youtubeAccording to Google, video plays an even bigger role for sales during the Christmas season, making it the right time to start using the AdWords product TrueView for shopping and shopping ads, which have both been available for advertisers since May 2015 already. During the past few months Google is focusing more on eCommerce after the launch of its click-to-shop button on YouTube which makes in-stream ads shoppable with its TrueView technology. Obviously, the new advertising option is much more “native” in principle and opens up an additional way for content creators to earn money on YouTube. As usual, advertisers can bid on ‘shopping ads’ as they would on Google Search ads, and advertisements are selected based on whether the ads are contextually relevant and appropriate to viewers.

Initial test campaigns were promising, showing an increase of 57% in attention and a 35% increase in purchase intent. Companies can enter the aims of measures - such as sales, app downloads or branding - and Google tailors the performance-oriented campaigns according to the needs, states the blog post of the search engine giant.

Take a look how it works:

Fact is that video campaigns can now be managed right within the main AdWords interface alongside search, display and shopping campaigns. TrueView for shopping campaigns include video ads in which a buy-button is integrated, that way providing a simple solution for making a purchase. In addition, shopping ads on YouTube allow the inclusion of purchase buttons in videos that are not created by the company, in which e.g. products are recommended by bloggers. According to Google, this is a good way to meet the demand of the user when there is the highest interest.


Nevertheless, the YouTube advertising platform, TrueView, seemed so far a slow coach that could easily been overlooked before it moved to sit alongside other AdWords campaigns. Nonetheless, around one billion active monthly users and four billion views on YouTube every day provide an enormous reach and Google understandably wants to monetize the precious asset by launching shoppable ads on YouTube that allow users to purchase products they see advertised straight from the pre-roll advertising on their favorite videos. Google’s goal seems to be to provide a more engaging advertising experience. As usual, users can skip ads that play before videos, which means YouTube won’t receive payment for that ad, but offers a chance to reel more people in since TrueView has definitely the potential to increase brand awareness.

Sales power

Setting up TrueView for shopping campaigns is simple and the best is that it allows to serve product listing ads alongside your TrueView in-stream video ads: If you create a new video campaign within AdWords, you automatically get the option to make it a shopping campaign as you just have to link it up to your Google Merchant Center feed. The rules are commonly known, but there’s unfortunately still no option to choose which products will appear alongside your ad.  You can at least use dynamic remarketing to serve your previous visitors the products that they’ve been browsing on your site.

For YouTube, the move is obviously a recognition that people are turning to the Google-owned video service to learn about products they're considering buying. And I am convinced that the more advertisers start implementing these campaigns and seeing success from them, the more Google will opt to serve the performance level assessments alongside video content, so that more data will be soon at hand.


Although the reach of YouTube is impressive and its audience huge, it’s hard to evaluate the precise value of TrueView for Shopping, since no accurate reporting on shopping campaigns is given, unless you’re using dynamic remarketing. Besides, there is no control over which products are appearing alongside your ad, as product filtering still isn’t working. At least the gap between a potential customer browsing video content and purchasing on your site just got a lot smaller.
I expect YouTube to lean more and more heavily into eCommerce and gradually tweak its commercials to be more like interactive infomercials.

By Daniela La Marca