Advertisers will soon have AdWords tools to test & measure creative elements of YouTube video ads

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Google is introducing new tools in AdWords for YouTube advertisers to measure and test creative aspects of their video ads. Announced at this week’s Cannes Lions Festival, the newly launched YouTube creative suite involves four new tool sets: Video Experiments, Video Creative Analytics, YouTube Director Mix and Video Ad Sequencing.

Video Experiments is a “head-to-head testing tool” that gives insight into brand lift metrics and measures the impact of an ad’s creative elements on things like brand awareness, consideration and purchase intent. Advertisers will be able to use the tool to run “cleanly segmented” ads on YouTube at no cost beyond standard ad fees, with results available in as little as three days.

“Video experiments, launching in beta later this month, convert non-working media spend typically used for focus groups in simulated ad environments into working media spend in real ad environments. On YouTube, people only watch what they want, making it an ideal testing ground for actionable results you can trust,” says Ali Miller, group product Manager for video ads, in the announcement. It’s set to launch in beta later this month.

Video Creative Analytics is rolling out in two phases. The first phase will include an audience segmentation metric within retention reports to show advertisers how effective their video ad creative is across different audiences. Later this year, Video Creative Analytics will also be able to show what percentage of the ad-viewing audience saw key creative moments within a video ad (e.g., a brand logo or product image) that advertisers annotate.

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With these annotations, advertisers “can keep track of how different creative elements influence campaign performance and use that to develop ideas for your next creative brief or video experiment,” says Miller.

YouTube Director Mix will allow brands to swap out creative elements within a video ad — customizing text, image, sound and video — and then run several versions of the ad to determine which elements are most effective considering the audience and the context of the video ad.

Video Ad Sequencing will allow brands to run a series of ads in a specific order to create a storytelling experience that relates to their customer journeys.

Video Ad Sequencing and Director Mix are both currently in alpha.

Google said Kellogg’s and 20th Century Fox have been testing elements of the YouTube creative suite. Kellogg’s has used the YouTube Director Mix to assist with ad personalization efforts, and 20th Century Fox has implemented the new Video Ad Sequencing tool to promote films.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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