The One Time Interrupting is Acceptable


Launching an ad campaign using YouTube as your platform opens up a world of opportunities to advertisers. There are three important parties to attend to on YouTube: the viewers, who are your audience, the creators, who generate content, and the advertisers, who attempt to understand their target market and create positive brand equity. The focus of this post is how advertisers can achieve their goal. There are six unique ad options YouTube offers brands: display ads, overlay ads, mid-roll ads, sponsored cards, non-skippable video ads and long non-skippable video ads, and TrueView Skippable Video ads. There are a few things to consider when choosing which type of ad best fits the desired brand message.


Display ads appear to the right of featured videos, at the top of video suggestions lists, and are also referred to as banners. These ads are only available on computers or desktop devices, therefore, if you are trying to reach mobile users, this type of ad would not be very effective. Overlay ads are located at the bottom of the video window and have very small type. This advertisement is not very effective for displaying key information due to the fact that a video is playing underneath it. Do not expect consumers to retain key information from this type of ad. The main purpose is to get consumers to click away to the company’s webpage where they can find key information.

Mid-roll ads are similar to tv commercials in that they interrupt a program. They are 15 seconds or longer and are placed by the advertiser within the video content. Sponsored card advertisements are at the end card of a video and are ads for products talked about in the video. Congruency between products and created video content is key in this type of ad.

Lastly, there are skippable and non-skippable advertisements. Skippable Ads are created with TrueView which is a YouTube advertising platform available in the AdWords interface. TrueView skippable video ads can be before, during or after the video. Another way to describe these locations is pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. A viewer is able to skip the ad after five seconds so you want to be able to catch their attention and make your brand known immediately. Non-skippable ads appear pre-roll. Longer ads are around 30 seconds, however in 2018, brands will no longer be able to purchase the 30 second ad format. They will be permitted to purchase 20-second promos and skippable bumper ads. YouTube is making adjustments to better enhance the viewer interactivity experience.

Which will be the most effective? Consumer interaction with online ads has three stages: preattention, attention, and behavioral decision. The advertisement needs to catch their attention. They are not on YouTube to look for advertisements most likely, therefore, the advertisements are forced to compete with entertaining content.

Pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll are all in-stream advertisements because they take place when the video is played by the consumer. Fast forwarding is prevented, unless there is the 5 second skip option. They are more difficult to ignore since they are placed within the video. Mid-roll ads are more intrusive of the three,  as they interrupt content.  When choosing from these three in-stream ads, it is important to think about brand recognition and congruency between ads and video content. For some viewers, these could be less effective because viewers are annoyed with the interruption. These viewers reserve their attention for the return of the video rather than engaging with the interruption.  However, mid-roll has shown to enhance brand name recognition. It is generally recommended that the context of a mid-roll ad is thematically congruent with the video content. However, for pre-roll or post-roll ads, it is more the customer is more likely to remember the brand name if the ad is incongruent to the video content.

Written by Hayleigh Walton



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