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 the call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards and 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.
    • Make shopping or buying products within a video easy for viewers.
  • With call-to-action (CTA) overlays:
    • Drive clicks to your site.

How cards work

Cards 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, customise 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.


  • We recommend not pointing to a card within your video as cards might appear differently on different devices.
  • Make cards relevant to what’s being discussed at that point in the video.
  • Make your teaser text action-oriented and use it to explain context. For example, “Learn: Nexus 6 HD Display”
  • Cards work better when they’re not too close to each other. Try spacing them out.
  • If you have a featured video or playlist in your video, it will be hidden on videos that use cards. The Branding watermark is now displayed in the bottom-right of the player so it doesn't conflict with cards.
  • Videos displaying cards will not show a Call-to-Action overlay.
  • Because iTunes is not supported on Android, merchandise cards linking to iTunes will not be shown on Android devices.
  • To display cards, your account needs to be in good standing.
  • Performance reporting for cards is available in YouTube Analytics.
  • Cards also work on live streams.

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

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.

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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