The Difference Between Sponsored Brands Videos & Amazon OTT Video Ads

Sponsored Brands Video Amazon

If you’re a seller on Amazon, you recognize the importance of promoting your products with ads, and how it helps to attract customers and boost sales. 

By continually increasing and updating the list of advertising solutions, Amazon helps grow businesses and brands of all sizes. Considering that viewers retain 95% of a message in a video form, compared to 10% when reading it in text, and 77% of consumers say they've been convinced to buy a product or service after watching a video, it’s clear why Amazon has included video ads as well. 

In this blog, you’ll learn about the difference between Sponsored Brands Videos and Amazon OTT  Video Ads, the ways to create them and use their full potential. 

First Things First, Learn the Difference

Before you start working on a video campaign for your product, you should know that Sponsored Brands Videos and Amazon OTT Video Ads are NOT the same. Since Sponsored Brands Videos is a relatively new feature, there is a bit of confusion going on. Not to worry, we’ll lift the veil of this Amazon mystery. Sponsored Brands Ads, together with Sponsored Products and Sponsored Display Ads, belong to Amazon Ad Console. Amazon OTT Ads are a part of the Amazon DSP platform. 

Sponsored Brands Video

Sponsored Brands Video

This latest addition to Amazon advertising is available at Seller Central to professional sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry. 

This video ad type allows you to stand out in mobile and desktop shopping results and helps customers discover your products as they shop on Amazon. 

Sponsored Brands Video ads are based on keyword targeting, cost-per-click, and clicks on them lead directly to your product’s listing page. They are excellent for increasing purchase intent and brand awareness.

If you decide to go with a Sponsored Brands Video, the following creative guidelines and best practices steps will help you create a successful video ad: 

ecommerce video

  • Grab the attention 

The average shopper has a limited attention span for ads. 

Therefore, it's crucial to show your product and brand at the start of the video, and make a big impression in the first couple of seconds. Your high-quality video should display the product in everyday use. 

  • Keep it short and simple

This video ad can be between 6 and 45 seconds long, but we recommend keeping it between 15-30 seconds. Don’t waste your limited time, get to the point, and explain why the customers need your product. Keep two things in mind, this is a horizontal video type, and most people will watch it on their mobile phones. 

  • Optimize for the format

The video will play automatically when 50% of it is on screen. 

Since this video ad auto-plays without a sound, include screen captions and send the message without a sound. The text should be nice and simple, preferably in a bigger font (Helvetica or a similar sans-serif) size, since most people will watch your ad on a mobile device.

  • Consider the loop 

Because your ad will automatically loop at the end, consider adding an ending card or making a creative seamless loop.

  • Test it out 

With Sponsored Brands Video, you can advertise a single product. 

If you have multiple videos per product, test them all. 

Before you launch your Sponsored Brands campaign by selecting the “Video” ad format, as shown below, there are certain technical specifications and Amazon’s acceptance criteria you must meet:

sponsored brands ad format

Source: Amazon Advertising 
  • Do not include blank or black frames at the start or end of videos.
  • Videos must not have black bars on any side of the video content.
  • Abrupt edits can result in an incomplete video and poor customer experience.
  • Amazon trademarks, products, or references to Amazon products or services are not allowed.
  • Customer reviews and star ratings (even if they are on Amazon) are prohibited.
  • All on-screen text must be a minimum of 30 pts and be legible.
  • Critical content within the video (such as on-screen text) must not obstruct the user interface. 
  • The video must be easily understandable and identify the brand, or product promoted.
  • All content must be appropriate for a general audience.

Things to Remember 

From the launch of Sponsored Brands Ads, it’s possible to optimize and harvest search terms. Just select Search term report in Bulk advertising reports for Sponsored Brands Video, choose date range, download the report, and finally harvest non-profitable and profitable keywords.

amazon video ads

Also, it’s now possible to optimize bids for all Video campaigns in just a few clicks.

To do so, download a Bulk file in bulk operations, select Sponsored Brands sheet, then Video ad format, and increase or decrease keyword bid depending on performance.

amazon video ads in search

Amazon OTT Video Ads

what is amazon ott

Back in early 2019, Amazon took advantage of the increasing popularity of video streaming services and launched over-the-top video advertising.

The purpose of Amazon OTT (over-the-top) video ads is to deliver your brand message to unique and relevant audiences at scale.

This ad solution combines first-party insights, measurement capabilities, exclusive inventory, and a unique relationship with Amazon Publisher Services.

Amazon Demand-Side Platform

Amazon OTT video ads work on the Amazon Demand-Side Platform

They enable you to engage the audience across Amazon subsidiaries like IMDb.com, devices like Fire TV, and across the internet. 

The DSP allows advertisers to buy video placements in ad-supported apps on Fire TV and make use of DSP’s automatic advertising and audience targeting features.

Here are the reasons to advertise your brand with Amazon OTT video ads: 

  • Reaching audiences at scale

OTT video services are online streaming services, meaning that they don’t require a cable or service provider. The popularity of this platform is on the rise, especially among the younger audience. With OTT ads, you can reach people on popular video streaming apps, publisher channels, streaming devices, IMDb and IMDb TV, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. Targeting and reaching the youth presents a great marketing potential for your brand. You get to advertise your brand alongside the latest movies and TV, curated news, and live sports events.

  • Engaging relevant audience

With Amazon OTT video ads, you can target an audience that matters to your brand. 

Amazon DSP gives you insights into your audience based on product interests, shopping behaviors, and demographics (age, gender, education, income).

This provides you with a better understanding of your potential customers before and after your campaign. 

A unique feature of Amazon OTT allows you to advertise your product by targeting the audience who has already viewed your competitor’s products. 

  • Connecting results to brand metrics

You can use Amazon’s first-party and third-party supported measurement tools to get insights and measure the impact of your OTT campaign. Brand reach, brand lift, online store visits, and offline sales lift are among the metrics at your disposal. With OTT ads, you reach not only your target audience, but everyone who is watching with them.

  • Getting more value for money

The cost of broadcasting a TV ad keeps on rising, while the viewership of this traditional media is declining. Therefore, OTT video ads are more cost-effective, cheaper, and easier to control and track. In fact, US advertisers are going to spend $5 billion on OTT/CTV this year.

Creative Guidelines and Requirements 

OTT video ads appear within over-the-top (OTT) video content, either before, during, or after.

These non-skippable ads are usually viewed until the completion of the ad. 

Amazon OTT video ads are non-clickable, so they measure the advertisement metrics through ad impressions.  

If you don't have any videos for your OTT campaign, you can use Amazon’s creative builder.

It allows you to experiment with different products, images, and CTA to discover what resonates with viewers and engage new customers.

You should consider the following list of Amazon’s requirements for OTT video ads:

  • It’s available only in the US
  • Site serving requires an MP4 video file
  • The video has to be between 15 and 30 seconds long
  • File size has to be less than or equal to 500 MB 
  • Amazon accepts pillarbox or letterbox formatting. But, they do not accept OTT ads with both pillarbox and letterbox in the same ad
  • OTT video ads are delivered in non-clickable environments, so they should not include CTA elements that encourage clicking
  • Amazon accepts third-party impression tracking for specific vendors

Things to remember

Follow these steps when you're setting up your Amazon DSP campaign:

  • Set goals and clear KPIs for your OTT ad
  • Identify your audience
  • Build out and execute your campaign
  • Test, analyze, and optimize

The Final Thought 

There are a few factors to consider when deciding which type of Amazon video advertising works the best for your brand.

Sponsored Brands Video ads are still in the beta phase, and a lot of sellers are yet to discover their full potential. It’s available to brand registered sellers on Amazon and doesn't require spending a lot of money on an advertising budget. These ads are a great way to show off your products and get those conversions rolling!

Amazon OTT Video Ads are more appealing to large corporations and brands willing to commit to 5-figures monthly ad spend. Selling products on Amazon is not a requirement for businesses to buy these video ads. Self-service Amazon DSP users can buy and manage their own video campaigns. The managed-service option typically requires a minimum spend of $35,000 (US) and consultations with Amazon ad consultants.  

Both can help you increase brand awareness and purchase intent. The crucial difference is that Sponsored Brands Video helps you to achieve that goal on the Amazon website, and Amazon OTT expands your options to other places off Amazon.

About the author

Anja Pendic

Anja is the Copywriter at Sellers Alley.  She has previous work experience with USA clients, including America's Funniest Home Videos, and international companies as a Social Media Specialist, Community Manager, and Copywriter. Her inquisitive mind and analytical approach present excellent assets to her work with Amazon and Google platforms.  She loves to send memes and useful online articles to her fellow workers.

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