Explaining the 5 Different Types of YouTube Ads

Fifteen years ago, YouTube was born to the internet. It soon became and has remained one of the most used online platforms to date, just behind Google as the second largest search engine in the world. In 2007, the platform first opened its doors to advertisers, yet the amount of ads we now get served before, during, and beside our video of choice seems to have increased at least ten-fold since then. Truly, it can be a battle just to make it to the end of a 3-minute music video without an interruption…but that’s the reality of online advertising these days. Regardless, let’s talk about the differences of the 5 types of YouTube ads and how advertisers can use each ad type to do good things.  

1. Skippable In-Stream Video Ads

First up on the list are skippable in-stream video ads, which can be served either before a video or during it. These ads play for a minimum of 5 seconds and then the viewer has the choice to skip them. In general, the video ad needs to be a minimum of 12 seconds and it’s recommended to keep it under 3 minutes. One of the perks of this type of YouTube ad is that you’ll only get charged when someone watches at least 30 seconds, the entire ad (for any ad under 30 seconds), or if they click on it. 

The screenshot below shows that the skippable in-stream video ads are also accompanied by a banner ad at the top right of the screen. The convenient part here is that even if a user skips the video ad, the banner ad remains in place:

2. Non-Skippable In-Stream Video Ads

These ads can also play right before a video or during it, really, the only difference is that there’s not a skip button at all. Considering that a high percentage, some 76% of people, skip the ads that get served in youtube videos, the non-skippable ad is best when your brand really needs to raise awareness and doesn’t want to risk getting hundreds and thousands of ad skips. The way that these ads charge advertisers is a little bit different; charges are incurred per impression, more specifically, per 1000 views (CPM). 

3. Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are six-second, non-skippable video ads that play right before an actual video. These ads are perfect for anyone who has a simple message to get across and doesn’t need the full production of a minutes-long video. Again, these ads are a great spot for any awareness efforts like promoting an event, or driving brand reach and frequency. If a 6-second spot seems too short to make a lasting impact, Google analyzed 300 bumper ads and found that 90% created a big lift in ad recall

The below bumper ad shows how a brand can get themselves on people’s minds with just a few flash shots and a couple spoken lines:

4. Discovery Ads

Discovery ads are very different from the three previous ad types. In fact, they are actually really similar to Google search ads, appearing amongst search results in a semi-organic kind of way. These ads help us view YouTube as a search engine. Like Google text ads, YouTube’s Discovery Ads also say “Ad” in a box to let users know they are paid for results. Discovery ads are composed of a thumbnail image and three lines of text. What’s also interesting is that these ads can show on the search results page, video watch page, and YouTube homepage which gives them quite a bit of visibility. 

Here’s an example of a Discovery ad:


5. Non-Video Ads

YouTube also offers non-video ads for brands that aren’t looking to shell out a big spend. First, you can choose to serve a display ad on the right hand side of results while a video is playing. This ad features an image, some text to the right of the image, and a button to click to your website. Also, can serve a banner ad overlay that pops up during a video from a channel that’s decided to monetize. These non-video ads charge money on a cost-per-click basis. 

The below image shows a non-video banner ad overlaying a video:

If you or your company needs help setting up a YouTube campaign, or would like to speak with a member of our digital team, we’re here to bring your ideas to life. Reach out to us today!

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