In the coming days, we will be adding click-to-play video ads to the line-up of text, Flash and image ad formats currently supported by the Google content network. At launch, video ads will be available to AdWords advertisers in the US, Canada and Japan – but we plan to roll them out to other regions shortly.
Advertisers will be able to use video ads in both the CPM and CPC basis, which means advertisers can chose to run these ads on either a keyword or a site targeted basis. AdWords make a note that these ads will still compete to run on the content network as the image, text and flash ads already compete with each other to decide which ad is placed when.
How will they affect international publishers and advertisers? Currently, advertisers in US, Canada and Japan will be able to run video ads. However, they can chose to geotargeted those video ads as they would normal text or image ads.
I am disappointed to see that publishers are not able to opt-out of video ads, although this is not surprising since they also do not allow you to opt-out of flash ads, something that has been a pet peeve of mine since flash ads launched. Of course, something could show up in the Ad Type Preference page over the next couple of days, since the blog states the ads will be appearing in the “coming days”. So we could still see video ads (and hopefully flash ads) as becoming something a publisher can decide to run or not.
It is also worth noting, however, that the video ads are not intrusive to the user experience. They will not start playing on their own, but the ad unit will show a static video screenshot instead. It will require user action to start the videos, and users will also be able to pause, adjust the volume and click to a customer site. And of course, they are branded with “Ads by Google” although the extra ooooooo’s publishers are so accustomed to seeing are missing. It is unclear which ad unit sizes will be available to video ads.
This will definitely be an area to watch, especially as publishers begin to see more of these types of ads on their sites.