Attention-Grabbing YouTube Ads Made Simple: Unveiling the Secrets

June 21, 2024
A man surrounded by red color with a YouTube screen behind him. He has his left hand showing the best signal.
Damian Pandolfo
Written by

Damian Pandolfo

Product Manager

Table of Contents

‘My ads start with a bang- it has a compelling storyline, exciting audio, and visuals and it’s not very long, yet many either forget about it or just skip it, is my brand not special enough?’, Well, let’s not sulk and start with the blame game. In today’s time, you can get people’s attention for the silliest of things. You don’t have to follow a checklist for it but simply understand the neuroscience behind what grabs a human’s attention. If this is something you relate to or would like to avoid in the future, this article will be your goldmine for YouTube advertisements.

Being the world’s second-largest search engine and the largest video-based social platform, advertising on YouTube is a smart choice. According to a Google survey, over 90% of people find new brands on YouTube, and 40% buy them. Additionally, YouTube ads are 84% more attention-grabbing than TV ads, leading to impact! In short, with more than 2 billion users logging in to YouTube every month, this is your gateway to reach wider and more targeted audiences while having creative freedom, cost-effectiveness, and measurable results.

This platform has formed a sturdy base for your advertisements to reach your target audience, the next big difficulty is to get attention and have people recall your brand over your competitors. If this article was written a few years back, then I would have recommended you read intensively on topics of neuromarketing, cognition, and consumer behaviour as well as investing in research studies that scientifically show where the viewer’s attention goes first, but we have progressed from these tedious times. It is the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and when you combine your creativity with AI’s massive data collection, you not only save time and money but also stand out.

In this article, the common challenges faced by brands when creating attention-grabbing YouTube ads will be discussed. In order to run successful campaigns, it’s important to consider these challenges carefully and develop strategies to overcome them.

The challenges to create an attention-grabbing YouTube ad

Challenge 1: Engagement

One area of divergence is the average human’s attention span, which is only 8 seconds. 65% of people skip ads, and this figure rises to 84% on mobile for YouTube skippable ads. Pre-roll video ads are skipped by 90% of viewers, and even unskippable 15-second YouTube ads only get 8 seconds of attentive viewing. There are several distractive factors such as other video suggestions around the video player, visual distractors in the ad as well as the skip button which competes for attention (9).

To battle this challenge, you could use two features of called Ad Breakthrough and Cognitive Ease score. The Ad Breakthrough score helps to predict if your ad will stand out on YouTube. It measures how much attention your ad receives, relative to its surroundings on YouTube. To calculate your ad breakthrough score, Junbi tests your uploaded ad in various YouTube ‘contexts’. The context depends on the video player mode you chose during the upload, which alters YouTube’s user interface and requires different testing scenarios.

The Cognitive Ease score predicts how easy it is to process an advertisement in the brain. Simply put, it is a measure of how ‘difficult’ your ad is to process visually. For example: In the images below, the ad on the left is clear and focused with one point of attention, making it easy for viewers to understand. The ad on the right has too many elements, causing visual clutter and making it overwhelming and harder to remember the key message. To get high engagement on your YouTube ad, this score from can be insightful and effective.

An example of a simple and clear visual (left) next to a visually complex visual (right)
An example of a simple and clear visual (left) next to a visually complex visual (right)

Challenge 2: Targeting and measuring

Navigating YouTube ads can be tricky, but with the right strategies, it can be rewarding and profitable. To make the most of your YouTube ads, follow these steps:

  • Define your goals: First, figure out what you want to achieve with your ads and set realistic, measurable targets.
  • Track results: Use tools like Google Analytics or other third-party tools to monitor and see your YouTube ads’ performance and their impact on your website or app activity.
  • Utilise built-in tools: Take advantage of YouTube’s Video Analytics and Google Ads Editor to keep an eye on your ad campaign’s performance and make necessary improvements.
  • Brand Lift: It allows you to see how your campaign affects the way that people feel about your business through key metrics on recall, awareness, and consideration.
  • Junbi’s Ad Breakthrough score: It gives an insight into how well your ad grabs attention compared to other brands surrounding it.
  • A/B testing: Experiment with different versions of your YouTube ads to see which ones resonate best with your audience and help you reach your goals.

By following these tips, you can improve your YouTube ads’ effectiveness and get the results you desire.

Challenge 3: Optimising your video content

To succeed on YouTube, create a high-quality video ad and optimize it for the platform. For leads to follow up, build a strong call to action. Junbi’s Brand Attention score ensures that your brand is noticed. This feature measures the attention drawn by the brand at each moment in your advertisement. This is an important driving factor as it helps in building brand awareness and brand equity, which can potentially lead to more searches on Google. Additionally, to boost your SEO, you can test and research your keywords using Google’s Adwords Planner or Semrush. Lastly, choose an attention-grabbing thumbnail using to accurately represent your content.

Challenge 4: Choosing the correct format

To create compelling YouTube ads, consider optimizing content for various devices and modes. Watching on Connected TV is often in a group setting, while mobile offers a more immediate and intimate experience. Adapt your approach accordingly. Additionally, there are several formats YouTube offers for video campaigns: skippable (users can skip after 5s, cost-effective but low engagement), non-skippable (ensures full view but may cause annoyance), discovery (on homepage/search results, need catchy thumbnail/headline), bumper (short, brand awareness, limited creativity), and video discovery (on the watch page, generates leads but lower click-through rates). Choose based on goals, budget, audience, and test to find the best fit.

These suggested solutions are unbiased and less prone to error. Traditionally one had to conduct a research study and hire several participants. They had to repeat those studies to ensure validity and reliability which was expensive and time-consuming. As like Google Analytics,,, Hubspot, and many more have made this process fast and accurate.  

Advertisers constantly compete for the same audience and keywords, which can drive up the cost of ads and lower your return on ad spend. Try these solutions and up your YouTube advertising game to the next level.

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