How YouTube is Transforming Video Advertising

As all experienced digital marketers know, the world of video advertising is in a period of rapid change. Where once it was easy to hold people’s attention once you got it, the opposite now reigns. It is easy to catch someone’s attention, and equally easy to lose it.

Goldfish Now Thought to Have a Longer Attention Span than Humans

Goldfish Now Thought to Have a Longer Attention Span than Humans

A recent study found that the average human attention span is now 8 seconds. Only 8 seconds! That’s less than the 9 seconds displayed in tests done with goldfish! (Source: There’s plenty to be said of how scary the implications of this are. For today however, let’s focus on how advertisers can adapt to this change.

Video advertising is, in many ways, the best means of getting a user’s attention. Web users love interactive, sense-stimulating content. Research has shown that even within video advertising, ads with audio, and not just subtitles provide a brand lift (Source: The more an ad can engross a user, the better for your business.

But how can you reach users where they are? How can you leverage solid creative in the best way possible to grow your business? The answer: YouTube and Google’s TrueView and Bumper Ads.

Reach Without Attention, is Wasted

The key to good advertising is to not only get someone’s attention with a high quality ad, but also to hold that attention. If someone looks at your product, shrugs and gets bored, you’ve lost a potential customer. That is why YouTube is such a great place to show your video ads.

In the past, when families gathered around their television sets to watch Leave it to Beaver or some other show, reach was limited but attention was plentiful. It was difficult (and expensive) to get your ad in front of that family. If you managed to do so, however, it paid massive dividends. Families would watch advertisements for the entertainment value and because technology did not permit them to skip through them.

Today, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. Getting your video ad in front of an audience is as easy as making one and putting it online. But once someone sees your ad, they are likely to skip it. This is due to our dwindling attention spans, as well as the sheer volume of content available to users. Why waste your time on a boring ad when you could be reading the works of H.P. Lovecraft, or checking your news feed on Facebook?

Here’s How YouTube Video Ads Help

YouTube solves this dilemma for advertisers by boasting a tremendous 93% viewability rate. This means that users watch and actually pay attention to YouTube ads 93% of the time.

Online Video Viewability by Platform

Video Viewability by Platform – YouTube Dominates Video Viewability with 93%

This rate trounces the video advertising industry average of 66%, TV and Twitter’s average of roughly 45% each and Facebook’s rate of approximately 35%. You may be wondering how this is all possible. How can YouTube be so much better at video ads than the other sites and mediums? The answer has to do with ad formats and YouTube’s unique position to reach and hold user attention.

Video Advertising Formats Matter A Lot

As mentioned above, video ads with audio enabled tend to perform better than ads with only subtitles. Sound and visuals are more pleasing and stimulating to our senses than just one or the other. Likewise, ads which occupy most of our screen or all of it perform better than those that don’t simply because you cannot easily ignore them. According to Google and Doubleclick:

“the full immersive experience of sight, sound and motion delivers more ad recall than either audio or video alone. In fact, the impact on ad recall was 23% higher when users were exposed to ads with audio and video together versus ads with just audio alone.”

– Google, Doubleclick, 2016 Viewability and Brand Metrics for Video Ads.

YouTube Ad Format vs. Other Online Video Advertising Options

YouTube Ad Format vs. Other Online Video Advertising Options – Which Format Do You Prefer?

Bearing these facts in mind, look at the way YouTube’s video ads work and compare them to Facebook and Twitter. Whereas on the latter two, one cannot hear the ads by default, and need only scroll to make them disappear, on YouTube, they plays the audio by default with video that fills the entire screen. These facts alone make them very effective for ad recall and brand lift.

To help better understand what each social video platform defines as a “view” and whether or not sound is enabled by default, checkout the Marketing Land’s Guide to Social Video. Source:

MarketingLands Guide to Social Video

Marketing Land’s Guide to Social Video – How Each Social Platform Defines a Video “View?

TrueView Video Advertising Formats For Reach and Recall

TrueView ads are popular with users and businesses alike. The unique option to skip ads after a few seconds of playing are liked by users for obvious reasons. They shorten the wait before a user can enjoy content. They are also helpful for business owners and advertisers.

Trueview Ads are Viewer Selected

Trueview  optimizes the best ad to a user, the best audience to an advertiser and the best user experience

Because advertisers only pay for TrueView ads if a user does not skip the ad, or at least watches 30 seconds of it if the ad is longer than 30 seconds. Businesses receive brief impressions all the time in front of a huge audience, for absolutely no charge.

Snackable 6 Second Bumper Ads Have BIG Impact

Bumper ads are also a great new tool for marketers. Though unskippable, they are only six seconds in length. This prevents users from growing annoyed at them, but also is scientifically engineered by Google to provide the most bang for an advertiser’s buck. Because they are unskippable and advertisers will pay each time a bumper ad is shown, Google made them the exact length at which their research has shown users are more likely to show increased brand loyalty and consideration for your product. (Source:

Six Seconds of Watch Time Shown to Drive Significant Lift in Awareness and Consideration

Six seconds of watch time shown to drive significant lift in awareness and consideration

In short, if you can leave a lasting impression on someone after six seconds of your ad, they become exponentially more likely to become aware of your brand and consider it when shopping. Powerful stuff.

Extend Reach and Attention

YouTube is also so successful due to its popularity. Millions of users go to YouTube everyday to watch, enjoy, and share content. This massive audience not only gives advertisers who use YouTube tremendous reach, but because users are happy to be there, and very engaged with the site and its content, they are unlikely to leave the site. This means that users will watch and pay attention to your ads, if for no other reason than they need to in order to get to their preferred content.

Google recommends creating campaigns to run TrueView ads alongside bumper ads on YouTube. They believe that by mixing the formats and seeing what works best for your business, you can build and sustain your brand’s message while also lowering your CPM (cost-per-impression).

A final tip for bumper ads is to cut them from already existing creative. If you have high quality creative that you’ve made for longer ads, why waste time and resources trying to make something fit into the crammed frame of six seconds? It is far better to cut a short, basic message from your existing ads and use them for bumpers.


In the world of Internet advertising, reach is critical. Without attention however, it is often wasted.  YouTube is over 90% viewable and audible, which puts it head and shoulders above its competitors. Moving forward, marketers will want to review the viewability of their ads and cut short bumpers to augment their existing creative.

Ready to Launch Some YouTube Video Advertisements?

Fill out the short form to be contacted by a Google-Certified Video Advertising Specialist or Call: +1 (518) 557-3502. Email:


Additional Info

The Flip Side

YouTube: Winning Attention in a Mobile, ‘Skippable’ World

Streamed live on Aug 3, 2017

In today’s mobile world, it’s not hard to reach people but it’s harder than ever to actually win their attention. Learn how to leverage YouTube’s rare combination of both viewer reach and viewer attention to win new customers.

In the US, YouTube reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any broadcast or cable TV network, and we do that on mobile alone. Learn how to reach and capture the attention of your audience with Mobile Video.


Ricky Noel is a Google AdWords Certified AdWords Professional, a proud employee of eBiz, ROI. as well as a full-time student at SUNY Geneseo, where he studies English, Education, and Theater. Ricky got into the internet marketing industry when his father, Rick, introduced him to Google AdWords and showed him the possibilities online advertising represented for business owners and web-users alike. Ricky began working with eBiz in the summer of 2016, between senior year of highschool and shipping off to college. Since then, he has worked remotely from school thanks to the wonders of Google Hangouts and high speed internet connectivity. His passions include reading, writing creatively and analytically, and performing in plays and musicals. He is also an experienced Dungeons and Dragons aficionado, holds Abraham Lincoln and George R.R. Martin among his personal heroes, and is really excited to help businesses grow and spread their message online.

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