Developer resources

Overview of banner ads

Banner ads are rectangular ads that occupy a portion of an app's layout. They stay on screen while users are interacting with the app, either anchored at the top or bottom of the screen or inline with content as the user scrolls. Banner ads can refresh automatically after a certain period of time. 

Banner ads are effective because they work well with many types of apps and don’t take up much space. They’re also the simplest ad format to implement. 

Types of banner ads

There are three types of banner ads you can implement: standard, Smart, and Adaptive. 

Adaptive Banners are the newest generation of banner ads and offer the best user experience. They’re intended to replace Smart and standard banners. 
Type Description
Standard Fits only the specified banner size. Only ads that fit the specified size can be served.
Smart Fills screen width on any device using a fixed height. This means the ad may appear small on some devices. 
Adaptive

Automatically picks the best ad slot size (the space reserved for creatives) for the device in use. The creative may fit edge to edge or be centered in the ad slot. Many creative sizes can fit in the Adaptive Banner ad unit. 

Note: Adaptive Banners will always return a constant size for a given device and width. This helps ensure a consistent user experience. 

Also note that Adaptive Banners don’t modify advertiser creatives. 

Click to view an example of the banner types

Standard banner Smart Banner Adaptive Banner

More about Adaptive Banner ads

Adaptive Banners dynamically adjust the ad size for a variety of devices and screen sizes without excessive custom code. Unlike standard or Smart Banners, Adaptive Banners let you specify the ad width.

By using fixed aspect ratios instead of fixed heights, Adaptive Banners can choose from a wider variety of sizes without stretching or cropping advertiser creatives. This results in banner ads that occupy a more consistent portion of the screen across devices and provide opportunities for improved performance.

How Adaptive Banners work

Adaptive anchor banners consider the device in use, the ad width you’ve specified, and the aspect ratios of all available demand. For each device, Adaptive Banners set an optimal ad slot size (the space reserved for advertiser creatives). Once set, the ad slot size doesn't change; this ensures a consistent experience for each individual user. 

Adaptive Banners will then display the advertiser creative using a fixed aspect ratio, which ensures that the ad displays with the optimal proportions without modifying the ad creative. This means that the ad creative may fit edge to edge or be centered in the ad slot.  

You can use Adaptive Banner ads in place of the industry standard 320x50 banner size and the Smart Banner format.

Learn how to implement Adaptive Banners for Android and iOS

Use Adaptive Banners in Ad Manager

Make sure your Ad Manager setup is optimized for adaptive sizing:

  1. Confirm that ad contraction is enabled.
  2. Configure your line items as described in Match size ranges in Adaptive Banners.
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