Video Ads

Skippable YouTube ad of Ferrero Rocher chocolates with a ‘Shop now’ button at the FairPrice supermarket
Non-Skippable YouTube ad (bottom) by CreativeStudioPro with a ‘Learn more’ button.

Exhibit 23.4   YouTube video ad examples: Skippable ad (top) of Ferrero Rocher chocolates with a ‘Shop now’ button at the FairPrice supermarket. Non-Skippable ad (bottom) by CreativeStudioPro with a ‘Learn more’ button.

Video ads appear on YouTube videos either at the start (pre-roll), in between (mid-roll), or at the end (post-roll). Mid-roll ads can appear on videos that are over 8 minutes long.

Like TV commercials, YouTube ads are spaced within the video. The ads are offered as either skippable or non-skippable. In a skippable video ad, viewers are given the choice to skip the ad after the initial 5 seconds.

Typical YouTube video ads are shown in Exhibit 23.4. Each ad includes a skip countdown/skip button (bottom right), and a channel engagement panel (bottom left) containing a link to the advertiser’s website and an action button.

The channel engagement panel displays information such as channel name, channel icon, and name of the video. This information appears only if the video creative is YouTube-hosted.

The most common type of video ads on YouTube are skippable ads that advertisers pay for only when viewers watch at least 30 seconds of the ad or the entire ad, whichever is shorter, or when they interact by clicking on a call-to-action (e.g., the link to advertiser’s website).

Skippable ads are referred to as TrueView, so called because users choose to view them on their own volition.

The video ads typically interrupt viewing experiences, and viewers are unlikely to click links to go to the advertiser’s landing page. The ads must therefore work standalone, achieving objectives without relying on any user behavioural/social engagement at the time the ad is aired.

Moreover, since most ads on YouTube are skippable, they need to resonate within the first 5 seconds. Unlike advertisements on TV, YouTube video ads are most effective if they can communicate the essence of their message within those initial seconds. This marks a fundamental shift in the way ads are crafted.

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