David Mogensen, Google’s head of YouTube ads marketing, recently sat down with YouTube’s UX leaders Javier Bargas-Avila and Scott Hines to get a pulse on the consumer insights that are powering the evolution of video ads.

We’ve pulled together some interesting quotes from the article.


Scott: People use ads on YouTube to discover brands, find and evaluate products, make purchase decisions, and then, after they purchase, come back to learn more.


Scott: Most important for advertisers, in one third of visits to YouTube to make a purchase decision, participants wanted official content about a product or service. People are seeking out branded content and advertising.

“People are seeking out official branded content and advertising on YouTube.”


Javier: I wish more brands would focus on what happens on YouTube after customers make a purchase. In our research, we’ve seen that in purchase-related visits, 86% were reported to be before the purchase, while 14% were after. I think too often that 14% is forgotten.

People are coming back to YouTube to figure out how to use products. That’s a great opportunity for brands to be there for their consumers, even after the sale.


Scott: I think more brands could use YouTube for pre-flighting and creative testing to optimise their media across channels, including TV. They can put their creative out there with TrueView and figure out ways to segment customers based on where they are in the funnel, and then tailor the messaging, spot length, and creative format.

“Brands should be on YouTube for their consumers, even after the sale.”


Scott: Growth in mobile has been essential to the evolution of YouTube

Javier: Mobile doesn’t just mean that people have access to video anytime; it also means they have access to it in the most critical times—when they’re in the store, making purchase decisions.


Scott: One of the challenges with interactivity is keeping it really simple…so that we’re not distracting from the viewing experience…We evolved what we call “cards” [to allow] users to click to learn more about a product, like where they can buy it or how much it is, all without leaving the video they’re watching.

“Mobile means that people have access to video at critical purchase times.”


Javier: My first priority is to find a way for us to show the right ads to the right users at exactly the right moment. When we achieve that, video ads aren’t intrusive—they’re part of the experience. A large part of user experience isn’t about the user interface, it’s about understanding the user’s intent. If we can understand that, we can deliver the perfect ad.

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