YouTube sunsetting call-to-action overlays in favor of new ad extension

The call-to-action ad extension will be available for TrueView in-stream ads to start.

Starting in January, YouTube will phase out the call-to-action overlays that have been around since 2009. In its place will come a new ad extension.

What’s the difference? Not much, except that ad extensions can be applied to new and existing ads, while the overlays are created as part of an ad. Just like the overlays, the call-to-action extensions are aimed at getting viewers to click through to the advertiser’s website to take further action. The button can be customized with an appropriate call-to-action, such as “Book Now,” “Get a quote” or “Sign up.” Below is an example of what the extension can look like in a TrueView in-stream ad.

YouTube sunsetting call-to-action overlays in favor of new ad extension |

A call-to-action extension displayed on a TrueView in-stream ad. Image: Google.

What campaign and ad types will be affected? This change will apply to campaigns with branding objectives. The new ad extension will be available first for TrueView in-stream ads and eventually to bumper ads and TrueView video discover ads.

Why would you use this ad extension? Why wouldn’t an advertiser just choose to use the relatively new TrueView for action ad format instead of the call-to-action ad extension? Designed for performance campaigns with conversion or click objectives, TrueView for action ads have calls-to-action built in. TrueView for action ads are only available in the in-stream format and when using the Leads or Website traffic campaign goals and they use automated bidding and targeting.

If you want more bidding control, or your primary campaign objective of product or brand consideration or brand awareness and reach, the new ad extension will be something you can test showing with your ads.

Why you should care. This change is a relatively minor one. However, if you are currently using and finding success with call-to-action overlays, or felt limited by having to build them into the ads themselves, be ready for the switch and availability of the new call-to-action ad extension at some point next month.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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