How To Spy On YouTube Ads? (+ FREE Tools)


Spy on YouTube ads

Table Of Contents

Spying on YouTube ads to gain valuable insights from your competitors. With a staggering reach of 2.49 billion users, half of all (5.07 billion users) are social media users worldwide. This massive audience makes it a goldmine for e-commerce businesses.

In this part, we'll provide a guide using tools (free and paid) that will allow you to legitimately "spy" on your rivals' YouTube ad campaigns.

What is YouTube Ad Spying, And Why Is It Crucial?

A YouTube Ad Spy tool is a program or platform that enables users to see and analyze current YouTube adverts. These new platforms collect data about YouTube's advertising dominance, including valuable information:

  • Ad creatives: Examine your rivals' video advertisements' images, messages, and CTAs to see what works. This may motivate you to make engaging, market-specific videos.
  • Targeting strategies: This might improve your audience targeting for maximum reach and relevancy.
  • Industry trends: Identify popular market ad types and content styles.

See the advantages of spying on YouTube advertisements and get the perfect Ad Spy Tool for your company next.

Benefits Of YouTube Ad Spying

Here are two significant benefits of spying on YouTube adverts to move your company forward:

Gaining Insights Into Competitive Strategies

Did you know Gen Z spends 29.3% of their online video time on YouTube? That huge audience is ready for your brand to capture. YouTube ad spy tools may hack their reach.

These spy YouTube ad tools allow you to view the video advertising your rivals run on YouTube. You may get inspiration by analyzing their visual design, message, and calls to action (CTAs).

YouTube ads

Example of YouTube ads.

Determine what connects with their target audience and use that information to create captivating films that speak directly to your market.

Finding Industry Trends And New Ad Opportunities

With 30,000 hours of video added to YouTube every hour, staying updated on the newest trends may be difficult. That's where YouTube ad spy tools come in; they're not for competition intelligence.

Check your rivals' video ad types, such as short and snappy bumper advertising or in-depth video reviews. This may provide ideas for your efforts and allow you to experiment with new approaches to engage viewers.

But YouTube's vastness goes beyond formats. You may identify hidden niches inside your larger market by analyzing competing advertisements. Imagine discovering an entirely new audience group that is ideal for your items.

Undoubtedly, YouTube ad spy tools may be a goldmine for e-commerce enterprises, allowing you to capitalize on profitable chances you would otherwise overlook.

How To Spy On Competitor's YouTube Ads For Free?

This section will provide the tools and tactics to study your rivals' YouTube ad campaigns.

Learning from their tactics may provide significant insights into your creative direction and help you create effective YouTube ad campaigns that captivate attention and increase sales for your e-commerce company.

Option 1: Using The Google Ad Library Tool

While Facebook's Ad Library has a dedicated search option, Google's Ad Transparency tool takes a different approach. But do not worry; it may still be beneficial for ethically "spying" on your rivals' YouTube advertisements.

Here are step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Spot The Branded Search Ad

You may get access to an opponent's ad collection by doing a branded search. Simply enter their name into Google and search for results tagged "Sponsored" or "Ad."

Once you've found one, choose the three-dot symbol next to the ad label.

For example, we searched for "Samsung" and received sponsored results.

extensive analytics for Google search bar ads

Example of extensive analytics for Google search bar ads.

Step 2: Follow The Transparency Trail

If you notice a "See more ads by this advertiser" option, choose it.

Analytics extend Google search bar advertisements

Analytics extend Google search bar advertisements.

This will lead you to their Google Ads Transparency page, which displays their current adverts on Google and YouTube.

NOTE: If you don't see the "See more ads" option, the rival has not completed the verification procedure.

Step 3: Focus On The Video Ads

Now that you're on the Transparency page, you can filter by "Ad format" and choose "Video" to see your competitor's YouTube advertising.

Focus On Google Ads Transparency Page Video Ads filter changes

Focus On Google Ads Transparency Page Video Ads filter changes.

To learn more about an ad, click it.

Google Ads Transparency Page Video Ads

Google Ads Transparency Page Video Ads.

While the information accessible may differ, you may notice specifics such as geographical targeting, the "Last Shown" date, and even the ad style (i.e., skippable vs. non-skippable). This enables you to learn from their video advertising methods, which include:

  • Creative choices: Determine what their target audience likes in their videos and message.
  • Targeting strategies: Check their nationalities and demographics to choose your audience.
  • Campaign longevity: The "Last Shown" date might reveal ad performance.

NOTE: Google's date range filter lets you browse back 30 days.

The date range filter on Google

The date range filter on Google.

Seeing which advertisements ran at the start of the month but were turned off at the end is a good test of what's not working.

An example of the last time a YouTube ad was run

An example of the last time a YouTube ad was run.

For deeper rival strategy analysis, try the additional advertising tools we recommend in the next part.

Option 2: Using VidTao Tool

VidTao's platform is an excellent starting point. Although it only provides simple information, such as the date of the post and the number of views, it can give you ideas for your research.

Here is how you can use the VidTao tool to spy on a competitor's YouTube ad:

Step 1: Create a VidTao account:

Signing up with VidTao is simple: click the "Get started" button.

Create a VidTao account

Way to create your VidTao tool.

Then, enter your email address or link your Google account.

Sign up for the VinTao form

Sign up for the VinTao form.

Note: The VidTao tool offers a 7-day free trial, but you must provide your PayPal details.

Step 2: Search for your competitors:

Once you've signed in, go to the search bar. Before entering your competitor's name, such as "Nike" in our example, select the "YouTube Ads" button.

Using the VidTao Tool to search for your competition

Example of using the VidTao Tool to search for your competition.

When you hit enter, VidTao will show any relevant YouTube adverts Nike has uploaded.

Step 3: Analyze the ad:

Choose the ad you want to analyze, and VidTao will display the available statistics. This might contain information such as when the advertisement was released, its length, an audio transcript, and even the thumbnails utilized.

YouTube Ad analytics information that VidTao displays

YouTube Ad analytics information that VidTao displays.

Use VidTao's insights to understand your target audience better while creating captivating video commercials.

Check out the other options we'll discuss later if you want to learn more about YouTube advertising tactics.

Option 3: Using The Ad Library Tool (Chrome Extension)

Looking for ideas for your next YouTube advertising campaign? Look no further than the free Ad Library tools. These powerful extensions provide a wide variety of YouTube ad samples, enabling you to examine what other firms are doing and what is popular with viewers.

Learn how to "spy" on rivals' YouTube advertising using Ad Library:

Step 1: Find the "Ad Library for YouTubeTM" in the Chrome Web Store. To install the extension, click the "Add to Chrome" button.

Add Ad Library for YouTube™ to Chrome

Add Ad Library for YouTube™ to Chrome.

To simplify future access, "pin" the extension to your Chrome toolbar.

Pin Ad Library for YouTube™ to Chrome

Pin Ad Library for YouTube™ to Chrome.

Step 2: Once installed, the Ad Library plugin is stored in your Chrome extensions.

You may search for YouTube advertising using keywords on particular websites (in our example, "") and sponsor names, or you can browse by filtering by region and ad time.

Search YouTube ads using Ad Library

Search YouTube ads using Ad Library.

Step 3: When you start a search, Ad Library displays a list of related YouTube advertisements. You'll see helpful information about each ad, such as the number of interactions it got (likes, comments, shares) and the landing page it refers visitors to.

Analyzing these components will provide significant information about your rivals' advertising efforts. See what creative material they're utilizing, what message connects with their target group, and even where they're sending viewers after they watch the ad.

6+ Tools For Spying On YouTube Ads

The world of YouTube advertising can be pretty competitive. You may "spy" on your competitors and acquire valuable data for your YouTube ad campaigns using these tools:

1. PowerAdSpy tool:
    PowerAdSpy spying tool for YouTube

    PowerAdSpy spying tool for YouTube.

    PowerAdSpy allows you to narrow your search to particular ad networks and regions. This laser focus lets you acquire focused insights into your rivals' strategy.

    2. Semrush:
      Semrush website

      Semrush website.

      This complete marketing package includes YouTube ad intelligence. Discover competitive ad forms, popular video durations and content styles, and audience targeting.

      3. Minea:
        Minea website

        Minea website.

        This all-in-one e-commerce solution includes a comprehensive market research tool that might be very useful for monitoring your rivals' YouTube advertisements (as well as Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest ads). Minea helps you to find successful items and examine the ad creatives that promote them.

        4. SpyFu:
          SpyFu website

          SpyFu website.

          This competitive intelligence veteran now provides a YouTube ad research function. It can analyze rival video ad history, find high-performing creatives, and track ad spend estimates.

          5. VidIQ:
            VidIQ website

            VidIQ website.

            This all-in-one platform provides an entirely free tier with access to rival ad data, such as channel statistics and audience demographics. It also offers keyword research and video SEO optimization solutions.

            6. VidTao Tool:
              VidTao website

              VidTao website.

              This platform is a starting point for investigating your rivals' YouTube adverts. While VidTao provides basic information such as upload date, view count, and even thumbnails, its strength is its simplicity of use. Enter your competitor's name and explore the adverts that appear.

              Using these tools, you can create distinctive and compelling video advertising to connect with your target audience and advance your e-commerce company.

              Tips For Turn Competitor Insights Into YouTube Ad Gold

              You've become a brilliant spy, acquiring information about your rivals' YouTube ad strategy. Now comes the true magic: turning those insights into actionable gold for your e-commerce business.

              Identify Creative Trends

              Did you know that 86% of customer purchasing choices are affected by emotional needs? This statistic emphasizes the importance of emotions in marketing. You may use competitor data to determine which emotional triggers connect with your target audience on YouTube.

              Do funny skits or heartwarming testimonials connect more with your viewers?

              Look for tools that track likes, comments, and shares (As Ad Library for YouTube). Ads with a high level of interaction on the Ad Library suggest that the material is popular with visitors.

              Ad Library's YouTube ad analytics

              Ad Library's YouTube ad analytics.

              By analyzing these elements, you may improve your video ad approach. Consider experimenting with formats or innovative techniques that have generated significant interaction with your rivals.

              Create An Effective Landing Page

              Solutions like Ad Library for YouTube™ can directly provide rival landing page URLs, which may provide valuable insights. Note where the YouTube ad leads people after they see it.

              Ad Library for YouTube™ offers direct links to competitor landing pages

              Ad Library for YouTube™ offers direct links to competitor landing pages.

              Also, consumers browse, interact, and purchase online using their mobile devices. However, 50% of marketers have failed to optimize their landing pages for mobile viewing. This might be a deal-breaker for your YouTube ad campaigns since many of your visitors will most likely be using mobile devices.

              Pro tip: The EComposer Page Builder's drag-and-drop interface lets you create Shopify-specific landing pages with solid conversion rates. Which part is best? EComposer optimizes mobile device landing pages, ensuring a smooth experience for all visitors.

              EComposer Builder Page editor

              EComposer Builder Page editor.

              This streamlines the viewing experience, turning viewers into devoted Shopify buyers.

              Read more:


              1. Is It Ethical To "Spy" On Competitors' YouTube Ads?

              Spying on rivals' YouTube advertising can be ethical if you respect their intellectual property and follow YouTube's terms of service. Here's an overview of what's deemed ethical:

              • Using publicly available information: Use tools like Ad Library for YouTube™ and rival channel sites to see ad content, messages, and targeting methods. This is fair game for gathering insights.
              • Avoiding private data: Don't attempt to access confidential competitor information, such as click-through rates, through unethical means.
              • Focusing on inspiration, not replication.

              By adhering to these criteria, you may legitimately spy on rivals' YouTube advertising and use that information to construct successful ad campaigns for your e-commerce company.

              2. Can I Spy On Competitors' YouTube Ads Without Any Tools?

              Absolutely! Tools might ease the process, but you can learn much about your rivals' YouTube advertising without them. Here are several ways:

              Search Your Niche Keywords:

              • Go to YouTube and search for terms relating to your goods or services. This will provide a choice of adverts tailored to your specialty.
              • Pay attention to the ad types utilized by your competition.
              • Examine the images and messages used in these advertisements. What kind of language are they using? What feelings are they attempting to evoke?

              Visit Competitor Channels:

              • Visit your competitor's YouTube channel and review their posted material, including videos and advertisements.
              • Examine the sorts of videos they produce and the general tone of their material.
              • Check to see if their organic videos look the same as their YouTube commercials. This might provide insight into their creative approach.

              Combining these methods with your creativity and business identity will help you create engaging YouTube advertisements that boost e-commerce sales.

              3. What Happens If My Competitors Start Spying On My YouTube Ads?

              There's no reason to be worried if your rivals begin snooping on your YouTube advertisements.

              Critical information is confidential, such as click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates. These key performance indicators (KPIs) reflect the actual efficacy of your campaign and are hidden from curious eyes.

              Most of your rivals may get ideas for their marketing. Outright copying is improbable since a stolen commercial would not appropriately reflect its brand voice or target demographic.

              Key Takeaways

              To summarize, "spying" on competing YouTube commercials could be a practical approach for obtaining information and shaping your creative strategy. Remember, ethical methods and an emphasis on inspiration are essential.

              You can create successful YouTube ad campaigns that connect with your target demographic and generate sales for your e-commerce site by evaluating rival tactics, maintaining current trends, and constantly tweaking your commercials.

              Remember that a well-designed landing page is critical for converting visitors into buyers. The best Shopify landing page builder, EComposer, allows you to develop high-converting landing pages tailored to your shop, ensuring a smooth transition from YouTube ad to purchase.