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amazon video ads online marketing

More Success on Amazon – A Closer Look at the New Video Ads

Chantal Niggenaber
Apr 9, 2019

With the introduction of Amazon Video Ads, companies are guaranteed a highly differentiated brand presence on the online shipping platform. Find out here how you can benefit from Amazon's new video offering.

In this article you will learn...

  • which different video ad variants Amazon offers and what makes them stand out,
  • what creative guidelines you should follow when creating your Amazon Video Ads,
  • and what added value the new advertising format offers you. 
Quickly go to the appropriate section:

Goals of the Video Ads.
Structure & Function.
2 design variants.
In 4 steps to a successful video.
Beta test phase: Amazon Video In Search Ads.
Added value.

What's this about?

As early as 2017, Amazon announced that it would supplement its own advertising portfolio with the introduction of outstream video ads. This is the platform's response to the demand of many advertisers to offer more branding possibilities in the video sector. The principle is simple: while Amazon shoppers surf on the online platform via their desktop or mobile devices, product videos with automatic playback are specifically played to strengthen the brand-customer relationship in the long term. Sounds good at first, but what concrete goals can be achieved with this new advertising format?

 amazon video ads portfolio
Mobile Commerce is becoming increasingly important, so Amazon video ads are also placed on mobile devices.


What goals can Amazon Video Ads achieve?

The brand goals, which are to be realized by the video-based advertising presence, are – you already suspect – not all-inclusive and applicable to all companies. For example, a video can be intended to increase brand awareness or to make brand more preferred. Amazon users can also be informed about the functionality or handling of a product or simply be made aware of a product


Start with Why! Always answer first the question of what purpose your video should serve, before you start experimenting, wasting time and money senselessly. 

The destination determines the direction of travel or, in this case, the choice of the ideal video product. Whether it's an animated explainer video, a real image film or something completely different depends entirely on which core message you want to convey to your target group.

Learn how to tell your story successfully in our XXL Storytelling Guide.

NOVUM Engineering explainer video by Mynd: Product presentation and functionality in less than 2 minutes. 


  Imagefilm by Mynd: Emotionalization through gripping storytelling. 


What characterizes the new advertising format?

In order to offer you the greatest possible added value when integrating video ads, Amazon relies on the internationally recommended 50/2 minimum visibility rate of MRC (Media Rating Council) and IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). This means that a video advertisement is only automatically played back and counted as a visual contact if 50% of it can be seen by the viewer for at least two consecutive seconds. Otherwise, the ad pauses automatically.

produktdemo amazon video ads
One click to the Video Ad Demo.

The annoyance level of the new video ads is very low thanks to the standardized mute function. If the user is interested, he can activate the sound himself and view the display in full screen mode. This creates interaction with your brand.

2 variants: Templated Layout vs. Custom Layout.

The Amazon Video Ad offer is available in 2 variants, which differ in the degree of your creative freedom.

  • Templated Layout: This design template contains your brand logo, a text heading and a call to action link (e.g. "Learn more" or "See details") next to the video player and is available for both desktop and mobile placements.

amazon video ad templated layout
Ad templates for desktop and mobile placements can save time, but may generate less attention.

  • Custom Layout: The structure is basically the same as the layout presented above, but here you have the option to personalize your ad by creating your own image.

amazon video ad custom layoutTailor-made ads, embedded on different end devices, increase the degree of differentiation from the competition.

As part of the custom layout, there are two additional functions exclusively for the Amazon Fire Tablet that are currently still in the beta phase: test customers can place their video advertising as a wake screen ad over the Amazon Fire Tablet. This is a full-screen ad that appears as soon as the tablet's screen is turned on.

Amazon Panels (beta) have also been developed. This is a thumbnail section that gives the user an insight into your product portfolio. In this way, interested parties can learn more about your brand and products without first being referred to another landing page.

panel amazon ad
Increased user-friendliness through the integrated Amazon Panel tool.


4 steps to a successful Amazon Video Ad.

Once you've decided on a design type, it's time for fine-tuning. To ensure that your ad isn’t scrolled past unseen, Amazon makes clear recommendations for video design:

  • Even without sound, your ad should be understandable and compelling for the viewer. Avoid lengthy explanatory attempts, which have a soporific rather than inspiring effect.
  • According to previous tests, strong, visually appealing content achieves the best performance – ideally, the core message is communicated in the first 5 seconds. The use of legible text headings can have a supporting effect here.
  • Call-to-action elements do not belong in the video. A click on it would only cause the video to start or replay.
  • In general, the duration of the videos for desktop or mobile applications must not exceed the threshold of 3 minutes.  Amazon even favors a maximum runtime of a crisp 15 seconds.

Your head is spinning, but the flash of inspiration for the right video idea is missing? In this article, we introduce you to 5 creative techniques that will bring you and your team to new ideas.

The big price question – how much do the video ads cost?

A registered corporate account with Amazon Media Group (AMG) is a prerequisite for taking advantage of the advertising offer. The billing basis is usually the cost-permille rate, or CPM for short. This indicates how much of an advertising budget you have to spend in order for 1,000 users to see your video advertising on Amazon.
Amazon has not yet published a detailed price list for the new video offer, which suggests that an individual cost estimate is made as part of a personal consultation.

Beta test phase: Amazon Video in Search Ads.

Attention All! Anyone who has survived to this point should now also be rewarded. Because now we come to – let's say – the Holy Grail of mobile online video marketing. Don't you think so? Then you should read on.
A premium version of Amazon Video Ads are currently those advertising videos that are integrated into the mobile search results of Amazon shoppers. Through keyword-based placement, the desired target group can be addressed much further down the sales funnel, which goes beyond pure marketing branding.

sales funnel neil patelVideo in Search Ads target users in the decision and purchase phase. (Source:: Neil Patel)

Is the beta test phase reserved for big players?

Amazon Video in Search Ads has recently been released as a beta version. Among the testers are well-known multinational companies such as Procter & Gamble, which have placed a Video in Search ad for Gillette for the English-speaking world. Small and medium-sized companies have not been found.

What is the reason for this? Of course, the limited advertising inventory provided by Amazon is highly coveted and is causing prices to rise to dizzying heights. Only those who can pay the initial advertising budget of $35,000 (around €30,250) can try it out.


Mobile advertising on the rise.

But how can the increasing focus on mobile advertising be explained? To answer this question, we take a look at the current statistics. This shows that the sales growth of mobile online advertising in Germany has followed a steep upward trend in recent years. While turnover in 2005 was around EUR 5 million, an amount of around EUR 900 million was already forecast for 2018.

The user behavior of Amazon customers also speaks for the expansion of advertising options in the mobile environment. Most of the traffic at Amazon is generated in the mobile search area. Throughout the day, products can be searched for conveniently via smartphone or tablet and the virtual shopping basket filled. In most cases, however, the purchase is concluded via the desktop.

Structure of the Video in Search Ads.

Similar to the keyword-less video ads, which were explained in more detail at the beginning, Amazon also offers two different campaign types for Video in Search ads. Both require the definition of relevant keywords in advance, which should be linked to the content of the offered product. This determines the user-generated keywords for which the advertisement appears between the search results.
In this article, we explain how to conduct a keyword search as part of your YouTube video optimization.
Correct keyword research in 2019: Neil Patel gives 5 valuable tips.
But here, too, the Amazon guidelines provide a defined framework and prohibit, for example, the definition of a competitor's brand name as a keyword.
  • Product Detail Page Campaign: This type of campaign directs users directly to your product page. Relevant information on this page (title, image, ratings and price) is automatically transferred to the video ad.

amazon video ad in search product detail page campaign
The direct forwarding to the detailed view should shorten and facilitate the phase of the purchase decision.

  • Custom Landing Page Campaign: With this option, users are redirected to the dealer page or to another Amazon landing page. Other distinguishing features from the first campaign type are that you select the text and image yourself and that ratings and price are not displayed.

amazon video ad in search custom landing page campaign
The link to the dealer page informs customers about the entire product portfolio.

Watch your step! You should not ignore these 5 creative guidelines.

Advertising is annoying, at least if it is not well done. What is defined as reactance in advertising psychology basically describes a defensive attitude of the user against the perceived pressure to influence advertising. This is where the concentrated load of negative feelings unloads, which can sometimes lead to refusal to buy your products. To prevent this, Amazon makes the following recommendations:
  • Know your target group! Amazon customers are in shopping mode and don't want to be disturbed by recorded video ads. Create added value and convince with content that is product-related, instructive and representative.
  • Get to the point right from the start. With this format, every second decides whether you win or lose. Fade in your product directly to attract attention.
  • Keep it short. The video should last between 15 and 30 seconds and be limited to a handful of essential sales arguments.
  • Optimal format: Ensure that your video is understandable even without sound. Ensure good and unrestricted legibility of text elements used in the mobile view.
  • All ends well, all ends well. Since the video is set to Loop mode, you should include an end that allows a short breather for the viewer or guarantees a seamless transition to the beginning.


Keep to the KISS principle when designing your video ad: Keep It Short and Simple. Video alone will not lead to success if you cannot emotionalize your target group and arouse their curiosity when making decisions.

3 Best Practice Examples.

So much for theory. The best practice examples of the US companies Sonos, Neutrogena and littleBits show how the application of these rules was implemented in practice across different product groups.
 best practice sonos amazon ad in searchSonos is using animation and real images to present its Smart Speakers. Watch the video »
best practice neutrogena amazon video ad in search
Clever question! In 6 seconds Neutrogena succeeds in addressing the target group. Watch the video »
best practice little bits amazon video ad in search
llittleBits combines unboxing & storytelling and makes the target group the main actor. Watch the video »


What do the new Video in Search Ads bring?

You don't have to jump on every advertising bandwagon and we also want to remain objective, despite our love for videos, and therefore take a look at the facts. In contrast to the previously known in-stream video ads that Amazon sells on specially managed entertainment platforms such as, Twitch or the Fire TV platform, the e-commerce giant is taking a decisive step further with the new formats.
With the integration of video ads in the search results, high purchasing power meets a strong brand presence. In contrast to YouTube and Facebook, Amazon guarantees you a brand-safe environment. Filter mechanisms are used that classify product advertisements as unsuitable for certain audience groups and therefore do not target them.

What's the next step?

Video in Search Ads are so far only available for iOS and therefore only present on iPhones or iPads. Placements are also only possible within Amazon operated sites. After completion of the beta test phase and the success evaluation, it will become clear when or whether a rollout will take place at all. It should be noted, however, that online video marketing remains on the road to success and that Amazon in particular still has great untapped potential in the mobile ad sector.

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