Eight creative tips for effective video advertising

Video advertising is a growing type of digital advertising and it can be very effective for brands, especially when applying the appropriate creative strategies.

Digital video is becoming more popular every year, both in desktop and mobile, and advertisers enjoy the increasing need for video consumption by producing more video content for their audience.

Yahoo has partnered with Nielsen & Hunter Qualitative to survey 14,000 consumers and analyse their viewing habits in native video advertising, from the devices to the formats they prefer, in order to help brands create more appealing video ads.

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There are many useful conclusions to draw from the survey and here are the eight creative tips that brands need to consider before creating the next video ad:

1. Use large and clear logos

Logos tend to be small in mobile video ads, but it has been observed that larger logos help to reinforce familiarity with the brand and most importantly, increase affinity conversion, especially for younger viewers. Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 14.45.18

A large logo may increase familiarity with a brand by 24%, compared smaller logo, while it can increase the chances that people will recommend a brand by 33% (56% for millennials).

Tip: don’t be afraid to include a larger logo in your mobile video ad. Smaller logos may be lost in the device’s small screen, so make sure your branding is clear and memorable.

Eight creative tips for effective video advertising

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2. Include a CTA

Every video ad should include a call-to-action, whether it’s a simple hashtag, a URL, or a button. This increases brand recommendation and purchase intent, proving that a CTA may serve many different goals.

Eight creative tips for effective video advertising

For example, when an ad displays a hashtag along with the campaign, users are instantly considering a social post along with the particular hashtag.

On the other hand, a campaign without a hashtag (or any (Read more...) CTA) can lead to a dead end for users’, as it doesn’t make it clear what action viewers are expected to take. 

Tip: even the simplest CTA is better than no CTA at all. Set your goals and pick the best call-to-action for them.

3. Introduce the brand anytime

Many brands are examining the best time to incorporate the brand mention in the video ad, but it seems that the timing does not impact the effect of the ad.

Mentions in the beginning, middle, or end of the video are of equal importance.

Whether it’s a visual or a verbal brand mention, brand recall, brand familiarity, but also purchase intent remain the same despite the time that the brand is introduced to the consumers.

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Tip: make sure your brand is introduced appropriately to your consumers during the video ad, but don’t worry about the exact second that you do so. Consumers care about relevance, but not about the timing of the brand mention.

4. Different ad tones serve different goals

Every tone serves a different goal in video advertising and brands adjust the tone depending on their audience and their expectations.

For example, funny ads are way more effective in helping consumers familiarise with the brand, while informational ads seem to be slightly more effective when trying to increase purchase intent. Dramatic ad tones are way more useful while increasing the brand’s affinity conversion, as they clearly beat other popular ad tones.Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 16.18.53

This is a very useful observation for brands, as it allows them to experiment with different tones, until they understand their audience to deliver the right message for the right goal.

Tip: don’t be afraid to experiment with different tones, as every ad tone leads to a different goal. Make sure you test the ads first until you’re aware of your consumers’ preferences.

5. Optimise ads for screen alignment

It is important to optimise video ads depending on the screen’s alignment, as this significantly contributes to the success of the ad, whether measured by brand affinity, or purchase intent.

Vertical ads seem to be on the rise, and Snapchat certainly contributed to this trend, although traditional horizontal landscape videos seem to be very efficient. Although these stats may change during the next years, brands can rest assured for now that they can use both types of video ads, provided that they always optimise the alignment of the screen.

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Tip: test the screen’s alignment to ensure that you maximise the chances of creating an efficient ad

6. Traditional ad lengths for pre-roll

There’s no need to ignore the traditional ad lengths of 15 to 30 seconds, as they seem to be the most successful for any set goal, whether it’s brand recall, brand affinity conversion, purchase intent conversion and brand recommendation lift.

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Tip: five seconds may not be enough for ad recall, or purchase intent conversation, but an ad of 15 up to 30 seconds seem to be ideal for consumers, provided that it stays interesting and relevant.

7. 15-second native video ads are more effective

When looking for the optimal length of an ad, the clear winner is the ad of approximately 15 seconds, serving as an ideal preference between a short and a long ad.

In fact, it is more effective than any other length when it comes to the purchase intent, which is among the most common goals for a video ad. Thus, brands are starting to create more ads of around 15 seconds, with the specific length reminding us of Instagram’s length restrictions, justifying the popularity of the particular length.

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Tip: experiment with video ads of around 15 seconds and try to be concise, interesting and engaging. 15 seconds may be enough to convince the consumers to purchase a product.

8. Don’t be afraid of auto-start

Not every consumer likes auto-playing ads, but according to Yahoo’s survey video ads with auto-start seem to perform better in aided recall, brand familiarity and affinity.

Auto-start may be annoying and disruptive for some consumers, with millennials having less patience, but it’s the relevance of the ad that ultimately determines whether it will maintain consumers’ genuine interest.

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Tip: create auto-start ads, but aim for an engaging ad that is fully aligned with the consumers’ interests and expectations of your brand.


Mobile video ads offer great potential for brands and these creative tips may offer a useful guidance. Every brand should be willing to experiment with new types, formats, lengths for its ads, as it has been proved that not all consumers share the same habits and it may take a while until a campaign is efficient.

Investment in video advertising will only grow over the next years, so it might be a good idea for a brand to experiment as early as possible, in order to ensure its advertising strategy is up-to-date, according to the consumers’ needs.Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 17.36.06

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