Google has released the results of research into the effectiveness of YouTube ads with and without sound.
- Brand awareness
- Video + sound had 3.8X the effectiveness of sound only.
- Video + sound had 1.6X the effectiveness of video only.
- Ad recall
- Video + sound had 2.7X the effectiveness of sound only.
- Video + sound had 1.4X the effectiveness of video only.
- Brand consideration
- Video + sound had 2.6X the effectiveness of sound only.
- Video + sound had 2.9X the effectiveness of video only.
- Researchers also looked at brand performance of YouTube ads by viewable time (more than 3 seconds vs. less than 3 seconds):
- Brand awareness: Longer ads had 2.3X the effectiveness of shorter ads.
- Ad recall: Longer ads had 1.9X the effectiveness of shorter ads.
- Brand consideration: Longer ads had 2.1X the effectiveness of shorter ads.
Currently, 95% of YouTube ads are audible, and 93% are viewable, as defined by Google:
- Audible : Audio level at least 10% at some point during ad play
- Viewable: At least 50% of ad pixels viewable on screen for at least 2 seconds
Results are based on a sample of 1000+ YouTube ads.
FYI, here are (short) definitions of those effectiveness measures from various sources:
Brand awareness: the proportion of consumers who know of the brand (AMA Dictionary)
Ad recall: a measure in which a sample of respondents is exposed to an ad and then at a later point in time is asked if they remember the ad (Television Bureau of Canada)
Brand consideration: the percentage of consumers who would consider your brand for a given purchase occasion (Bain & Company)
It's not surprising that video+sound beats sound only on all measures. But the findings for video+sound vs. video only are interesting. Because adding sound to videos created a much greater lift in brand consideration than in either brand awareness or ad recall. And when you get right down to it, it's brand consideration that gets you a seat at the table and the opportunity to close a sale.