Editor's note (Monday, May 7th, 2012, 11:41 am PST): We have updated the date of the Display webinar mentioned below to June 19th.

Display advertising has undergone a bit of a fairytale-like transformation over the past several years, from the medium of “Click Here!” banner ads, to one that can be smart and sexy and help bring big ideas (even those from advertising’s past) to life. Now that display has had its “Cinderella moment,” we figured the “carriage” could use an upgrade as well. So today, we’re unveiling some changes designed to simplify the way you buy and run display through AdWords.

Display’s New Home in AdWords
For nine years, AdWords customers have been buying display campaigns through an interface designed for search. This is like trying to run in glass slippers -- it might work, but it’d be a lot more effective with the right running shoes. So we’re giving display its own tab within AdWords. Rolling out over the next few weeks, the new Display Network Tab is an interface built from the ground up to run display campaigns, and will enable you to bid, target and optimize display campaigns all from a single place. Click the image below to see the different Display Network Tab targeting options.

Display Network Tab

A Revved-Up Contextual Engine
The contextual engine, which matches ads to pages based on keywords, is at the heart of display-buying through AdWords. We’ve been hard at work behind-the-scenes to give this engine its biggest enhancement ever, the ability to combine the reach of display with the precision of search, using Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting. This means that you can fine-tune the performance of your contextual campaigns down to individual keyword level, which will help you take the performance of your marketing campaign to a completely new level. It’s now easier for you to extend search campaigns to display and more efficient to run the two types of campaigns together.

For example, let’s say you’re running display campaigns for a Travel Agency who offers a vacation packages in several Caribbean islands. In the past, you would have created themed ad groups targeting vacations to Turks and Caicos and the Caribbean. Now, with this new keyword level transparency you might realize that the keyword “Turks and Caicos vacations” is 4 times more profitable than the keyword “caribbean vacations”. You can optimize your campaigns to aggressively target these high performing keywords, and be more conservative on “caribbean vacations”.

Giving a Visual Edge
And like the writers of the best fairytales know, sometimes pictures communicate better than words (or numbers). Along with the new Display Network Tab and contextual engine, we’re introducing a way to visualize the reach of your campaigns, and see how that reach is impacted by combining multiple targeting types, such as keywords, placements, topics, interests or remarketing.

These changes are some of our biggest steps to date towards bringing together the science of search advertising with the art of display. We hope they give you some powerful new tools to connect with their customers and deliver engaging and relevant display ads.

Learn More
We’re rolling out the new Display Network Tab to all advertisers in the upcoming coming weeks.
For more information on what’s new on the Display Network Tab visit our help center article.

Please join Google in our upcoming webinar on June 19th to learn more about optimizing your targeting strategies for campaigns using the Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting. Check out our new webinar page to register.

Watch Brad Bender, Director of Product Management for Display talk about the new Display Network Tab and the Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting.