Home Digital Marketing How to Choose the Best Video Ad Type and Format?

How to Choose the Best Video Ad Type and Format?


It never gets easier to confidently rank well…anything. For example, with the ad formats, very credible arguments can effortlessly be made for any of them, and there are way too many things involved in creating a successful ad than just deciding on the type and format. Plus, in actuality the number of formats, sizes or types are so overwhelming, it’ll make your head spin. So, we are going to look at this from another angle.

Remember the “Future Shock” by Toffler? It was all clearly laid out for us half a century ago: people have a very difficult time making a decision when faced with way too many options. Therefore from now on let’s lean-to (when possible) eliminate the need to choose.

Seriously, how about instead of spending hours upon hours on searching, testing, evaluating and, hopefully, arriving with the top 10 choices for ad types and formats we will uncomplicate things and focus our efforts on finding a highly professional and skilled ad management company and use whatever they are offering? 

Just to give you an idea, let’s look at the very popular Admixer.  The secret behind their continued success is not really a secret: they are, without a doubt, real junkies for innovation. The company offers exceptional customer experiences and, in fact, can help anyone on the supply or demand side to effectively automate their digital advertising. So, for instance, if we are talking ad types and formats – they have all of the best in-stream and in-page ones ready for you right there on their Video Advertising Server – VAST & VPAID page. Furthermore, they offer a broad spectrum of all imaginable and unimaginable targeting options, anything from the very basic to the highly advanced, down to the awfully important in this day and age  Blacklist option to block undesirable advertisers or creative. They offer precise estimation, forecasting and highly advanced analysis with real-time statistics. All of the above mentioned is exactly why eliminating the need to choose and partnering up with professionals is always a win-win sort of situation. Definitely check out their formats, but, since gaining a basic understanding of this subject is of value, let’s take a look at the most common ad types and formats


The commonly used and agreed-upon definition of in-stream is 15 to 30-second ads displayed prior, throughout or right after the streaming, hence the name. They mostly resemble TV ads, meaning, they pop-up while your target audience is watching something else, something of interest to them. And, perhaps, this is the biggest advantage of the in-stream. Normally such ads provide the user with the option to skip the ad after five seconds of broadcast, in other words, all of the creativity and important info must be cramped into those 5 seconds. Now, the opinions really differ with the in-stream, some say people consider these an annoying and a rather aggressive form of advertising, whilst others say users don’t mind the interruptions, especially when they feel validated by being given the option to altogether skip the ad. Additionally, by adding precise targeting and personalization to the mix these ads are receiving a good chance to not only be watched to the full extent but to even get clicked on.

In-stream divides into linear and nonlinear. Linear is specifically designed to interrupt whatever the user is watching to grab attention. Linear ads come in a pre-roll type that pop-up on the screen right before the video starts playing. The main advantage with the pre-roll: it is the first thing a user sees. And all of us are more or less trained for the pre-roll video ads: by now we’ve all sat through like ten days’ worth of trailers in movie theaters. And that familiarity may just save the ad from being immediately skipped.

Then there are the mid-roll that best resemble TV commercials and appear right in the middle of a video, so the mid-rolls are perceived as a bit intrusive. Furthermore, there can actually be numerous mid-content ads. So, with the mid-roll companies actually force people to take notice by disrupting their attention, if even for 5 seconds.

And, naturally, we have those played right at the end – the post-roll ones. The best thing about these – they are the least aggravating and aren’t viewed as intrusive, because they can’t take away from the viewing experience, but there’s also no real reason for users to watch the ad, so that’s a huge drawback.

Nonlinear ads run synchronously with the videos. These ads are way less intrusive as they don’t spoil the main content, however, they can be more easily ignored. Nonlinear advertisement is more about the customer and taking extra steps to stand out in a sea of other brands fighting for attention. Nonlinear ads don’t cover much display and aren’t made to just full-on cut into the viewing experience. By placing the emphasis on viewer comfort and giving the audience control over ads brands actually extend the invitation for further engagement. Brands have to find ways to deliver advertising that consumers will actually choose to watch and nonlinear ads have to be really appealing and personalized for a customer to themselves stop what they are watching and engage with the ad.

There are two types on the non-linear – the overlay ones usually appear at the bottom and cover up to 20% of the display, and are a perfect way of spiking brand awareness, boosting product recall and can serve the purpose even without a good click-through rate. The only serious drawback – subtitles. The second type is the non-overlay ones that run side-by-side without obstructing the main video in any way.

Companion ads are exactly what the name implies: they serve as a banner companion to video ads and are placed near the video player.  Companion ads help to reinforce the messaging, significantly boost visibility, and generate greater brand awareness. That’s exactly why you see so much of them.


These particular ads can live their lives on their own, there’s no need to connect them to any other content. Furthermore, these ad impressions can run using standard ad placements on web pages without a need for a video player. Non-intrusive and highly creative these ads can pop-up anywhere on the screen without being annoying or obstructive. From the advertiser’s side of things: they offer better brand awareness, boosting sales and effectively engaging audiences. And publishers can insert video ads within the text itself, eliminating the need to specially create video hosting on their site. And, most importantly, such ads are less prone to fraud, as they’re displayed only when a user action is detected.

As for the types, for the out-stream, there are three: the in-page which are embedded video players that exist just for broadcasting ads and nothing else. Customarily the in-page ads require an adequate volume of space to be available, though professional ad networks these days have managed to work around this and provide smaller placements. Then there are the in-banner ads that display videos in banners. The ad can be collapsible and start big by covering a large area of the screen then shrinking down to the standard size of the banner. Or ad can invite the user to expend the video to be watched in a bigger window.

The third type is the in-text that appears on the screen when a user scrolls down over the in-text ad.

Interactive Video Ads

If you are looking to significantly increase engagement, no need to look any further, such ads are hands down the best way of increasing customer engagement. Usually, these are highly creative and expand to the size of the display of any device. These ads offer customers an engaging experience, entertaining them thus encouraging them to act instead of just having to passively view the ad or skip it altogether. For those with a goal of boosting brand awareness, generating leads, boosting sales or even gathering data – the interactive ad is a must. Just make sure you deliver on the creativity part.

In-Game Video Ads

Video ads in the mobile gaming industry have been striving for a while now, and it is immensely beneficial for absolutely everyone involved, including the customer. For years in-game video ads have been showing consistently strong engagement and mobile gamers in America should exceed 210 million this year. Moreover, research shows that people are engaging with game apps more often, and for longer periods of time, hence the benefits of in-game advertising are endless, you just have to keep the creativity level up there, especially as the ads are mostly non-skippable. As an additional bonus:  usually, the customer’s aggravation with in-game ads is minimal, because otherwise, the game they are playing won’t be free.  


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