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

You can implement Adaptive or Standard Banners. 

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

There are two types of Adaptive Banners: Anchored Adaptive Banners and Inline Adaptive Banners.

  • Anchored Adaptive Banners are expected to be always on-screen, locked to the top or bottom of the screen. As such, these requests have a relatively small maximum height to avoid taking up too much of the screen.
  • Inline Adaptive Banners are intended for placement inside scrollable content and can be much larger as the user will typically be able to scroll past them. Inline Adaptive Banners don’t have hard size limits. While APIs are available for publishers to set their own limits on height for Inline Adaptive Banners, such limits may reduce performance. 

Note: Anchored Adaptive Banners 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 stretch, crop, or modify advertiser creatives. 

Click to view an example of the banner types

Example of adaptive banner ads.
These images are examples only—adaptive sizes may look different or change.

More about Adaptive Banner ads

Adaptive Banners dynamically adjust the ad size for a variety of devices and screen sizes without excessive custom code.

How Adaptive Banners work

Adaptive Banners consider the device in use, the ad width you’ve specified, and the aspect ratios of all available demand.

For Anchored Adaptive Banners that are always on-screen, Adaptive Banners set an optimal ad slot size for each device. Once set, the anchored banner slot size doesn't change.

For Inline Adaptive Banners that are shown in scrollable content, the slot height reserved for advertiser creatives may change from one page-view to the next. This helps maximize eligible advertiser demand and improve revenue performance. 

Adaptive Banners aim to fill the entire ad slot size, but select creatives for maximum performance. This means that ad creatives may fit edge to edge or be centered in the ad slot, depending on which advertiser bids highest for that impression.

You can use Adaptive Banner ads as a replacement for any Standard Banner placements.  

Learn how to implement Anchored Adaptive Banners (Android | iOS ) and Inline Adaptive Banners (Android | 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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