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Snapchat is launching a new format for video ads called Extended Play Commercials which allows advertisers to run ads up to three minutes long.

The video ads are skippable after six seconds and will be shown as mid-roll ads – similar to how Snapchat handles shorter ads.

The goal behind Extended Play Commercials is to let advertisers tell longer, more engaging stories to users who are already actively engaged with the platform. As the company tells AdWeek, Snapchat believes these ads will help capture a greater share of the video ad market:

“The company believes the flexibility that extended play commercials provides to video advertisers will help it gain more share of the overall online video advertising market.“

While the new ad format is currently only available in closed beta, advertisers can request access by making a request through Ads Manager or contacting a Snapchat advertising representative.

David Router, Snapchat’s VP of Global Agency Partnerships, says the ads are a great way for advertisers to connect with shoppers this holiday season:

“We’re committed to building high-impact, long-form video ad formats, and extended play commercials are a great option for online video and TV buyers. Heading into the holidays, this format is a powerful new way to reach our Generation Z and millennial audience in Snapchat’s premium, brand safe Discover content.”

Twitter has released a new type of video ad called the Video Website Card, which is aimed at helping advertisers drive traffic to where they need it most.

Twitter Video Ads

The new ad unit uses a multi-faceted approach to help streamline the process of directing users to your site, mobile app, or any other place you want.

It starts with an auto-playing video ad which Twitter says drove twice the normal engagement of standard mobile video ads in a beta test.

After the video is over, advertisers can include a clear call-to-action to drive viewers to your preferred location. However, if a user taps the ad while the video is still playing, it will continue to play while the website loads. Twitter claims this increases user retention by over 60% because it keeps users engaged while waiting for your site to load.

As you would expect, the ad unit also includes a customizable headline and a destination URL. You can also optimize the Video Website Card for your specific goals, such as video views, website clicks, or awareness.

The ad unit is already available to all Twitter users around the world, so you can start testing the new Video Website Cards today.

Pinterest has seemingly been testing autoplay video ads forever, but most advertisers haven’t been able to get in on the fun. The video ads were limited to just a small number of big advertising firms and massive brands, while local businesses or small brands made do with picture-based ad formats.

That all changed this morning when Pinterest announced its Promoted Video ads are now officially available to everyone. Anyone can sign up and start running their own autoplay video ads on both search results and within users’ feeds.

Unlike other platforms like Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest is avoiding providing analytics for the ads through their own measurement systems. Instead, they are aiming to avoid potential conflicts of interest by partnering with third-party metrics companies Moat and Nielson.

“One of the unique differentiations for video on Pinterest was that it’s not only about inspiration, but it also helps people do things,” Mike Bidgoli, product lead at Pinterest, told AdWeek. “Obviously the format moved to autoplay, which made it easier for advertisers to be able to buy and measure the same way that they are with everything else. The overarching point is that we wanted video to have third-party measurement from the get-go.”

The company also says that carrying your existing video campaigns over to Pinterest is simple because they follow “the same creative standards as the rest of the industry.”

You can get started sharing your own video ads on Pinterest through their self-serve service, Pinterest Ads Manager.

YouTubeAds

Finding the right length for video ads can be a tricky balancing act. Too short and you can’t get your message across. Too long and you annoy or lose your viewers’ interest. Apparently, 30-second ads fail this tightrope walk, as YouTube has officially announced it will be doing away with 30-second unskippable ads starting next year.

In place of these ads, Google says it will focus on more interactive or user-based advertising.

“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers,” a YouTube spokesperson told AdWeek via email.

Of course, this doesn’t mean YouTube is ridding itself of all unskippable ads. The platform will still sell 15-second and 20-second ads that don’t give viewers the option to skip to their content. Additionally, viewers are likely to see an influx of six-second “bumper ads” instead of full-length ads that you can skip after five seconds.

Ultimately, 30-second unskippable ads lose too many viewers along the way. Some get distracted during the interval, while others entirely refuse to wait that long for their content. There is still plenty of time to make use of any ad campaigns you’ve been planning, but the decision to move away from this ad format underscores the ineffective nature of the format.

Video is finally experiencing the dominance many have claimed it would rise to since the release of YouTube. No matter which platform you look at, it is hard not to see videos littered throughout all your feeds.

This includes Twitter, which has made video a major part of its platform. As such, Twitter has also been keeping close track of how videos on its platform perform, to help advertisers know who is watching what, when, and whether these viewers are taking the time to watch pre-roll ads.

Twitter and AdWeek just released the platform’s annual Online Video Playbook to share what makes Twitter uniquely suited to video content. In particular, the research shows that video ads in Twitter are at least twice as memorable as ads presented on other services.

“As we navigate the dynamic world of video, these insights can help marketers and agencies unlock massive opportunity,” said David Roter, agency development director at Twitter. “We refer back to this playbook as we work strategically with our partners to develop innovative and creative campaigns.”

Check out the infographic below or at AdWeek:

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Facebook Video has quickly grown to rival YouTube, so it is unsurprising that video ads have also become a major part of Facebook’s advertising platform. But, as more and more companies share their ads on Facebook, it is becoming significantly more difficult to stand out.

To help companies make the best ads possible for their platform and best engage their audience, Facebook took it upon itself to test out their video ads to see what is best in the eyes of consumers.

Facebook showed 965 video ads targeted to the United States and Europe to a panel of consumers in a way that mimicked Facebook News Feed on mobile and asked the participants to evaluate each ad based on four factors: first impressions, branding, messaging, and video features.

Let’s break down the biggest findings of the report:

Engage Users Fast Without Audio

The majority of marketers aren’t taking how users watch videos into account when they create their ads, according to the report. Despite the fact that videos play silently in the News Feed by default and many users watch without sound entirely, only 24% of the ads were comprehensible without ads.

Additionally, only 23% of these ads included brand messaging that was easy to understand within the first 10 seconds of video and less than half (46%) featured recognizable brand links.

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Brands that ensured their ads quickly established their messaging and were understandable without sound were drastically more popular among respondents than those who didn’t.

Keep Your Messaging Clear To Spark Engagement

Videos that were intended to create a conversation and succinctly communicated a brands’ message were also more liked by participants in the study.

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For more insights from Facebook’s study, read the report here.

 OnlineVideo

Advertisers are seeing more value in online video ads than traditional TV advertising, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureaus’ third annual Video Ad Spend study.

The annual survey asks 360 marketing and media buying professionals about their past ad spend habits and how they plan to spend their ad budgets in the next year. The takeaway from this year’s findings is that advertisers are moving away from traditional advertising channels in order to reach the more diverse audience online.

“Marketers and agencies are telling us they clearly see great value in original digital video programming,” said Anna Bager, svp and general manager of mobile and video at IAB.

The majority of advertisers surveyed by IAB (72%) said they plan to move advertising spending away from TV ads in favor of focusing on improving and sharing digital ads in the next year.

Out of those advertisers who said they intend to increase their digital video spending, 41% said they plan to pull from cable TV advertising. Similarly, 47% of these advertisers plan to pull from broadcast TB spending.

Some advertisers said they would also pull from non-video ads online (30%), advanced-interactive TV (30%), and mobile video ads (28%).

Most tellingly, more than two-thirds of advertisers and marketers (68%) said they believe original digital video will be as, if not more, important than, original TV programming within three to five years.

The study also found that advertisers and media buyers have increased their overall investments in digital video by more than 114 percent over the past two years, averaging more than $10 million annually spent on digital video.

As promised, Google is launching ads in Android search results which will allow users to test out games before deciding whether to download them. Google announced the feature was coming in the next few weeks during its Developer Day at Game Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday.

With the launch of AdWords Search Trial Run Ads, app advertisers can now create ads with a “Try now” button as well as a download button. If Android users choose to try out the app, they will be able to preview the app for 10 minutes before deciding if they want to download it from the Google Play Store.

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Google has been testing out the feature since December, however, those app previews were limited to just 60 seconds. The longer trial period should allow test-drivers to get a better feel for the app and make a more informed decision.

The new feature is aimed at helping users choose to download only apps that will actually be used. According to Google, just one in four apps are ever used after being downloaded. Hopefully, the test-drive feature will increase the chances a user will stay engaged with the app beyond the time of install.

During the conference, Google also announced that Portrait Video Ads in mobile apps will be coming shortly. The company says 80 percent of video ad views in mobile apps on the Google Display Network are viewed vertically, however, the majority of ads are created to be viewed in landscape orientation. Early tests suggest the new ad orientation significantly improves both click-through and conversion rates. This leads to lower cost per install and more installs overall from Portrait Video Ads.

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Facebook is overhauling its Video Metrics section of Page Insights with several new improvements and features to improve how it allows users to track video engagement. To start with, the company is completely redesigning the entire interface to the Video Metrics section. But, it is also launching a few highly requested metrics to better gauge how users are watching videos on the platform.

Since Facebook has launched the video portion of its platform, it has allowed Page owners to track total view counts on videos. However, it did not provide any information on how long people watched for or if they clicked away at some point in the video.

Now, Facebook will display the total minutes viewed watching a video, so Page Owners can tell if they are losing viewers mid-watch and get a better perspective on the effectiveness of their videos. The company says it was the number one most requested feature.

In addition to this, Page owners are also now able to track views more closely with the new 10-Second Views metric, which shows how many viewers watched for at least 10 seconds. This is big for two reasons. On one hand, Facebook has received criticism for counting any view over three seconds in their video counts, compared to YouTube’s harsher 30 second standard for view counts.

The new 10-Second Views metric is also important because Facebook announced last summer that advertisers will only be charged for ad views if their video was watched for more than 10 seconds.

Alongside these view-length metrics, Facebook also rolled out an interesting new metric that gives Page owners a better idea of exactly how users are watching their videos.

Within the Insights view of individual videos, Page owners can see the amount of people that viewed a video with the sound on vs with the sound off. This lets Page owners get an idea of their audience and how their videos are being interacted with.

For example, if the majority of views are coming from users with the sound off, there is a good chance your audience is primarily watching videos at work, school, or in another public space where sound shouldn’t be turned on. You can take this into account with your future ads by being sure to optimize sub-titles and perhaps take a more visual approach with your content.

These changes allow Page owners and advertisers to gain a much deeper insight into how their ads and videos are performing, and that means allowing them to make even better ads and videos for their audience. If you want to make sure your ads are really successful, you should consider giving these new video metrics a look.

YouTube has long been the number one platform for video advertisers despite some recent challenges from Facebook. The top YouTube ads for last month give a good indication why so many advertisers trust the platform to help them build their brands.

The top 10 YouTube ads in March generated more than 102 million views, led by the Ad Council’s anti-discrimination spot “Love Has No Labels.” The ad shot to the top of YouTube’s most popular ads after being posted on March 3. Since then, it has garnered over 50 million views on its own.

While it can be difficult to climb to the top of YouTube’s ad charts, anyone can see a surprising amount of success by sharing their content on the platform. Let these top ads from March 2015 inspire you, and maybe you’ll be at the top of the list in the not too distant future.

Top Ten YouTube Video Ads for March 2015

1. Ad Council: Love Has No Labels

2. Durex: #Connect

3. Samsung: Galaxy 6 Official Introduction

https://youtu.be/CnYtWWDor2s

4. Samsung: Galaxy 6 Design Story

https://youtu.be/raAoYFrIm0I

5. YouTube: Music Awards 2015

6. GEICO: Family – Unskippable

https://youtu.be/pvcj9xptNOQ

7. YouTube Spotlight: #DearMe – What Advice Would You Give Yourself?

8. GoPro: Didga the Skateboarding Cat

 9. Valspar Paint: Color for the Colorblind

 10. Clean & Clear: See the Real Me

https://youtu.be/vyNZXQ136oI