- The Google-owned video-sharing network YouTube is rolling out a new native advertising format that places interactive "shoppable" ads into videos, similar to Google's search ads.
- The shoppable ads will appear in videos that already feature the product being advertised, even if the video wasn't paid for by an advertiser.
- The format will offer retail marketers a more native way to reach an audience than pre-roll video ads that interrupt whichever video the user wants to watch.
In the spring, YouTube rolled out TrueView Cards, which made skippable pre-roll ads interactive and allowed advertisers to include product information and links back to their site. With this move, TrueView Cards will now, for the first time, find their way into the actual videos themselves.
YouTube is adding TrueView Cards within videos that aren’t created or paid for by advertisers, such as product reviews or tutorials. The format is less intrusive for viewers because the TrueView interactive elements are part of the video and not an interruption with a separate pre-roll ad before the video runs.
The new format is expected to function more like Google search ads than YouTube’s pre-roll video ads. Pre-roll ads might not have any real connection to the video they appear before, whereas the in-video ads are directly connected to the product highlighted in the video. The number of views for product-related videos has increased by 40% since last year, Diya Jolly, YouTube's director of product management for ads, told Digiday.
The new shoppable YouTube ads are viewable by users by clicking on an icon at the top right of the video. Advertisers will only be charged if the viewer clicks on elements of the ad and not by simply clicking on the icon to open the ad. YouTube won’t get a commission on any product purchases from the ads.