Introducing Google’s New TrueView Video Ads And How Your Business Can Leverage It

Within the short span of 5 years, YouTube is now the second most used search engine in the world. Videos on the site exceeed 2 billion views a day, which is nearly double the prime time audience of all 3 major US broadcast networks combined.

More shockingly, 35 hours of video are uploaded every minute, and more video is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than all 3 major US networks created in 60 years!

As a business, can you afford to ignore this potent marketing tool?


In December 2010, Google rolled out a new advertising model for its YouTube videos – TrueView.  The key philosophy behind this change is to increase engagement, and decrease wastage.

Under this model, advertisers pay only when viewers choose to watch your ads, and not when an impression is served. The end result, is that everyone wins: viewers only watch ads they find interesting or relevant, and this engenders a source of highly targeted traffic to your video ads.

Hence, this not only increases engagement, but also decreases advertising expenditure as advertisers only pay for views by engaged viewers.

According to Bruce Daisley, sales director at Youtube and Google, viewers who have chosen to watch video ads on Youtube are 75% more engaged as compared to those who watch standard ads. This translates into better recall of your brand which consequently, will produce more sales.

TrueView Ad Formats

Under TrueView, there are 4 ad formats to choose from, and to get the most exposure for your advertising dollar, Google recommends purchasing advertising in all 4 formats.

1. TrueView in-Stream
2. TrueView in-Slate
3. TrueView in-Search
4. TrueView in-Display

1. TrueView in-Stream

These ads can appear before, during, or after a YouTube video. It will run for 5 seconds, and at the end of which users will have an option to close the ad or continue watching.

Advertisers pay if viewers watch the video ad for 30 seconds or for its full length, whichever is shorter.

One benefit for advertisers is that even if viewers choose to close the ad, you would have exposed your brand to them without any cost.

2. TrueView in-Slate

These ads show before YouTube videos which are 10 minutes or longer. Viewers have the choice to watch one of three ads or watch regular commercial breaks during their video instead.

Advertisers pay when viewers choose to watch your video ad.

3. TrueView in-Search

Previously known as promoted videos, these ads will appear at the top or on the right sidebar of both Youtube and Google search results.

Similarly, advertisers pay when viewers choose to watch your video ad.

4. TrueView in-Display

These ads appear alongside other YouTube videos, or on websites on the Google Display Network that match your target audience.

Again, advertisers pay when viewers choose to watch your video ad.

Implications for Advertisers

The key consideration for advertisers in the face of this new model has to be on making good, attractive ads.

According to a study done by Google, ‘curiosity’ is the top reason why consumers choose to view an ad, and so piquing interest in the first 5 seconds is key to driving viewership. In other words, creativity wins.

Not to forget, other factors such as an ad’s relevance and how engaging and enticing it is, are also crucial.

The Importance of Video Marketing

Today, the importance of video marketing is unparalleled. The graphic below from and depicts why.

Click here for an expanded view

Looking beyond these stats and figures, what businesses today must grasp is that viewing videos online has become a lifestyle, and YouTube has become a part of the social media landscape that is active, reactive and interactive. Users comment on the videos, subscribe to channels, and share interesting videos on social networks. Importantly, YouTube can be tapped as a channel to drive more visitors to your website!

Some stats:

  • Over 5 million people have found and subscribed to a friend’s channel using YouTube’s friend-finding tools
  • Every auto-shared tweet results in six new browsing sessions
  • More than half the videos on YouTube have been rated or commented on by users
  • Over 4 million people are connected and auto-sharing to at least one social network

Companies which harness the power of YouTube against this social media backdrop will reap the benefits manyfolds in reduced advertising costs, increased sales and increased brand exposure.

To find out how businesses such as Ford Motors utilized video marketing successfully, you could check out this media studies project (Social Media Marketing: Successful Case Studies of Businesses Using Facebook and YouTube with an In-Depth Look into the Business use of Twitter) from Stanford University.

For those who would like to get a better understanding of the TrueView ad formats, you could check out this video below. And if you are ready to try out this channel to get more visitors to your website, speak to our friendly consultants today!

3 Comments. Leave new

Hi Ming Yeung,

The infographics looks awesome and it’s has interesting fact..

May i know what are most businesses goals when they go for youtube video ads?
I’m just afraid that the CPA would be higher as it seems to me that it’s mostly brand-promotion?

Furthermore, any recommendation as to what types of videos is suitable for the 4 different types of advertisements format?

Hi Caleb,

It’s great that you are thinking of using video marketing!

There are many, many advantages of video marketing if used right. Businesses use videos for a variety of reasons which I will explain further below.

You are right in saying that video marketing is about brand promotion, but it’s not just about that because they can definitely be effective in converting viewers into leads/clients, depending on situations.

I would say the most important issue is that videos help get the message across. Sometimes, it may be hard to prove a point, or describe some essential features of your product or service, unless you show how it is done. In cases like this, video marketing is essential because consumers generally only buy when they are certain of the essential features of a product (e.g. how to use it).

Hence, it is preferable if you know how your customers think. Will it be easier for them to understand what you are trying to put across by reading or watching? And do they actually prefer reading or watching? Is it important for them to know the essential features of a product before purchasing?

Another important point of note is that videos can engage more senses than just reading. And since successful marketing is about eliciting an emotional response from a potential customer and providing for that customer’s needs, videos do this very well.

There are many other advantages of videos which are not as important but still worth a note: can be delivered in a shorter period of time in keeping with the shorter attention span of today’s customers, low cost as compared to traditional TV ads, easily shared over social media, regular uploading of videos can help to build relationships, ranked high in search engines (only for videos on YouTube), etc.

But at the end of the day, I would recommend first getting into your potential customers’ heads. Where do they source for information? What do they need to know? Is it essential for them to see how a product/process is used/done? Will videos excite your potential customers/elicit certain emotional responses that will trigger your most wanted response? These questions will help you decide whether video marketing is viable for your business.

If it is viable, I would advise trying out all 4 formats, because testing costs aren’t that high and we cannot determine which format is good without testing. You could set your budget for each format, and once the budget is reached, compare them, and drop those which are ineffective.

Sorry for such a long reply! Hope this will help clear some of your doubts! 🙂

Ming Yeung

Wow! Thanks for the long reply… I enjoy reading it…

Yeah! will think about it sooner or later… I guess when it is placed on my homepage website, it will generally allow me to increase leads from the current clicks that i have…

Thanks for this informative comment:)

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