Google uses plusboxes to show that there’s a video ad that complements the text and labels them with messages like: “watch commercial”, “watch demonstration”, “watch testimonial”.
The video ad is triggered only after you click on the message and it’s a small 160x140 video that uses the Google Video player. The ads are very short (around 30 seconds) and they end by displaying a clickable URL to the landing page.
In February, Google’s Marissa Mayer told the New York Times “text ads are not as effective on pages with search results that include images and video” as the eyes of users “automatically gravitate to the images more than the text." (Hmm, while that would explain our little overstyled friend the Google Checkout button, it doesn’t seem to explain the current video ads, as – if I interpret Ionut’s post right – those need to be expanded by clicking a text link. For now, anyway!) Marissa goes on to say that as Google’s main search results include more images, videos and such these days, it is “more appropriate ... to have corresponding advertising formats.”
Also, the NYT explains that with video ads, “the advertiser pays when users click to see the video, even if they never click through to the advertiser’s site.” (Text link based AdWords are only paid when the user clicks through.)
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