Amazon PPC

The Ultimate Guide For Amazon Sponsored Brands Video Ads

If you’re an Amazon seller, then you know that paid search is a necessary part of your marketing mix. But what if there were a way to get even more traffic and sales from your existing budget?

Introducing Amazon Sponsored Brands video ads – a type of ad that lets you reach more shoppers and drive more sales than ever before.

In this complete guide, we’ll break down exactly what Sponsored Brand Video ads are, how to use them effectively, and give you a step-by-step guide on getting them set up the right way.

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What are Amazon Sponsored Brand Video ads?

Sponsored Brand Video ads are a form of pay-per-click (PPC) sponsored advertising on Amazon introduced in early 2020.

PPC ads allow Amazon sellers to promote their products in the search results of relevant customer queries and only pay when the ad is clicked on.

By adding video advertising placements to the mix, Amazon opened up a range of new opportunities for brands to leverage effective video content to drive more profitable sales.

As some sellers won’t be brand registered, have the budget or creative skills to create a video, or simply do not want to invest in this newer format, it presents an opportunity to stand out in the market.

How do Sponsored Brands Video Ads work?

Sponsored Brand Video ads work mostly the same as regular Sponsored Product ads.

Sellers have the ability to bid on specific keywords setting a maximum price they are willing to pay for each click. Generally speaking, the higher the bid the higher the placement will be in search results.

When an ad is served in search results customers will then be able to click through to your product detail page and make a purchase.

Herein lies one of the great benefits of using Sponsored Brand Video ads – the imposing real estate they take up in search results.

The large, full-width size (or double-height on a mobile device) – coupled with the videos set to autoplay as a customer scrolls past – produce a pattern interrupt that draws attention to the advertised product and can help drive improved click-through rates.

Not only that but the pre-education of the customer on the benefits of your product before the click-through should also have a positive impact on conversion rate when the customer arrives on the product detail page.

Here are a few other key differences to note when comparing video ads to regular Sponsored Product ads:

Manual targeting only

There is no automatic targeting option for Sponsored Brand Video ads and sellers should therefore carry out detailed keyword research in order to understand which are the best targets to give to Amazon.

One ad group per campaign

Each top-level campaign in this new ad format can only contain one ad group. As such, the campaign structure is more restrictive and sellers looking to test broad, phrase, and exact match keywords will need to create one campaign per match type.

Limited placements

At present Amazon only provides one placement per search results page for video ads in comparison to traditional Sponsored Product ads placements that can serve multiple rows of results on the same page.

So, whilst Sponsored Brand Video campaigns should see fewer competing advertisers bidding for the same spot, there are fewer of those spots to go around.

For that reason, it’s important to optimize your videos and campaigns as much as possible – more on that to follow.

Eligibility for Amazon Sponsored Brand ads

In order to be eligible to run Amazon Sponsored Brand video ads, sellers need to have the brand they are looking to advertise enrolled in Brand Registry.

In addition, Amazon does not currently allow used or refurbished products, adult products, and products in gated categories to advertise with Sponsored Brand ads.

Amazon’s requirements & specifications for video ads

The requirements for an Amazon Sponsored Brand Video ad are very particular, so it’s advisable to study the criteria before investing time, money, and energy into creating videos for your products. Let’s look at the key criteria to plan around.

Video specs

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Dimensions: 1280 x 720px, 1920 x 1080px or 3840 x 2160px
  • File size: 500 MB or smaller
  • File format: MP4 or MOV
  • Length: 6–45 sec
  • Frame rate: 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 29.98 or 30 fps
  • Bit rate: 1 Mbps or higher
  • Codec: H.264 or H.265
  • Profile: Main or baseline
  • Video stream: One only

Audio specs

  • Language: Must match ad locale
  • Sample rate: 44.1 kHz or higher
  • Codec: PCM, AAC or MP3
  • Bit rate: 96 kbps or higher
  • Format: Stereo or mono
  • Audio stream: One only

Text specs

  • Font size: Must be legible on mobile
  • Language: Must match ad locale
  • Safe area: No text in bottom-right corner

Why was my Sponsored Brands Video ad rejected?

Unlike Sponsored Product ads campaigns, Sponsored Brand Video ads go through an approval process to ensure they comply with Amazon’s terms of use. Here are the top reasons why Amazon video ads can be rejected:

  • Black or empty frames at the start or end of videos. Don’t waste your chance to engage shoppers by using black or empty frames.
  • Video is abruptly cropped at the maximum video duration. Abrupt edits can result in an incomplete video and a poor customer experience.
  • Video includes Amazon branding elements. Amazon trademarks, products or references to Amazon products or services are prohibited.
  • Video includes customer reviews. Customer reviews (including star ratings and review count), even if these reviews are on Amazon, are not permitted.

Other acceptance criteria

Finally, Amazon gives additional criteria that sellers need to meet in order to have their video ad accepted:

  • Critical content within the video (such as on-screen text) must not obstruct the user interface unless the video is without audio.
  • All on-screen text must be a minimum of 30 pts and be legible.
  • Letterboxing/Pillarboxing: Videos should not have black bars on any side of the video content.
  • Videos must be in the language of the locale in which it is displayed, be easily understandable and clearly identify the brand or product promoted.

Tips for success with Sponsored Brand Video Ads

Video ads present a great opportunity to establish brand identity whilst also driving affordable clicks to your listing.

However, just throwing up an average video with little thought given to the message it communicates will likely only deliver average results.

To ensure your efforts make a noticeable impact on the growth of your business, be sure to follow these best practice guidelines when creating your video ads:

1/ Skip the intro, start with benefits

In a digital age of low attention spans and distractions all around, it’s essential you get to the point. Sure, a slow fade in from black or an epic drone shot of the ocean might be cinematic, but it’s not going to help these ads sell.

This video ad format appears in the middle of search results and as such needs to stop the scroll. Rather than using the first few seconds to create suspense or build emotion, skip straight to communicating the key selling points from the first frame.

2/ Show, don’t tell

Think less talking head and more talking visuals.

Video ads automatically play as shoppers scroll and therefore start without sound. Whilst customers can turn sound on, most won’t, therefore making it very important to communicate the benefits of your product visually without audio playback.

Ensure your video advertising uses imagery, callouts, and subtitles to convey all the details needed in order to make your video convert well.

3/ Think mobile-first

Now Amazon releases data to compare mobile sessions vs desktop, Amazon sellers are easily able to see just how much traffic their products are getting via mobile devices.

For most sellers, this figure will be well over 50% and mean that any advertising spend should be considered firmly through the lens of mobile suitability.

To optimize for mobile, ensure any text is at least 30pt in size (preferably bigger) and clearly legible.

You should also consider the framing of the product in the video. Wide-angle shots with lots of scenery can look great on a desktop but can make products hard to see. Keep the frame tight around your product to ensure maximum mobile visibility.

4/ Focus on the customer (not your brand)

As already mentioned, the starting seconds of your video are key to stopping the scroll, gaining the click, and encouraging the conversion.

With that in mind, you should avoid wasting the first few seconds of your video ads displaying information about your brand.

The customer is not usually looking for your brand, they are instead product-focused and looking for a solution to their problem.

As such, avoid the temptation to open video ads with your brand logo or name and instead set up the problem your product solves.

5/ Keep it short

The mid-scroll positioning of these ads places them right in the middle of a customer’s browsing experience. They generally have a specific product in mind and are looking for the best solution to their problem.

Make your Amazon video ads too long and you run the risk of pushing potential buyers away. Instead, aim for an optimal video length of 15-30 seconds.

6/ Be conscious of the loop

Amazon video ads will automatically loop if the customer doesn’t continue scrolling.

Rather than slowly fading to black at the end of your video, try and keep the movement fluid and the transition between the end and the beginning of the video smooth to make the loop seamless.

This will help give the feel of the same video continuing and result in customers watching for longer.

If this all sounds like a lot of work (and a Hollywood level budget!) then don’t worry. Your videos don’t need to be shot on expensive cameras or contain lavish special effects – clear and simple messaging beats unnecessary extravagance every time.

How to set up a Sponsored Brands Video ad

Now you know how to produce an effective video ad, it’s time to consider how to set up your Sponsored Brands Video ad campaign.

When creating a new ad campaign in Amazon Advertising, simply select ‘Sponsored Brands’.

Next, you’ll need to confirm the settings for your campaign including campaign name, start and end date and its daily budget.

Next, choose the ‘Video’ ad format.

From there you’ll be able to add the product you want to advertise and upload the video creative. Finally, enter the keywords you want to target, select the match type and confirm a bid for each keyword.

You can also add negative keywords if you have certain terms you definitely don’t want to show for right away.

When all these steps have been followed, your Sponsored Brand Videos campaign will be submitted for approval. Should your video comply with the previously discussed guidelines it should start to run within 24-48 hours.

Once launched, Sponsored Brands Video campaigns will require ongoing maintenance to ensure they are running efficiently at an optimal ACOS.

Conclusion: Are Sponsored Brands Video Ads worth it?

There’s no avoiding it – Sponsored Brands Video campaigns come with hurdles that need to be jumped. Videos need to be created, style guides need to be followed, and new campaigns need to be launched.

But, like anything in business, with a barrier to entry also comes an opportunity. Given the gradual rise of PPC costs in recent years, this powerful video advertising format presents just that – an opportunity to take advantage of lower competition and a visually dominating ad format to tell your brand story and reach more Amazon customers.

So give Sponsored Brands Video ads a try and follow the best practices in this article to give yourself a headstart on the competition!

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