New ways to make vertical video ads on YouTube

People are streaming across different screens, video lengths and channels, and they’re coming to YouTube to watch it all.

Today, Gen Z viewers watch an almost even mix of long and short-form video content. And 59% of Gen Z consumers surveyed watch longer versions of videos that they discover on short-form video apps. Marketers have an opportunity to adapt their ad content and strategies to these evolving behaviors.

YouTube Shorts is an entirely mobile and vertical experience with over 30 billion daily views and 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users. By adding vertical video assets to Video action, App and Performance Max campaigns, which automatically scale to Shorts, marketers can participate directly in the Shorts environment and drive better results. In fact, we found that when advertisers added a vertical creative asset to their Video action campaigns, they delivered 10-20% more conversions per dollar on YouTube Shorts than campaigns that used landscape assets alone.

Take MercadoLibre, which hosts the largest online commerce and payments marketplace in Latin America. In August 2022, their vertical video assets drove 12% higher click-through rates and 9% higher view-through rates on mobile phones compared to landscape video ads in the same campaign.

So today, we’re introducing new solutions and creative guidelines to help advertisers of all sizes make effective vertical video ads.

Instantly flipped video ads

We’re experimenting with a new machine learning technology that reformats landscape video ads into square or vertical formats based on how someone is watching YouTube. The machine learning model detects important elements in the landscape ad — such as faces, key objects, logos, text and motion — and breaks the video into distinct “scenes.” This ensures that important elements show up properly — centered, for example — in the reformatted video.

Businesses who may not have dedicated resources to create multiple assets can easily benefit from this technology, which automatically adapts their existing assets for several different formats. It’s currently available for App campaigns, and coming soon to Video action and Performance Max campaigns.