Google search already had a key feature called one-box answers that gave users all the information in one place but they weren’t yet aware of this feature - so we created a dynamic, data-driven campaign that mimicked how football fans think about, feel and express their fandom.
Based on data signals from our audience and football leagues, ads showed fans real-time information on schedules, scores and highlights at relevant moments. This gave Indonesian football fans information they could use as social currency, helping them to be the first to know and socialize and bond over the sport. This can be best seen around Nobars- the social watching and get-togethers that happen in Indonesia around game-time.

Indonesian fans use knowledge of the sport to talk and bond socially over what happened in the game.

To drive high relevance, we tried to be as contextual to many micro-moments in the lives of fans and find moments where they would need football information. This informed our strategy on media as we identified the right channels, times of day dynamically according to game schedule etc.

The overall campaign was executed with a focus on mobile as the product was completely used and best experienced on mobile. Google One-box answers gave users simple and clear information in a clean UI and was featured in all creative assets. We used in-game triggers like teams playing, time of day and other data input to customise the creative into thousands of contexts.

We customised football ads according to each game across display, social and mobile video:
Programmatic creative was served dynamically based on which game was on, represented in creative with the colour of the jerseys of the teams were playing.

We planned and customised ads according to game time of the matches and when they were aired:
The big league games happening in Europe aired at the wee hours in. This gave us a good way to target creatives based on football lovers’ search patterns and behaviours.


The campaign drove a massive increase in sports-related searches: 113% search query lift

Time/day parting tactic worked across programmatic- Lift in morning and evening bands coincided with our targeting strategy, with score-related creative performing nearly 5x better in the morning vs the evening.

The ultimate goal to increase usage was delivered:
The campaign added a massive 600k+ Sports related Daily Active Users and created a habitual base of users who now rely on Google search for their soccer information needs.

The campaign reacted in real-time to the game. With the help of dynamic creative, we were able to deliver fresh creatives on scores, highlights and schedules for each different game, everyday during the game season.