About interactive video ads

TrueView video ads, which are billed on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis, are an opportunity for you to reach and engage with your ideal audience. With CPV billing, you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it's shorter than 30 seconds) or engages in other video interactions, such as clicks on call-to-action overlays (CTAs), on card teasers or icons, or on companion banners.

Here are some ways to make your video ads interactive:

  • With cards:
    • Showcase features of a single product within a video. For example, you can display many features at the same time, for an extended period of time within a video, or for the duration of a video.
    • Promote other videos or playlists to generate follow-on engagement for your channel.
  • With call-to-action (CTA) overlays:
    • Drive clicks to your site.
  • With shopping cards:
    • Show listings with product details from your linked Merchant Center account.
    • Connect viewers directly to products they’ve already viewed or that are related to the video they are watching by creating a TrueView for shopping campaign.

About cards

Cards are created in YouTube and show on a per-video basis, on both desktops and mobile devices. You can provide a final URL from a list of eligible sites and, depending on the card type, customize an image, title, and call-to-action text.

A teaser is shown at the designated time for a few seconds, and viewers who click it can then access the card directly. At any other point in the video, viewers will see an icon appear when they hover over the player on desktops or whenever the player controls show on mobile devices. Viewers can also click the icon to browse all of the cards present on the video.

Learn how to set up cards for your videos in YouTube.

About call-to-action (CTA) overlays

If you have a TrueView video ad, you can create CTA overlays for video plays across YouTube (whether the video play is triggered by a video ad or not). The overlay will appear as soon as the video begins to play and can be closed by the viewer. When viewers click the overlay, they'll be redirected to your external site as specified in the overlay's final URL.

Currently, CTAs remain on the video for as long as the video owner chooses, even if the video is no longer being promoted.

Create a CTA overlay in YouTube

Only one overlay may appear per video at a time. If you change the overlay, the original overlay information will be replaced. To create or edit a CTA overlay for your existing ad campaign, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your account at: http://www.youtube.com.
  2. Click Account.
  3. Click Uploaded Videos.
  4. Click Edit next to any video.
  5. Enter all required information, and then click Save changes.

About shopping cards

TrueView for shopping campaigns use shopping cards to make video ads interactive by linking viewers directly to products they’ve already viewed or to products related to the video they’re watching. They are created in AdWords and run on in-stream TrueView ads only. The product images and details are generated by information from a linked Google Merchant Center account.

A teaser with the name of a product will show for a few seconds, and viewers who click it can see the shopping card. At any other point in the video, viewers can click an icon to browse the shopping cards. Up to 6 shopping cards can appear on your video ad, depending on the number of products eligible from your feed.

  • Note: When shopping cards are added to a video ad, they will replace any other cards or call-to-action overlays created for that video in YouTube.

How shopping cards work

Shopping cards use your Merchant Center product data and can be personalized using either remarketing information or other audience signals. Additionally, you can tailor the products that can show on shopping cards by using the product filter.

If you are familiar with dynamic remarketing for Display ads, shopping cards  use the same information to dynamically generate shopping cards based on items visitors previously viewed on your site. If you don’t have dynamic remarketing set up in AdWords, you can create custom filters based on attributes from your product data, including brand, product type, AdWords label and AdWords grouping. 

Learn more about custom filters and TrueView for shopping campaigns 

Advertising policies for interactive overlays

All interactive overlays used for your TrueView video ads, such as CTA overlays and cards, must adhere to the Google AdWords Advertising Policies.

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