About video ads

Create video ads for the Microsoft Audience Network

Video ads are designed to help you engage and captivate your audience to drive both clicks on the video and visits to your website. Video ads are responsive, which means the final format will change to naturally blend in with the fundamental experience of the page where they serve. Video ads serve on the Microsoft Audience Network.

Ability to set up in: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and United States

Serves in: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and United States

Devices: Desktop and tablet

Create a video ad campaign

  1. From the collapsible menu on the left, select Campaigns.
  2. Select Create campaign.
  3. Choose Video views as your goal.
  4. Enter the Campaign name and the Daily budget, and then select Save & go to next step.
  5. Enter an Ad group name and select your intended audience targeting.
  6. Select Save & go to next step.
  7. Add your video. You can choose from Existing videos, or Upload a new video from your PC or from a URL where the video file can be directly downloaded.
  8. Microsoft Advertising will automatically create multiple videos for each aspect ratio (16:9, 5:4, 1:1, 4:5, and 9:16). To choose a video with a specific aspect ratio, select the pencil icon pencil icon > Replace.
  9. Select Save & go to next step.
  10. Choose your Budget & bids settings.
  11. Select Save.

Best practices for successful video ads

  • Be creative and experiment with different lengths, intro text copy, headlines, and landing pages to see what resonates best with your audience. Focus on storytelling and great visuals, not the sale.
  • Capture your audience's attention in ten seconds or less. Although your ads can run longer, the first ten seconds are critical to land your message. A/B test different lengths to see what works best.
  • Showcase your brand identity early in the video.
  • Make your video mobile and desktop friendly. Most people hold their phone vertically and a square aspect ratio will fit other screen formats.
  • Design for sound off. People choose to watch videos with sound off in many situations. Use text, graphics, and captions whenever possible.
  • Map your video to your campaign objectives. If you’re looking to drive awareness, focus on content that inspires and tells a story about your brand. For consideration, talk about your solutions and how your brand is positioned in the marketplace. For conversion, use video ads to provide more information about the products or services to drive to engagement or sales.

Learn the elements of a video ad

Extension element Element description
Headlines and Ad text Your video can accompany a short or a long headline, and/or ad text, based on the page and format where it serves. All three are required.
Video You can express your brand identity and deliver a message to interested customers. An engaging video will lead to clicks on the ad and visits to your website.
Business name Your business's name may appear in your ad, depending on the ad placement.
Final URL The landing page URL of the Action button on PC — in other words, the URL of the page that displays after a customer clicks the Action button.
Mobile URL Not displayed yet, but coming soon: The landing page URL on mobile. In other words, the URL of the page that displays after a customer taps the Action text button.

Video requirements

  • Length: Must range from 6 to 120 seconds
  • File formats: We recommend MPEG-2, MP4, or MOV. We support all Azure Media Services v3 input file formats.
  • Aspect ratio: Must range from 16:9 to 9:16 (e.g. 1:1 is acceptable)
  • Resolution: As high as possible. At least 720x720 pixels recommended, at least 120x120 pixels required.
  • Maximum file size: 10 GB
  • Source: Videos must be uploaded from your local computer or from a publicly accessible file server such as OneDrive, FTP, or Dropbox. Indirect links to videos from sites such as YouTube, Dailymotion, Twitch, or Facebook are not allowed.

Bid strategies for video ads

When you create a video ad campaign, the default bid strategy is set to cost-per-view (CPV), but you can choose other bid strategies to fit your goals. Learn more about bid strategies.

Measure your video ad campaign’s performance

In addition to standard ad campaign metrics, you can review your video ad campaign’s performance using a variety of video-specific metrics.

Metric Definition
Video views Number of times the video was played for a user and the video was watched for a continuous of at least 2 seconds with more than 50% of screen in view.
View through rate Video views divided by impressions
Average CPV Total spend divided by video views
Video views at 25% Number of times a user completed at least 25% of the video
Video views at 75% Number of times a user completed at least 75% of the video
Completed video views Number of times a user completed the entire video
Video completion rate Completed video views divided by total video views
Total watch time Total amount of time users spent watching the video
Average watch time per video view Total watch time divided by video views
Average watch time per impression Total watch time, in milliseconds, divided by impressions

Video policies

  • Videos must be relevant to your ad and relate to your product, service, or brand.
  • Users should be in control of the video experiencerience. If the video is displayed on your landing page, we recommend the audio be muted on load, that users can pause and seek within the video, and that visual indicators be provided about the video length.
  • Video content must be suited for the targeted audience or query.
  • All movie trailers must be Green Band (or market equivalent) or preceded by applicable ratings (displayed in advance of the actual video play).
  • Video ads must adhere to all other policies. For example, showing actions that result in fatalities, or showing of blood or dismemberment is disallowed based upon our Disallowed content policy.
  • Make sure that the media you use meets Microsoft Advertising image, audio, and video policies.

Disallowed in videos

  • Adult content including nudity and sexually suggestive content. Underwear and lingerie ads are not allowed.
  • Content that shows guns pointed at the audience is not allowed.
  • No blood spatter or excessive blood, cruelty, violence, glorification of crimes, depictions of people or creatures on fire and/or showing actions that result in bodily harm or fatalities.
  • Advertising that advocates, glorifies, or promotes violent activity, rape, torture, cannibalism, human suffering or death, self-harm, violence and/or cruelty against animals or graphic or violent images, such as images showing blood or dismemberment.
  • Drug use or glamorizing, encouraging, and/or depicting the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Religious ads or ads that exploit religious issues.
  • Political ads or ads that exploit political issues.
  • Crude or offensive language including profanity, excessively violent/sexual advertisement copy, offensive gestures (e.g., giving the finger), offensive song lyrics, hate speech (e.g., racial epithets)
  • Exceptions:

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