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Google’s Video Ad Experiments: The Take-Aways


November 2, 2016


The Google Creative Lab conducted an experiment using 16 different videos in order to help brands get a sense of what works and doesn’t work with video advertising. These videos focused on different modifications of sound, pacing and other elements, including whether vertical video was important. By measuring the longest “view-through” rates the Google team was able to determine new best practices in online video.


The best-performing video in the test, one in which fast pacing was the dominant factor, achieved a 33% view-through rate on mobile. The pacing test consisted of two videos with the same ad: one with a slow pace and one with a fast pace. The fast version led to a higher view-through rate on both mobile and desktop devices.


Google also had different horizontal and vertical format ads, since apps like Snapchat found that a vertical format leads to higher view-through rates for them. Google said it found no such success — horizontal performed better. The vertical video had a 29% view-through rate on mobile, and the vertical had a 27% view-through rate.


Because on spaces such as Facebook and Twitter videos auto play silently to the viewer until the viewer clicks on the video, more video ads have opted to include some sort of captioning. Google tested videos with supplemental text — where words are used more creatively to boost the story.  This resulted in a 25% view-through rate on mobile compared to 25% for straight captions. Simple “captions” had no positive affect on the view-through rate of a video.


For more information, read the full AdAge article here.