I’ve designed 100+ Youtube ads: Here are 7 things I learned

Reading Time5 mins


With a global audience of almost 2 billion in 2019, YouTube is a crucial channel for our clients. Owned by Google, around 79% of internet users now have an account with the video sharing platform.

We’re obsessed with driving growth for brands through strategic creativity. Here’s what we’ve learned about creating YouTube ads that count…

1. Edit for the mobile

The brand story needs to thrive just as effectively on the small screen as on desktop, as the whole transaction may take place on a phone.

Enlarge products within your medium and zoom in on specific details to make them pop on a smaller screen.

2. Appeal to shorter attention spans

We’re living in the age of fragmented attention. For a 30 second ad, you’ve got around 5 seconds before the audience can skip it.  Increase the pace – get your message across fast and get the audience’s pulses going too.

Six-second ‘bumper ads’ are highly effective. The audience can’t skip through these, so they’re a great way to tell an entire story in (an extremely short) time.

3. You need a strong upfront hook

The digital story arc is much more front-loaded than traditional ads. The opening hook has to be strong. I always keep my ‘ABCDs’ in mind:

Attract –  open with impact; have a hook
Brand – naturally and intentionally
Connect – hold attention w/emotion, audio, pacing
Direct – be clear on what the audience should do

4. Tease, amplify, echo

Video ad sequencing allows you to tell a story through a series of compelling formats. Rather than a traditional ad spot, you can plan a sequence of video ads which can be served up gradually to an audience. Take them on a journey they’ll invest in.

5. Offer a captivating message

Know your audience and target appropriately through language and visuals. Focus on one thing rather than mixed messaging. Bold and contrasting colours work well, creating a punchy and emotive story.

6. Audio works

Audio ads have 2x higher brand awareness and 3x higher ad recall than videos without sound. Great audio makes your message memorable.


7. Always have a clear call to action

If you don’t have a clear call to action,  your lead generation is shot! Many viewers bounce early, so add a CTA early in the video. Make sure that it is tailored for the type of campaign you are running – a branding campaign CTA is different than a lead generation CTA.

Looking for clever, targeted YouTube creative? Find out how we can help your business grow. 



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