YouTube Debuts Clickable “TrueView For Shopping” Ads

By 05/21/2015
YouTube Debuts Clickable “TrueView For Shopping” Ads

YouTube is upping its appeal to product-based merchandisers. Google’s online video site just introduced a shoppable ad format dubbed TrueView for Shopping.

Built using the same format and style as YouTube’s card-style annotations, the new mobile-friendly TrueView for Shopping ads gives brands the option to highlight featured products and related information within an ad on a YouTube video. Viewers can click the shopping ad to purchase the product on the brand’s website (rather than directly from YouTube).

“One of the things we saw was people going off YouTube and searching on for that product [seen in an ad on YouTube], and then clicking the product listing,” YouTube’s senior product manager, Lane Shackleton, told AdAge. “In this case we’re just reducing the friction.”

The new TrueView shopping ads are essentially YouTube’s version of Google’s Merchant Center, which allows brands to upload product information and data for appearance in Google’s Shopping service and search results. So brands who want to use TrueView for Shopping on YouTube will need to have a Google Merchant Center account already set up. Shackleton said brands will be able to target by demographics, geography, and even past views of products on brands’ site.


YouTube’s introduction of TrueView for Shopping ads only makes sense for the online video site. Currently, YouTube claims to have at least 1 million channels solely dedicated to reviewing products. The Google-owned site also says review videos have grown 50% year-over-year.

And so far, select YouTube partners have tested the TrueView for Shopping ads with positive results. For example, makeup retailer Sephora found the new shopping ads improved its ad recall rate 54% among viewers, who then stuck around to watch a video for an average of two minutes. Plus, Wayfair (which just debuted a new web series alongside Kin Community) noted that TrueView shopping ads generated three times as much revenue as its previous ad campaigns.

“Having the opportunity to lay additional information on top of our pre-rolls is huge,” said Ben Young, Wayfair’s media manager of TV and online video, to AdAge.

According to Shackleton, advertisers will only be charged for TrueView for Shopping ads if a viewer clicks on a product card, watches the entire ad, or completes at least 30 seconds of the ad. And as is the case with YouTube’s TrueView ad format, viewers will still be able to skip the new shopping ads after five seconds.