For some time, advertisers and creative ad agencies have been requesting a vertical ad format on YouTube and now, as revealed at DMEXCO, the platform will show vertical ads in the hope of letting advertisers provide a more seamless mobile experience. For the viewer, this should make watching vertical videos feel more ‘natural.’
Last year, YouTube adjusted its mobile app to better support vertical video uploaded by users by automatically adapting and optimising ratios for mobile in line with how the video has been shot. Though, this is the first time brands can serve bespoke vertical ads.
If the YouTube player senses that the user is watching on a mobile device, the ad expands based on the video’s dimensions. When viewers tap on a vertical video ad they can also be redirected to an external link, like a company website, in the same fashion as traditional horizontal ads.
"Vertical video ads provide a big, beautiful canvas to deliver your message on mobile and allow engagement with your customers in a way that fits their viewing preferences," the announcement read.
The vertical ads will appear larger than landscape ads on mobile, taking up 75% of the screen. According to Google, 70% of watch time on the platform happens on mobile devices, so it makes sense for the platform to offer ads in the same way that Instagram and Snapchat do.
Hyundai was one of the first brands to trail the new format. At the moment, the feature will be available to advertisers buying TrueView products and Universal app campaigns.
YouTube also announced that brands will soon be able to purchase inventory in users’ feeds, allowing them to curate tailored content against an individual’s personalised recommendations.