Attention, Branding, Connection, Direction – these are the four principles of creating effective YouTube video ads. This ABCDs guide has recommendations to help you put our data-backed best practices to work. In fact, a study by Kantar showed that ads that follow the ABCDs as a guide yielded.
lift in short-term sales likelihood
lift in long-term brand contribution*
Hook and sustain attention with an immersive story.
Drop viewers in from the start and immerse them with audio and visuals that pique their interest.
Cheetos (US) takes viewers right into the story of its new Popcorn, with bright orange fingers and a musical track that reinforces the key message.
How to hook and sustain attention
Get to the heart of the story faster. Use engaging pacing and tight framing to draw viewers in.
Fastrack (IN) dives right into the story and keeps the viewer engaged through dynamic visuals that play with pacing and framing.
Support the story with audio and supers
Reinforce your message with audio and text. Avoid competing elements.
Silmäasema (FI) places helpful emphasis on its text and guides the viewer's understanding with matching voice-over.
Brand early, often and richly
Make use of a broad range of branding elements to show and tell viewers who you are.
Ruffles (BR) introduces itself early and maintains a presence throughout by integrating branded products in the story.
How to brand early, often and richly
Show up early and throughout
Introduce your brand or product from the start and maintain that presence.
Weekendesk (FR) introduces its brand in the first five seconds and naturally integrates its product demo throughout the ad.
Help people think or feel something
Create connections through the experience of your product.
Gojek (SG) presents the human experience of its product and the joy it sparks when it gets you to where you wanted to go.
How to help people think or feel something
Humanize the story
Feature people’s experience with your product and represent your consumer.
BareMinerals (US) features a diverse cast and gives them all a voice; showcasing the completeness of its range in the process.
Focus the message
Avoid doing too much in your ad. Keep messaging and language focused and simple.
M&M’S (AU) aligns its visuals and voice-over to deliver a simple and clear message: they’ve now got pretzels inside.
Ask them to take action
Direct people to do exactly what you want them to do.
Halodoc (ID) shows how to book a doctor visit, whenever and wherever you are.
How to ask them to take action
Include a CTA
Be intentional and add a CTA driving a specific objective. Say what you’d like viewers to do.
Shopee (SG) clearly communicates its offer and instructs viewers to download the app to access it.
* Source: Google/Kantar, The Short & the Long of ABCDs Effectiveness, Global, Apr 2021. n=11,000 ads.