YouTube Ads: Just because you can …

YouTube Ads: Just because you can …

… doesn’t mean you should!

YouTube are enthusiastic about encouraging you to display advertising on your uploaded YouTube videos. Billions of views worldwide from engaged visitors who are actively browsing and clicking on content must be making Google a fortune.

I mean, seriously, look at how happy these advertisers are in this promotional video!

That’s why they offer so many options for advertisers, including short video clips that display before a video and overlays that display over the bottom of the video. They’re pretty decent about it, giving you the option to turn off the ads for someone else’s video when you embed it on your own website.

With so many options, it’s a surprise when big organisations get it wrong.

Have you seen how great my competitors are? Go check them out!

This is basically what Lexus Australia are saying when they chose to monetise their own YouTube videos with YouTube overlay ads.

YouTube Ads for Lexus Australia


Don’t get me wrong, I love the Lexus brand and their vehicles but what was going through their minds when they chose to do the above? The video was brilliant and obviously had a lot of money spent on its production, but why ruin that by displaying an ad for another manufacturer over the top of it?

Obviously Lexus Australia didn’t choose the ad that displayed but their digital team should be aware that Google will select the most relevant ad from their range, depending on the content of the video (and description, keywords, etc.). In this case, there’s a very good chance that the ad is going to be for a competitor’s vehicle (I’ve now seen Volkswagen, BMW, and Nissan ads over this video, as well as some god-awful tacky ads for a YouTube video converter and some Internet game about fairies).

Their YouTube video with overlay ads

Lexus have devalued their video by adding monetisation and even made themselves look a little silly by allowing the display of competitor ads over what is basically an ad for Lexus in the first place, all to make a few extra bucks.

They’ve also opted for animated display ads alongside the video.

YouTube Overlay and Display Ads


And this one’s great. Nissan and Burger King – two brands you associate with the Lexus brand!

YouTube Ads - Nissan and Burger King

It’s worth noting that Lexus Australia aren’t displaying ads on all of their videos. It looks like their more specific vehicle commercial videos aren’t displaying the ads, but then why display them at all on other videos? The Steps video was published almost two months ago and has 512 views. How much revenue have they generated from that? A couple of bucks, if that?

Lexus New Zealand aren’t displaying ads over or beside their videos and this really helps to focus the viewer’s attention on the brand and the video’s content, in this case the awesome new Lexus IS. Tap that image to view the video itself.

YouTube Ads Lexus New Zealand


What’s the deal Australia? It’s a significant process to set up these ads so it’s clear that your team/agency haven’t just clicked the wrong button. It cheapens the brand and makes it look like you’re not making enough money. Would you display ads on the Lexus Australia website?

Personally I think that YouTube ads should be left to private content producers and maybe small businesses so long as they’re making sure they’re not advertising their competitor’s product (can you even do that with YouTube advertising? I know you can with Google’s Adsense scheme on your own website).