Companion ads allow you to serve ads to display ad slots at the same time as those served to a video or audio player. They always rely on the master ad to serve.
- VAST creatives can include up to 6 corresponding display ads
- Labels can prevent ads from competing advertisers from serving at the same time
- Ability to backfill from the publisher's network if the VAST response contains fewer companion ads than there are defined display slots on the page
When a master ad automatically plays, companion ads load immediately when it starts, so the two load simultaneously. When a master ad requires user initiation, such as click-to-play, a non-companion ad could load in the companion ad slot before the master ad is clicked. When it's clicked to play, the companion ad then replaces the non-companion ad.
Available companion creative types
If your VAST creatives include companion creatives, you can use any of the following:
- Image: Standard images or URLs of creatives hosted on third-party ad servers.
- Campaign Manager 360: Redirect URLs generated with Campaign Manager 360.
- Third-party: Code from third-party ad servers.
- Custom: Your own code to create rich ad experiences.
- Native format (Beta) : Standard or custom native formats. 1, 2
- Standard or custom creative templates: Templates which prompt to input information or upload files.
1 Native formats are supported on reservations and Programmatic Guaranteed campaigns with publisher provided creative source when using native styles as the delivery method.
2 Formats with native video enabled cannot be used as companions.
Companion ad configurations
In order to serve companion creatives, your line item, site, and player must be configured correctly.
- When you add a line item, you should set the expected creatives to the size of the master video or audio ad, and include the sizes for your companion ads. Then, when you traffic a video or audio creative, you can include the companions in the sizes you've allowed.
- Display ad slots should be defined using GPT tags that specify how companion ads should behave.
- A player using the IMA SDK should set companion sizes into the
ciu_szsparameter on the request.
- If your player is an iframe, you need to include a GPT proxy script in your HTML.
You can find implementation details about how to use companion ads with Google Publisher Tags. If you are not using the GPT library, your developers may be able to implement support for companions using the ad API, but the content shown below focuses on GPT features.
GPT methods that support companion ads
This allows competitive exclusions to work across the video and display ads.
Optional for "auto-play" video and audio.
The method can prevent the scenario in which a display ad loads to the ad unit, but is displayed for only a few seconds before the companion ad is delivered.
Compare this with click-to-play ads, where it's not necessary to deactivate the initial load because the display ad should load and show until the user clicks to play, thus loading the companion.
Sample GPT code including companion display ads
<head> of a page might look like this:
set with actual ad units and sizes for your website googletag.defineSlot('/12345/path/to/adunit', [300, 250], 'div1').addService(googletag.companionAds()).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.defineSlot('/12345/path/to/adunit', [160, 600], 'div2').addService(googletag.companionAds()).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.defineSlot('/12345/path/to/adunit', [728, 90], 'div3').addService(googletag.companionAds()).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.companionAds().setRefreshUnfilledSlots(true); googletag.pubads().enableVideoAds();// ↓
only necessary on auto‑play video pages googletag.pubads().disableInitialLoad(); googletag.enableServices(); }); </script>
<body> code might look like this:
min-heightproperty is preferred over the use of the
heightproperty to reserve the minimum space on the page for the ad slot, while still allowing for a larger ad to serve.