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Negative Keywords Come to Amazon Sponsored Brands

Last Friday morning, Amazon third-party sellers and vendors alike were greeted by a new feature within the user interface: the ability to add negatives for Sponsored Brand ads. Negative keywords, which have been available on Sponsored Product ads for years, are a critical tool for advertisers to prevent their ads from showing on irrelevant traffic.

It’s especially exciting to see this update roll out now, with Sponsored Brand ads receiving more visibility in recent months. In August 2018 Amazon greatly expanded its inventory to include Sponsored Brand placements on the left rail and bottom of the page. In March, impression volume for Sponsored Brands was up 384% relative to January 2018. Even with this increased impression volume, the ad format’s spend share has remained relatively flat at 13% of overall Amazon ad spend.

Q1 2019 Amazon Sponsored Brands Impression Growth

While this update is a step forward for Sponsored Brands, there’s still an important piece missing from the puzzle. Advertisers still can’t see what queries shoppers searched to trigger their Sponsored Brand ads. However, assuming the advertiser runs Sponsored Product campaigns with items grouped in a similar fashion, it can use those search term insights to get an idea of how Amazon might match their Sponsored Brand ads to queries and apply a similar negative keyword strategy to Sponsored Brands.

We'll certainly have more insights in the weeks and months to come, but for now this is a welcome addition to the campaign management tools available to Amazon advertisers and should prove valuable in weeding out unwanted ad clicks.