YouTube campaigns

Add call-to-action overlays to YouTube ads

A call-to-action (CTA) overlay is an interactive element that appears over an ad and can help drive clicks to your website. An overlay appears when the video starts, and collapses into a thumbnail image after 15 seconds. On desktop browsers, the CTA expands when viewers hover over it. On mobile browsers, the CTA expands when viewers tap the thumbnail image.

If viewers are signed in to the YouTube on TV app, they can select the call-to-action button to send the link to their mobile device, and then access your website from their mobile device's browser. The call-to-action button on TVs is available for YouTube Brand awareness and reach and Product and brand consideration line items.

Learn more about CTA overlays.

CTA example


Example ad displayed on a YouTube watch page on a mobile phone


Example ad displayed on the YouTube watch page for desktop computers


Example ad displayed on the YouTube watch page on a TV
Technical requirements
  • CTA text: 1 line with up to 10 characters
  • Headline text: 1 line with up to 15 characters
  • Display URL: The URL displayed to the users on the overlay
  • Landing page: The URL to which the overlay links. Can be a redirect and/or link to an external site.
  • Thumbnail: Auto-generated from the YouTube channel's icon

Create a CTA overlay in Display & Video 360

You can add a CTA overlay while creating or editing an ad in a YouTube & partners line item by clicking on Call to action and adding a call to action and headline:

  • CTAs direct users to the website you specify as your landing page URL and appear alongside the headline. They can be up to 10 characters including spaces.
  • Headlines promote your product or service and are the primary line of text next to your video ad. They can contain up to 15 characters including spaces.


  • Availability
    • Required for YouTube video action campaigns.
    • Optional for in-stream ads in Brand awareness and reach and Product and brand consideration line items.
    • Optional for bumper and non-skippable ads  
  • Only one overlay may appear per YouTube video at a time.
  • The original overlay will be replaced if it is edited or changed.
  • The overlay set for a given ad will apply to all ads that use the same video. 

Advertising policies for interactive overlays

Interactive overlays used for your YouTube video ads, such as CTA overlays and cards, must follow Google Ads Advertising Policies.

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