YouTube Advertising – the ins & outs

Why create YouTube advertisements?

Video is now the fastest-growing ad format, accounting for 35% of all spend on display advertising. Whether you are a renowned brand or an SME, this cost-effective, audience-driven platform can add significant value, raise awareness and increase your exposure.

The evolution of YouTube 

YouTube has significantly evolved since it was founded in 2005, achieving a variety of milestones over the years. Let’s have a quick look at YouTube’s transformation.

In April 2005, the first ever YouTube video, ‘Me at the Zoo’, was uploaded. 2 years later, YouTube had expanded, was now available in 9 countries, and had launched its first ever mobile site. By January 2009, YouTube was receiving one billion views per day, and this growth didn’t stop here. In 2015, YouTube became the second largest search engine, and today is available in 88 countries, spanning an incredible 76 languages.

YouTube’s growth over time is somewhat astounding, and the platform shows no signs of stopping. Its popularity is at an all-time high, with almost 5 billion videos being watched every single day, and YouTube conversions consistently outperform those on other social networking platforms. Earlier this year, YouTube introduced a new way for advertisers to maximise shorter videos by allowing them to produce bumper- like/ longer video ads that are still skippable after 5 seconds. This new feature mixes both short- form bumper ads and the users ability to end an advertisement. Just this month, YouTube announced that they will be selling advertisements live on TV, allowing advertisers more gateways than ever before to reach their viewers via numerous means, i.e Smart TVs, gaming consoles, streaming devices or casting. 

The significance of YouTube Ads 

It’s not hard to recognise how YouTube can be a hugely beneficial platform if used effectively. YouTube advertising enables you to connect with a larger audience, on multiple devices in a visually engaging and memorable way. If you need some more convincing, here are some of the benefits of YouTube advertising:

  • 68% of Youtube users watched Youtube advertisements to help them make an informed purchase decision.
  • YouTube advertising can target audiences across all stages of the sales funnel. Statistically, YouTube influences the consumer most during the interest and decision stages of the funnel. Source VentureBeat.
  • 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the content with the best ROI.

Since Youtube’s demographic is not age specific, all ages from 18-year-olds to 65+-year-olds are actively present and interestingly, the ratio of male to female viewers on Youtube is relatively split, with men leading ever so slightly. Youtube is available on a range of devices such as desktop, mobile, tablet and, soon, television too, however mobile dominates a large proportion of where views come from. Source SpreadFast

YouTube’s targeting capabilities enable advertisers to target precisely the right audience for them, allowing retained control over who is able to view what content, and therefore ensuring content is relevant to the viewer. The targeting options available are:

  • Keyword Contextual Targeting
  • Demographics
  • Affinity audiences
  • Custom affinity audience
  • In-Market audience
  • Remarketing

We wanted to demonstrate the value and power of Youtube advertising, so here is our edit of the most engaging, memorable, and popular YouTube ads that caught our eyes.

YouTube ads that caught our eyes

SurveyMonkey – Avoid Messy Marketing Mistakes, this advertisements is straight to the point and conveys the desired message in under six seconds. SurveyMonkey directly attracts and draws the audience in through humour and a simple narrative, we see the mistake and are provided with a solution.

Mercedes- Benz – The new Mercedes- AMG, you need to keep your eyes peeled for this advertisement or you will miss it. Mercedes-Benz created a whole advertisement in 3.8 seconds, where they showcase the new Mercedes-AMG through lightning speed editing, which inherently shows the viewer how fast a Mercedes can reach up to 60 mph.    

Burger King really amazed us with producing not one pre-roll YouTube advertisement, but 64. Their approach for each was innovative and different, tailoring the content in every advertisement to revolve around the video the that the user was about to watch, making them very personal. Aside from this, Burger King made their advertisements relatable by addressing the frustration users have when they are interrupted by ads.


Volkswagen got inventive as they showcased the new Fusca. This advertisement is a clever parody of viewer behaviour online and plays with the concept of skipping an unsolicited YouTube advertisement we didn’t ask for – cleverly, Volkswagen do this for us once they relayed the message they needed to convey.

How can Clicky help you with YouTube Ads 

Wanting to use YouTube advertising to its full potential but don’t know where to start? Our display and video marketing specialists are here to support you. At Clicky we have a wide range of experience with advertising campaigns on YouTube.

If you were to run a YouTube advertising campaign with us, we would meet with you to establish your campaign objectives and define your target audience. Once this is in place we would establish the client management hours needed to manage and optimise your campaign in terms of targeting, budgeting and bids.  

We focus on purpose and value-added video creation, Don’t have video content? Additionally Clicky can provide a video service that can shoot, animate and edit your advertisements accordingly.

If you’re interested in using YouTube to promote your products, get in touch with a member of our marketing team – we’d be happy to provide a quote.

Written by Sascha Richards

Marketing and Research Assistant