This is only incidentally about video games, but games are frequently advertised on Youtube.
You might have noticed a particular Youtube ad that, for whatever reason, you might want to make a record of. Or you want to watch it again to get details; maybe you want to save a local copy with youtube-dl or yt-dlp for some purposes, maybe to remix. Or maybe for some reason even vote on it, or leave a comment on it.
A secret fact about Youtube ads is that they’re all secretly just normal Youtube videos that have been registered with the ad system to put them into rotation. Every video you see on Youtube has its own 11-character ID, and ads are among them. If you know an ad’s ID, you can load it like any other video by putting it after the string:
in the URL.
How can you get an ad’s ID? When it’s playing, pause it (one of the few things you can do in the player when an ad is being shown), then right-click the video and select Stats For Nerds.
That will get you various bits of troubleshooting information about the video currently being played:
Where it says Video ID/ sCPN, that code after it, that’s the ad’s ID! That’s the code you paste at the end of the URL line to get to the video’s landing page. You can select it right out of the info box with the mouse and copy it to the clipboard with CTRL-C:
Notice, the ad video itself is unlisted. It isn’t always, but it’s rare for an ad to appear in Youtube’s discover interface anyway. Also, this video doesn’t have voting disabled. It’s off the bottom of the screen here, but its comments are even open. An amusing aspect of this is, before I got to watch this ad as a normal video, Youtube served me a different ad immediately before it.
Because of this, if you find a silly, ridiculous or awful ad, you can find its page on Youtube and watch it again, tell others about it, sometimes even leave comments that probably no one will ever read.
For example. Here’s an infamous video that made the rounds some months ago. “Give this man seven seven draws!” (The caption says 777 draws.)
It’s been labeled as unlisted and comments are turned off, but they didn’t bother to mark the video as non-embeddable. The ad campaign is over I think, but the video is still on Youtube, where it could possibly stay until the sun grows dim. The page says it’s currently been seen 3.6M times but it has no vote score, so it seems that getting served as an ad increases its view count.
This video, with the descriptive name “MLV109 EN 1920×1080 PC,” promoting the game “Grand Mafia” showcases the adventures of a poor Level 1 Crook, who’s constantly being turned down in his sudden marriage proposals to Hot Babes and Ex-Girlfriends because his level is low compared to the high level types that he’s surrounded by.
Hero Wars has been a heavily advertised game for months, sometimes with pretty gross ads. Badly animated blue hero guy is constantly injured by all the monsters and gods in his dumb generic fantasy world because he never went to school and learned about the important math concept of greater than. Because of that, his girlfriend got turned into a toilet and smashed to pieces. Stay in school, kids!