YouTube Video Ad Formats
by Tam Doan
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YouTube is a huge opportunity for advertisers reaching nearly 2 billion viewers each month, and is the 2nd most visited website in the world. In addition to the sheer volume of website visitors, there are various ways you can reach your audience - banner ads, overlay ads, sponsored cards, and a variety of video ads. However today I’ll be focusing on specifically the different video ad formats that can appear on YouTube. There are three types of video ads, and they are TrueView Ads, Non-Skippable Video Ads, and Bumper Ads.

TrueView Ads

These video ads appear in two different forms: in-stream or discovery.

  1. 1. In-Stream: These type of video ads gives the user the choice to skip ads or watch ads that they’re curious about, in that way they aren’t as intrusive. Like most other Google Ad platforms, you pay-per-click. You also pay when someone watches your ad for at least 30 seconds or until completion.
  2. 2. Discovery: Video discovery ads appear when a user commit a search on YouTube for videos, or on websites that are a part of Google’s Display Network that matches your target audience.

In addition to search result pages, discovery video ads can also appear on YouTube’s homepage:

Non-Skippable Video Ads

This ad type is 15 - 20 seconds in duration depending on regional standard, and as the name suggests: they are not skippable. With non-skippable ads you’re paying based on impressions, and since they are not skippable, typically have a higher CPM than other ad formats. Note below the duration and no option to skip this ad.

Bumper Ads

The shortest type of YouTube video ads, these are only 6 seconds. You pay on a CPM basis (per 1,000 impressions) just like non-skippable ads. They don’t tell the whole story, but they make great compliments to your campaign. These appear in this format below, note the length and lack of option to skip:

These are great for upper-funnel engagement and creating brand awareness. You may think that six seconds isn’t enough to really captivate your audience, but you won’t know just how effective they can be until you try! If you still aren’t sold on six seconds, you can check out Google’s study here and learn about how well they are working for most advertisers. Underarmour specifically saw double the lift in product interest between viewers who had seen only their TrueView ad and users who saw both the TrueView and bumper ads.

I believe that this study further reinforces the ideology of making your brand as available as possible to your target audience in as many ways as possible - with ideal frequency of course. Not all formats will lead directly to a sale, but that doesn’t necessarily make them ineffective. Just like Googe’s study proved, it was effective by lifting other formats of marketing efforts. So again, test away and don’t avoid trying a new ad format without data to prove your reasoning!