This guide covers best practices for producing Youtube ads with the aim to increase viewership, brand interaction and responses. It contains guidelines that can assist you in creating more relevant and productive content for this platform.

Importance of Good Creatives

As proved by studies carried out by leading media houses and marketing research companies, ads have a direct impact on the sales of a business with ad quality affecting sale by a huge margin and relevant ads increasing viewer’s intention to buy to a great extent. The effect of compelling ads is evidenced by the fact that they bring in twice the revenue that has been invested in them. In addition, good creatives have a big contribution towards the sale of a product or service as compared with other forms of advertising.

Typical creatives in the past included traditional story arcs that involved gradually building up the story, from the lead coming to the story building up to a climax and then revealing the offer and branding the product/company. In contemporary times, it is not necessary to follow this tradition. In fact, it is recommended that you do not use it and go for a more straightforward kind of story arc with the ad starting from a high point with delicate branding cues given early on. You can then provide surprising twists and several peaks in your story to make it interesting and then end it by giving some details for interested viewers.

While brainstorming ideas for your ad, you should define your desired objective from it, whether it is strong brand recall, awareness, consideration or action so that you can plan in view of that. You must also keep the ABCD of digital creatives mind when strategizing for your next Youtube ad.

ABCD of Digital Creatives


It is crucial to get the attention of the viewer from the beginning because mostly viewers visit Youtube to watch videos that are fun and entertaining and you have to differentiate yourself from others by making an ad that is captivating and interesting.

Front Load your Story Arc

As an advertiser, you have a small time frame to attract viewers’ attention. So, you should attempt to get your audience hooked to your ad by presenting the benefit of your product/service within the first 10 seconds. This is important because users have limited time and may not stick around for the story to build up.

This Youtube ad by Oscar insurance gets the attention of viewers by showing them different scenarios where they may need insurance in 15 seconds and the depiction is simple, sweet and funny.

Use Familiar Faces

Starting your ad start with a person, preferably someone famous, is highly recommended so that your viewers can relate to their experiences. It is more likely to influence more people to watch your ad.

This Always ad shows different people, mostly females, talking about how doing things ‘like a girl’ means and immediately captures the attention and consideration of viewers.


When it comes to the branding part of your ad, you have to plan according to your objectives. If ad recall is your priority, your brand should be mentioned earlier and repeatedly in the ad. If you are aiming for increased brand awareness and consideration, place your brand later in the ad.

Placement is Vital

It is a good idea to show the brand early in the ad and it is even better that you show it being used in natural surroundings. Viewers tend to remember advertised products when your ads display them being utilized effectively.

This Mercedes Benz ad for Singapore gives viewers a feeling of speeding up from 0 to 100 kilometer per hour in a Mercedes Benz in just 3.8 seconds which is also the duration of this Youtube ad.

Audio is Effective

Auditory mentions of your brand in your ad are likely to reinforce its awareness and recall among customers. It goes hand in hand with visual branding to deliver a holistic brand message.

This Youtube ad by Geico car insurance delivers its message through audio in the first 15 seconds and although it claims to be over so that viewers don’t have to skip it, it doesn’t actually end in 15 seconds but is interesting enough to keep the viewers engaged till the end.


Storytelling is an influential tool of establishing a connection with viewers and keeping them involved in your ad, which lead to an increase in brand lift. In addition, the more viewers watch your ad, the more they will be able to remember and recall your brand.

Connect through Emotions

Viewers are more likely to recall your ad if it appeals to their emotions and has a hint of humor or suspense in it. It would help you highlight your brand and differentiate yourself from competitors.

This Friskies ad appeals to the emotions of the audience by showing a cat informing a newly-adopted kitten about the household and how things work there.

Interact with Viewers

Making the character in your ad interact with viewers has a positive impact on brand lift. It can be a great tool to dispel any audience presumptions about your brand.

This ad by Nail Communications for American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) shows a person threatening to electrocute a puppy if viewers click on ‘Skip ad’. It immediately causes viewers to get involved in the ad and watch it without skipping.


The most significant part of your ad is the action you want your viewers to take after you have grabbed their interest and established a connection with them. Your calls to action should be explicit and clearly expressed as they have a direct link with brand lift.

Clear CTA

You should be clear and straightforward in telling your audience the action you want them to perform which could be anything from visiting your website to viewing another video or visiting your retail outlet. Since viewers’ attention is short-lived, it is essential to reinforce your calls to action by means of audio or text.

This Youtube ad by Reed, a UK-based recruitment company is funny and original and gives a clear call to action to viewers.

Utilize Youtube’s Platform Features

Youtube provides a variety of platform features including info cards, end screens and CTA overlays so that advertisers can boost their calls to action and can continue interaction with viewers. You should use these features to augment your CTA and further motivate viewers to take action.

This ad by Kia Niro gives the CTA to subscribe to the viewers throughout the ad.


To sum up, set goals for your ads and realize what affects them. While thinking and coming up with ideas for your ad, keep the ABCD of digital creative in mind. Grab the attention of the audience from the beginning, incorporate your brand in a natural and relevant manner, form a connection with the viewer by using feelings and storytelling, and lastly give a clear call to action to enable viewers to take positive action towards your brand.