The ads autoplay shortly after the search results load, taking over most of the screen on desktop.
Yahoo is testing giant takeover video ads in search results pages.
The video ads, seen on a search for “Lands’ End”, expand to take over most of the screen and autoplay on mute. The ads only appear to be running on desktop and not smartphones. The video does not collapse after ending, which means the user has to scroll down to click on the actual ad or see the other search results.
Visual brand advertising in search is a nut that the search engines haven’t been able to crack in a meaningful way. Google and Bing both test big brand banner ads a couple of years ago. Google has also been experimenting with more visual ads on mobile for automotive advertisers, and Bing just recently rolled image extensions out of beta.
Video, though, has yet to find a foothold in search. There is speculation that Google is prepping to roll out video in search, and Bing may be as well.
The Yahoo video is certainly interesting. Whether the execution will resonate with search users — particularly those with somewhat slower connections — remains to be seen. Yahoo isn’t commenting specifically on the test, telling AdAge, which first spotted the ads, “We’re continuously developing and testing new ways to enhance our products for advertisers, but we don’t have anything to announce at this time.”