Effective ad creative optimization can make all the difference in your campaign. Studies have shown that ad creative can impact actual sales by up to 50% and effective creative can drive a 2X increase in ROI.1 But in digital, running the same TV spot on YouTube could negatively affect your success. Consider the range of YouTube content consumption behaviors, ad lengths and formats. If you use TV creative on YouTube, you could be sacrificing performance.

Channel Factory’s creative studio called Channel Studio can help brands take their TV hero assets and give them the edge they need to drive success.  Here are the top 4 reasons why brands need a creative variation and cutdown strategy.

1. Adopt Your Story Arc for YouTube

Brands who rely on repurposing their TV creative on YouTube will likely see their video completion rates suffer. “Like it or not, the ad industry’s traditional approach to a story arc—beginning, middle, and end in a 30-second spot—is a thing of the past,” says Tara Walpert, VP of Agency and Brand Solutions at Google. 

Brands should consider developing a YouTube specific creative strategy by cutting down their existing creatives and testing multiple variations. This kind of creative optimization will likely drive significantly higher video completion rates, driving long term effectiveness and performance efficiency.

2. Device Consumption Should Impact Creative Choices

YouTube is not the same as broadcast TV, and YouTube is also not consumed in one single way. When designing creative for a digital first experience, it’s important to consider the variety of devices on which viewers will be seeing ads and adjust accordingly. While approximately 70% of YouTube views come through mobile devices, as of March 2020 comScore reported that 21% of all streaming hours on CTV devices were spent on YouTube.2 

Watching YouTube on an iPhone vs. watching from the comfort of your sofa on a big screen are worlds apart. Ads on the big screen can generate up to 47% lifts in ad recall, but slightly different rules apply. Remember, you can’t click a TV. That means, (1) YouTube CTV viewers don’t tend to skip ads and (2) you’ll want to think about your calls-to-action for that device. So when crafting your CTV strategy, have non-skippable 15 and 30 second ads in your back pocket. 

For mobile, a user is consuming on a small screen, and may only pay attention for a few seconds. Having your brand reveal come after 15 seconds simply won’t work on mobile. Brands should consider having their logos populate earlier or stay in view the entire ad.

3. There’s More Than One Ad Format 

YouTube advertisers can choose between 6 second bumpers, skippable and non-skippable 15 and 30 second ad formats. Using shorter, non-skippable ads to drive reach and ensure consumer attention vs. giving people the option to skip after 5 seconds might both warrant different creative approaches. 

Within each ad format, advertisers want to consider how best to optimize their original hero assets, and consider when to overlay their logos as well as YouTube calls-to-action. 

“When you think about all the different YouTube creative lengths, it’s not so much a question of this vs. that. It’s thinking about how all the components work together,” says Google’s Creative Director, Eugene Buono who joined Channel Factory on a recent panel about creative pivots in 2020. “Whether it’s media and entertainment or consumer goods, there’s a story to tell, and there’s a time and a place for each of these different components depending on where users are and the signals they’re sending out.” 

4. A/B Testing Drives Creative Effectiveness

When they participated in a study conducted by Oracle for their Pedigree pet food brand, Mars tested a video opening with strong branding vs. one that saved the branding for the end. They learned the upfront branded video drove nearly 7x better sales lift.3  That’s the power of creative optimization.

Testing video ad creative can be time-consuming and expensive when brands have to handle the cut downs and variations in-house or find creative agencies not involved in the actual media buying component of the campaign. 

5. A World of Dynamic Creative Optimization

Further, at the campaign level, the process can be repetitive and manual for many users. However, when it’s incorporated as an added value component of a managed service, with video and channel level targeting, it’s easy to get results and quickly optimize towards the better performing content.

According to Eugene Buono, “when some big cultural phenomenon happens, brands and agencies want to be on top of that. From a brand suitability, as well as from a creative messaging perspective.” Adopting a versatile, adaptable creative strategy is key to advertising in a fast-paced and globally-connected world where messaging and tone shifts can happen overnight.  

Advertisers on YouTube have a vast array of dynamic creative optimization tools to choose from, across a variety of devices. Channel factory offers added value creative edits for brands to help their YouTube creative optimization. The offer, called Channel Studio, gives brands a way of making the most of their already existing creative, without simply recycling their TV spot. As an added value component of our end-to-end managed service campaigns, this kind of creative editing adaptability isn’t just worthwhile, it’s essential to capturing consumer attention in a competitive ecosystem. 

For more information on Channel Studio, check out the overview here, or contact marketing@channelfactory.com for more detail.


  1. comScore ARS Global Validation Summary, comScore, October 2010; Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Nearly 500 campaigns across all media platforms, 2016-Q1 2017
  2. YouTube Press Page; Comscore, ConnectedTV: Share of OTT Hours by Service
  3. Google/Oracle Data Cloud Sales Lift Meta Analysis, US (TrueView CPG campaigns tested between April 2015 and March 2016)