YouTube Adds Shoppable Ads in Bid to Inspire Action

YouTube Adds Shoppable Ads in Bid to Inspire ActionYouTube has changed its commercials so they are much more interactive — and actionable.

“A month after YouTube added interactive cards to its skippable TrueView ads, retail advertisers can now use those card overlays to include product information, images, and links to purchase a product on a brand’s site,” reports AdAge. “They can also use these ads to remarket to people who may have checked out a product on a brand’s site without checking out.”

True, Google (which owns YouTube) intends to equip its search ads with buy buttons. On YouTube, people won’t be able to buy an advertised product directly, but it will make the “path to purchase” shorter, according to YouTube’s senior product manager Lane Shackleton.

“One of the things we saw was people going off YouTube and searching on for that product [seen in an ad on YouTube], and then clicking the product listing. In this case we’re just reducing the friction,” Shackleton explained.

“The new TrueView for Shopping ads are also a move to bring more direct-response dollars to a video service typically viewed by marketers as a way to raise their brands’ profiles but not necessarily to push product,” noted AdAge. “Last year eMarketer estimated that 59 percent of the $50 billion U.S. brands funneled into digital advertising were used for direct-response campaigns that are designed to get someone to do more than just observe an ad, such as clicking through to an advertiser’s site and buying something.”

Interestingly, a Google study in 2013, “Digital Drives Auto Shopping,” revealed that more than half of auto shoppers watch 30 minutes or more of videos during their shopping journey; about 25 percent watch an hour or more.

Like all TrueView card-carrying ads, advertisers will be charged only if people click on any of the product elements or watch the full ad (or at least 30 seconds of it).

“People will still be able to skip an ad after it has played for five seconds, which is also when a button will appear in the top-right of the corner of the video player that will display the card overlays when clicked,” according to AdAge.