How ADM Uses Brand Lift Studies to Find the Right YouTube Message for Each Stage of the Sales Funnel


brand lift study


video ads tested


winners selected



brand lift study


video ads tested


winners selected


The Context:

DECKED is an eCommerce brand that designs and sells innovative truck storage accessories, including durable drawer systems that help customers keep tools and other necessities organized and safe from theft. 

Because their systems are unique and have a higher price point, they often require multiple touch points throughout the user journey to engage the target audience and see return. And because the products are extremely long-lasting, they typically don’t experience repeat customers—which means prospecting for new customers is just as important as driving purchases.

The Challenge:

Video campaigns are crucial given the nuances of the brand’s business model in tackling all three goals: prospecting, engaging users, and driving return on investment (ROI). It’s important that DECKED leverages the right creative at the right time to ensure a successful user journey. 

DECKED was seeking to test different video ads in a controlled setting before investing in a major advertising flight. Having worked with a third-party creative provider, they’d developed 7 distinct video ads and wanted to determine which resonated best with their audience across different stages of the buying journey.

Our Solution:

ADM suggested a brand lift study to indicate which of the seven assets would deliver the best brand recall, deliver an accurate message, and convert users directly on DECKED’s site. During brand lift studies, the algorithm serves the ad equally amongst a control group and experimental group. The experiment group sees the assets being tested, whereas the control group is comprised of people who fit the target audience but did not see the ad. 

Implementing the Brand Lift Study

This type of brand lift study could only be implemented through Google; because ADM is a Google Premier Partner, we were able to execute the experiment quickly with support from our dedicated agency team. 

Testing Brand Recall: 

During the brand lift study, both groups of users received a survey asking if they recognized particular brands, including DECKED. The difference in the responses between those who saw the ads and those who didn’t determines the ad’s impact on brand recall.

Testing Viewability:

Brand lift studies require a high daily budget and must run for at least 7 days to ensure they deliver adequate, timely data. To determine viewability, ADM was looking to find how long users were watching the video, specifically ensure there was viewer engagement beyond the appearance of the ‘SKIP’ button during YouTube ads.

Testing Conversion Action: 

Brand lift studies can be launched with video action campaigns, which optimize delivery based on expected conversions and website actions. In this test, DECKED wanted to track initial form fills on their website as well as ‘add to cart’ metrics. 


The experiment indicated three different winners for each category: Brand Recall, Viewability, and Conversion Driving.

Brand Recall Winner: 

The video that received the most ‘Relative Brand Lift’ was one that featured a cheeky joke in the beginning of the video, setting a tone for a light-hearted and engaging message. It generated a 52% positive difference in brand recognition among users who were shown the ad compared to users who were not. Additionally, this video received a 6% higher Baseline Positivity Rate compared to the video with the second-best survey response. Also, this video’s Absolute Brand Lift was 5%, whereas the benchmark for success is typically 1%. 

Viewability Winner: 

The video that was the most viewable had more of an educational bend: It opened with a character asking how the product worked, which was followed by an immediate explanation of DECKED’s product functionality.

To determine viewability, ADM was looking to see how many users watched up to 50% of the video. For our winning option, the percentage of “Video Played to 50%” was 51% higher than the collective average of all other videos. On average, the “Video Played to 100%” KPI was double that of the average percentage of all other videos, indicating that this ad’s content was well-absorbed and captivated more of the audience for a longer period of time. 

Conversion Winner:

The video ad that drove the most form fills and add-to-cart actions was one that compared two trucks—a cluttered and messy one with no organization system and a tidy one that used the DECKED storage system. 

This ad produced 50% more add-to-cart actions with a 23% lower form fill CPA than the second-highest converting video. All other videos fell below an optimal performance threshold. 


These results provided meaningful benefits for both ADM and DECKED. They allowed us to accurately assign the three winning videos to different YouTube campaigns at their stage of the sales funnel to deliver the greatest impact on return. By informing the themes that best resonate at these stages of the sales funnel, the results will also help DECKED lower their overall ad production costs by reducing scope of messaging and testing.

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