Are you prepared to witness the best YouTube ad ever? The one that made every single viewer grip their seats, drop their jaw, start speaking French and run to the store to buy the product. You know, the YouTube ad that was so incredibly successful it’s been featured on major news broadcasts for the last three consecutive weeks? Oh, you haven’t heard of it before. That’s because it doesn’t exist.
The “best YouTube ad ever” is an oxymoron at best and at worst it’s a statement morons believe in. It is incredibly contradictory to have the words best and YouTube ad paired together. To be fair, YouTube ads do have some good qualities such as:
- Vague relation to viewers interests
- Sometimes they cannot be skipped
- They’re visual media so they must be memorable… right?
Of course these qualities are just a meek silver lining on the massive storm clowd that is YouTube advertising. If an avid gamer is watching online gaming tutorials only to be faced with an advertisement for their favourite game, they might just be amused. But then the same ad appears for the next video. And the next. And the next.
Sadly having relevant advertisements is a once in a blue moon scenario. It’s quite different from Google or even Facebook ads which are hyper targeted – perhaps too targeted. Here’s an example of a comedicly awful YouTube ad I was subject to when listening to Christian music:
Some delightful YouTube ads cannot be skipped. I’m not saying this is all bad – YouTube does need to make money after all. But when you’re staring down the barrel of a 25 second advertisement, it does become a problem. Do you think watchers are thankful to the company paying for the advertisement? Do you think they are even paying attention after five seconds? I’ll let you judge for yourselves.
Although if you think about it, YouTube advertising is a lot like TV advertising. It’s not targeted, very irrelevant and (for some people) impossible to be skipped. But I would argue TV ads are more effective. But only by a little bit. This is because TV advertising costs a lot more – so naturally the marketing department spends more on the commercial. This generates a lot of publicity – we even have an entire page dedicated to memorable TV commercials!
You don’t see the same with YouTube ads. Also Internet attention spans are significantly shorter. I’d be happy to know if a reader has read this far without skimming or just quitting!
I don’t think YouTube is completely useless for advertisements. Especially in the case of product demonstrations, handing hints or sponsoring YouTube stars to endorse or review your product. This is where YouTube advertising can surpass TV advertising. The new age of commercials are interactive rather than reactive. There can be a lot of success advertising through videos as opposed to before videos.
Update: Post writing this post I have been subject to my first YouTube ad in Spanish. This wouldn’t be a problem if I lived in Mexico, spoke Spanish or watched YouTube videos which would cause YouTube to assume I speak the language. It’s a wonder anyone still uses YouTube.