Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

Video ad formats in the Ad gallery

In AdWords, the Ad gallery is a free ad-creation tool that offers various ad templates in different categories, including video. You'll need to use this tool to build video ads that use cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM).

Before you get started building and placing your ads on these sites, learn more about the video formats available and how they work:

  • Explore the available video ad formats for the Ad gallery
  • Understand where these formats may appear and how they're priced
  • Discover how to monitor the performance of your video ads


You can also build video ads by using the "Video" campaign type in AdWords. Explore the benefits

Understanding the differences between similar Ad gallery video formats

There are several video formats that may be created within the same tools, and function similarly. It can be confusing to understand the difference between some of these formats and the tools used to create them, so we've summarized some important things to help you better understand your video ad options:

In-stream video ads on YouTube vs. in-stream video ads on other Google Display Network sites

Traditional in-stream ads can be 30 seconds or less. Spots that are 16-30 seconds are eligible to run only on longer video content with a duration of 10 minutes or more. Spots that are 15 seconds or less may run on longer video content as well as on shorter clips.

TrueView in-stream ads may be any duration. Viewers have the option to skip the video after 5 seconds, and you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it's shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with your video, whichever comes first.

On the Google Display Network, our partners observe the same guidelines as YouTube. However, some partners do accept longer videos.

In-stream ad templates

These formats allow you to place video ads within video content being streamed online. Your ad can appear within popular content on YouTube – in full-length TV shows and movies and in front of clips from content partners – and on video sites on the Google Display Network, such as,, or (in the US).

If you're focused on expanding your brand, in-stream ads can help you make that happen. Nearly one third of time spent online is spent consuming video. With AdWords, you're able to target specific content without having to bundle your ads, and this also means detailed reporting so you'll know exactly where your ads appeared, and how customers interacted with them.

How it works

There are two templates for in-stream ads within the Ad gallery:

  • In-stream ad (non-skippable): Place a 15-second video ad or 30-second video ad within video publisher content.
  • TrueView in-stream ad (skippable): Place an in-stream ad that includes the option for customers to skip the ad within video content. (This template has limited availability.)

When a video is served to a website in the Google Display Network, customers will see an in-stream video ad play automatically before, during, or after video content, depending on where the content publisher chooses to show ads within their video content. The video will cover the entire area of original content video space.

The ad will play for a maximum duration of 60 seconds, although publishers can limit the ad content shown to 15 seconds or less. If the viewer clicks the ad while it plays, the browser will automatically launch the ad's landing page in a new browser tab or window.

The benefits of combining in-stream campaigns with your TV ad campaigns

If you've already got a television campaign -- we're not suggesting you stop advertising online! In-stream video is a great complement to television. Here are a few benefits you may experience if you combine your television ad campaigns with in-stream ads:

  • Measurement: Know the effectiveness of your ad through conversion metrics and viewer behavior.
  • Flexibility: A 2010 Nielsen IAG study found that re-purposed television ads perform well online, oftentimes beating web original video ads. (US only)
  • Brand Impact: A recent Nielsen study found that online video advertising outperforms television advertising for brand recall, message recall, and likability. Nielsen found that general online video ad recall is 65%, which is roughly 40% higher than TV ads. (US only)
  • Viewer Engagement: A 2009 Online Video Engagement Consortium study found that online TV show viewers are 28% more likely to pay attention than live TV show viewers. (US only)
How you're charged

You can bid on either a vCPM or CPC basis for traditional in-stream ads:

  • CPC: You won't be charged for each play of your video, but rather for customer clicks that open your landing page while your video ad is playing.
  • vCPM: Charges are counted as soon as the ad plays. The vCPM minimum for partner video sites is set individually by each publisher and therefore varies. This minimum is also specific to the US, and may vary per market.

Companion banner ads: There's no additional cost to add these to your in-stream ads. Not all video sites on the Google Display Network support companion ads. For those that do, they're free and aren't counted as an additional impression. Instead, they're counted as a single impression combined with the video ad.

The expandable video ad template

Expandable video ads appear on sites across the Google Display Network. When a customer clicks on an expandable ad, it expands to twice its width or height, depending on the format. Expandable formats encourage more interaction from interested customers by increasing your ad's presence on the page.

The following ad sizes are supported for expandable templates:

  • 120 x 600
  • 468 x 60
  • 728 x 90
  • 300 x 250
  • 160 x 600
  • 336 x 280

We don't charge you when a viewer clicks to expand your ad. However, we do charge you if a customer visits your landing page after clicking on the expanded ad.

Expansions will be listed in reports as "engagements," so you can track how people are interacting with your ads.

Next steps

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
Sign in to AdWords

Get account-specific help and tips by signing in with your AdWords account email address, or learn how to get started with AdWords.