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YouTube Video Advertising Experiments | Get Fact Up #54

This week we’re bringing you the cold, hard facts from Google who ran a series of secret video ad tests to help brands insights into what works in mobile and what grabs people’s attention for the most amount of time.

Now because the online video space is bursting at the seams offering so many spaces for video ads Many brands and agencies are still struggling to understand how the digital space differs from running Television Commercials.

Tests like this show that you simply can't just copy and paste your 30 to 60 second TV ad onto YouTube and hope that people stick around on their smartphones. It ain’t gonna happen.

The Google Unskippable Labs ran this experiment using sixteen different videos with variations on pacing, sound and many other factors.

These test results are giving companies the insight they need to create the very best content which - you should know if you’ve been tuning in regularly - is the key to successful video marketing.


Google tested a slow pace video in comparison to a fast-cut of the same ad. The faster version led to a view-through rate of 35% on mobile, with the slower version coming in with 29%.

This shows that when putting out a video ad it’s important to be succinct and to-the-point. People want to digest information quickly, especially if it’s in the form of an ad.

Vertical Video:

This test tried an ad shot for vertical video, which is becoming a common format within apps we love, like Snapchat. The vertical ad was compared it with a horizontal ad. Results showed a horizontal format performed better with a 29% view-through rate compared to a 27%.

So unless you're advertising on Snapchat, it’s best to stick to the horizontal format!


In this test viewers saw subtitles in one ad, and none in the other. The subtitled video performed slightly better with a 23% view through rate on mobile, versus the 22% rate for the non-subtitled video.

So for what it’s worth it’s better to chuck subtitles on your videos, especially when advertising on platforms like Facebook and Twitter where people tend to watch without sound. This will make sure your messages are being heard, even when they aren't!

Super Captions:

This test featured the subtitled video and compared it with a video that used supplemental text.The supplemental text performed best with a 26% view-through rate on mobile compared with 25% for the straight captions.

Supplemental text is becoming popular as it helps deliver more information in a shorter period of time. It might be time to start getting creative with your text.

All of these strategies are a blueprint to what works on a level playing field, the most important thing is that you test and measure your video advertising with your own audience and potential customers. If you implement all of these strategies in your video marketing you can project a 10-15% increase in engagement, but it could be significantly different for your audience so again, we stress, test, measure, improve, grow!


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