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To develop YouTube’s core ABCDs for creative effectiveness, Google and Ipsos1 studied and deconstructed the creative elements of 17,000 ads to understand which were key to an ad’s success. The study revealed that certain creative elements have a measurable impact on marketing objectives. From these, we determined the ABCDs for Consideration.

Conveying the benefits

Consideration ads can help people see how your product or service might fit into their lives. This is an important step in helping them understand the relevance of your message and the benefits of your product or service.

To learn how to apply the ABCDs for Consideration, imagine you’re storyboarding an ad for fictional dog food brand, Fishos.


A = Attention: Hook the viewer

Just as in the core ABCDs, make sure your ad hooks people right from the start. Try opening with a close-up, starting from the middle of a scene, or upping the contrast. With audio as your superpower, there are many ways to create a rich, sensory experience that grabs and holds people’s attention.


B = Branding: Hero the product

When consumers know your brand, more focus can be shifted to the product itself. Use tight beauty shots to put the spotlight on your product, but keep up your branding, especially in the last five seconds.

Before and after illustrated video stills: The “before” shows a splashy close-up on a Fisho treat. The “after” has a split-screen view of a hand holding a Fisho treat and a zoomed-in view of a dog’s mouth about to eat a Fisho.

C = Connection: Be relatable and demonstrative

Focus on the benefit of your product and show people how it works. Seeing your product in context helps others envision how it will fulfill their own needs. Stay approachable and make sure your cast reflects the diversity of your audience.

In the “before” frame, a woman bends down to give her small dog, who wears a shark costume, a Fishos treat from the bag on the kitchen counter. In the “after” frame, the same woman and dog are in a city park. She bends down to give the dog a hug.

D = Direction: Plant the seed of urgency

Sharpen your call to action with a little extra motivation. A defined time frame or limited release will give your audience a sense of urgency. Make sure that what you’re asking people to do is clearly and simply worded, and consider reinforcing the message with audio.

Before: The Fishos logo and CTA, “Pick some up at your pet store,” appears in bright, bold type next to a bag of Fishos on a kitchen counter. After: The bag and logo are on a green lawn in a park and “today” has been added to the CTA.

Now compare the Consideration version of your ad with the first version. Notice the difference? With just a few tweaks, we created a new version of the same ad, optimized for our goals.

In the Consideration version, this Fishos ad uses approachable, relatable imagery and a time-based CTA, according to the ABCD principles.

For more details download the ABCDs Playbook.