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Maximize Ad Visibility and Cut Through the Noise with Safe Zone Guides


If your brand always includes a disclaimer at the bottom of your video ads, there’s a good chance no one’s seeing it – mainly because it’s outside the safe zone. Having a safe zone guide can help you post your ads on any social media platform without worrying about your profile picture, ad copy, or even the like and share buttons covering it up. 

Check out the safe zone guides for popular short-form video ad platforms like TikTok, Reels, and Shorts to ensure that the important parts of your ad are visible to your audience, no matter which platform you choose.

What is the Safe Zone, and Why Does It Matter?

In video advertising, the “safe zone” is the area within your video ad that is guaranteed to be fully visible to viewers across different devices and platforms. These zones vary across platforms due to different user interfaces and functionalities. 

This area is typically centered within the frame and avoids the edges where elements like platform icons, captions, or user interface elements might overlap and obscure your content.

  • Placing essential elements like your logo, key messages, and call-to-action buttons within the safe zone guarantees visibility and prevents them from being cut off or hidden.

  • When your video ad’s primary message is clear and unobstructed, viewers are more likely to engage with it. This engagement includes watching the entire video, clicking links, or taking other desired actions.

  • Adhering to safe zone guidelines makes your video ads look more polished and professional.

Safe Zone Templates for TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram and Facebook Reels

Social media platforms have specific safe zone guidelines to ensure the optimal performance of ads. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in ad rejection or underperformance.

Video ads on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels commonly encounter issues such as icons on the right side, text at the bottom, dead space at the top, and cropped content on the sides. Safe zone guides are crucial to prevent these elements from negatively impacting captions and screen shares.

To simplify the process, we will explore the recommended safe zone guidelines for various short-form video ad platforms and develop a comprehensive safe zone preset that you can easily apply to your short-form video ads. This central guide will provide a clear and concise reference for creating effective short-form video ads that can be seamlessly uploaded to any ad platform you choose.

9:16 Safe Zone Guide for Vertical Video Ads

Facebook ReelsInstagram ReelsYouTube ShortsTikTok
Aspect Ratio9:16
Safe Zone Guide (Keep These Areas Clear)14% top, 35% bottom, 6% sides14% top, 35% bottom, 6% sides15% top, 35% bottom, 4% left, 18% right14% top, 11% left, 22% right, 45% bottom (up to 4 lines of text)

Download the safe zone guides for 9:16 ads here:

9_16 Safe Zone Guide for Vertical Video Ads - Template for Facebook Reels and Stories Ads
9_16 Safe Zone Guide for Vertical Video Ads - Template for Instagram Reels and Stories Ads
9_16 Safe Zone Guide for Vertical Video Ads - Template for YouTube Shorts 9x16 Ads
9_16 Safe Zone Guide for Vertical Video Ads - Template for TikTok Ads

Let’s combine these concepts and establish a universal safe zone template for all vertical video ads across various social media platforms.

Safe Zone Guide for 16:9 Ad Formats

Facebook ReelsInstagram ReelsYouTube ShortsTikTok
Aspect RatioNot recommended

16:9
Safe Zone Recommendations (Avoid Placing Elements Here)22% right, 40% bottom11% left, 22% right, 28% bottom(up to 4 lines of text)

If you’re launching a landscape video ad campaign on both YouTube Shorts and TikTok, use this safe zone guide on what areas you should avoid when adding your messages and important branding elements:

Click to download the 16:9 vertical format safe zone templates:

9_16 Safe Zone Guide for 16x9 Ads in YouTube Shorts
Safe Zone Area for 16x9 Ads in TikTok

If you’re launching a landscape video ad campaign on both YouTube Shorts and TikTok, use this safe zone guide on what areas you should avoid when adding your messages and important branding elements:

Safe Zones for 1:1 Ad Size And Other Considerations

Facebook ReelsInstagram Reels
Aspect Ratio4:5
Design Safe Zones (Leave These Areas Clear)13% right, 10% bottom13% right, 10% bottom

While the 4:5 aspect ratio is not among the commonly recommended dimensions for Facebook and Instagram ads, it remains a supported option on the Meta platform. To ensure your 4:5 video ad displays optimally, we have compiled a safe zone preset that you can utilize during the ad creation process:

YouTube ShortsTikTok
Aspect Ratio1:1
Design Safe Zones (Leave These Areas Clear)17% right10% left, 22% right, 41% bottom

Another ad size supported by both YouTube Shorts and TikTok is the square format, or 1:1. We’ve converged these safe zone specifications to create a single template for video ads with this ad size.

Commonly Asked Questions On Video Ad Safe Zones

What tools can I use to visualize the safe zone in my video editor?

  • The safe zone templates provided in this blog can be easily copied and pasted into your video editor.

  • In Adobe Express, for example, upload the safe zone preset and layer it over your video ad creative. This lets you see if any essential elements, such as your logo or disclaimer, are covered. Adjust to ensure your ad is safe from typically covered areas before uploading and launching your campaigns.
Using the Safe Zone Templates - 1x1 Ad Sample

Is there a universal safe zone for all platforms?

  • Each platform has a unique user interface (UI), so you must consider their specific safe zones to create a universal safe zone template.
  • Refer to the universal safe zone guides for the different ad sizes here:

Where should I place text and logos on Reels to avoid being cut off?

  • For a 9:16 video ad size, position your text and logos around the top left portion. This placement ensures they won’t be covered by the profile picture, ad copy, or like and share buttons.
  • Use this merged safe zone template for Facebook and Instagram Reels in the 9:16 video ad format:

The Role of Safe Zones in Optimizing Ad Campaigns

As media buyers, you may assume that safe zones are solely the creative team’s responsibility. However, since video ads are a crucial part of the advertising campaign process, they also fall under your jurisdiction. Any obstruction in the important elements of the video ad creative can significantly impact your ads’ success or failure. Therefore, you must know and adhere to safe zone guidelines and templates before uploading to the ad platforms.

But what’s next once you’ve ensured your ad creatives perform optimally? Enhance your knowledge by exploring the Strike Social blog. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow our LinkedIn page to stay up-to-date with paid social media advertising trends and insights.

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