Google Headquarters in Ireland Building Sign

So, it’s true — a picture really is worth a thousand words. This is especially relevant when you’re talking digital advertising. Studies have found that images are ten times more likely to garner interaction from online viewers because of the way our brains are wired. Humans are visual thinkers. Not surprisingly, Google knows this. Hence, the beta rollout earlier this month of Google Gallery Ads.

What Are Google Gallery Ads?

Google’s new gallery ads are visual advertisements that appear at the top of the screen during search results. They have the ability to showcase up to eight different images in a slideshow-like presentation to help advertisers better engage their target audience.

And by better engage, we mean transfix, captivate, mesmerize. At least, that’s the goal. And like all things Google, it seems to be working.

Fully-clickable, gallery ads are exactly what the name suggests — a miniature gallery of images that represent the best of what an advertiser has to offer. From tempting platters of palatable pasta to the beaming faces of children dressed in their back-to-school finest, gallery ads aim to catch your eye and your attention, encouraging you to click through the gallery to see everything the advertiser has to offer.

Too Much, Too Fast?

You might think that simply flashing random images across the top of search results would result in little recognition or remembrance, right? Not at all. Recent research conducted by neuroscientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that the human brain has the ability to fully process an image after just 13 milliseconds of glimpsing it. When it comes to online marketing, images count, even when they come and go with all the speed of summer vacation.

High-Value Advertising

There’s no argument that Google’s new gallery ads will be a high-value option for advertisers who want to increase brand recognition, though just how high remains to be seen. Still, Google is Google, after all, and they have a pretty decent track record of reaching into our minds and extracting information we didn’t even know we were hoarding. Smart brands, especially start-ups, will definitely want to consider climbing on board the Google gallery train, once it pulls out of the beta station and becomes a real marketing option for the masses.