Traffic with creative templates


Creative templates are forms you fill out or use when trafficking creatives. Creative templates define how to show an ad—that is, how the ad should look, behave, or serve. They can also be used for other purpose outside showing an ad, such as including third-party tracking pixels. 

You select a creative template when adding creatives to a line item or when uploading new creatives to the creative library. 

This article covers:

If you want to know how to create new or manage existing creative templates, see Manage creative templates.

What's inside creative templates

When you select a creative template to add a new creative to a line item, you're presented with the form. The form can prompt you to enter information or upload resources. Each template varies in what you see on the form depending on the ad serving or other goal of the template. Typically, the goal is to ensure that the line item serve a creative in a particular way or to apply code associated with the template for some other ad serving purpose. 

There are two kinds of templates:

There are two sections in a template worth mentioning—"Template settings" and "Template code", covered next.

Template settings

You may see a "Template settings" section in a creative template. Those that create templates for your network can optionally add "Template settings" that prompts you to enter information or upload resources.

These prompts can be marked as either optional or required. You'll see "optional" next to settings that are optional. The prompts you may see include:

  • File: Upload a file
  • List: Add items from a list
  • Number: Add numbers from a list
  • Text: Enter text
  • URL: Enter a URL

Template code

You'll always see this section in a template. This is a non-editable section that displays code associated with the template. The code is key to defining how an ad should serve or to meet some other ad serving purpose.

You won't need to do anything in this section, and you don't need to understand the code in this section. This information is shown simply for reference.

Kinds of templates

There are two kinds of creative templates. 

Standard templates: Included in Ad Manager by default. Standard templates support some common ad experiences or other useful applications, such as adding third-party tracking pixels. 

Custom templates: Created by an administrator or other technical resource in your network. Custom templates are tailored for your network to deliver ad experiences or provide applications not covered by standard templates or other creative types available.

Both standard and custom templates are listed as one of the several display creative types when adding new creatives.

Standard creative templates

Standard creative templates are included in Ad Manager by default. Some may prompt you for information or ask you to upload resources. Mobile templates work both on apps and mobile web browsers.​

Name Description
Forecasting pixel Improves accuracy of forecasting on inventory hosted by third parties. Used only for tracking purposes and is not an ad visible to users.
Image banner with optional third-party tracking Image banner ad with a click-through URL that open a new tab. Includes the option third-party tracking pixels. Also includes the option for Safecount survey URLs. Safecount is a third-party service that allows you to engage with users via your ad.
Mobile app download Image and text ad that invites users to download a mobile application.
HTML5 animated ad

Animated HTML5 ad with configurable transitions between image files. Requires GIF, JPG or PNG files.

You can upload multiple image files and configure:

  • Transition type: the way one image file transitions to the next, such as a dissolve, a push, or scale, or pivot
  • Transition direction: Where the next image file comes from—top, bottom, right, left
  • Transition anchor: where an image is anchored
  • Transition duration: how long to take for each transition
  • Transition delay: How long to wait before the next transition
Mobile image carousel

Image ad that renders multiple images in a carousel—a rotating display of images triggered when users swipe from right to left. 

  • Maximum number of images in a carousel: 5 
  • Supported operating systems: Android 2.2+ or iOS 4.3+
Mobile interstitial with auto-close (app)

Image ad interstitial with auto-close control. Supports portrait and landscape orientations. Works on apps running Google AdMob Ads SDK 6.0+.

  • Supported operating systems: Android or iOS
Mobile fixed-position banner

Image banner ad for mobile web that stays fixed to the bottom of the screen as the user scrolls. Includes a close button for dismissing the ad.

  • Template should be trafficked on an out-of-page line item. Learn more
  • Only supports GPT synchronous mode. Learn more
Pop-up or pop-under ad Image ad hosted by Ad Manager that pops over or under the content page in a new window. New window is automatically sized for the image file. 
Pop-up or pop-under ad (third-party hosted)

Image ad hosted by a third-party service that pops over or under the content page in a new window. New window is automatically sized for the image file. 

Ensure that traffickers include a click macro in the third-party URL to track clicks. Engage with your third party for implementation details.

Text ad Text-based advertisement.

Custom creative templates

These creative templates are created specifically for your Ad Manager network by an administrator or other technical resource. They include custom code that defines how a creative looks, behaves, or serves. They may also serve other purposes specific to your organization.

Custom templates can range from restricting the type of image file you can upload to enforcing a time limit to how long a video creative can play. If you have questions about a custom creative template, talk to your administrator or the technical resource that created the template.

The Click-through URL input is only present when a click macro is used in the template.

How to use creative template in line items

You can use creative templates during trafficking when you add creatives to a line item or when adding creatives via the creative library

Whether you're adding creatives to a line item or via the creative library, the form you're presented is the same. For instance, if you select "HTML5 animated ad", the form has the same fields and settings whether you started from a line item or the creative library.

If you start from the creative library, you're prompted to select and advertiser. If you start from a line item, the creative is associated with the advertiser specified in the order. Ultimately, if you started from the creative library, you'll need to associate the creative to a line item if it is to serve ads or if it is to meet any other purposes specific to your organization..

  1. From the "New creative" selector, find either the "Custom creative template" or the "Standard creative template" options.
  2. Search for and select a template.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Enter required information into the form.
  5. Click Save.

Be sure to preview and test the creative thoroughly to ensure it serves as intended.

For destination URL macro requirements, reference the API developer doc for template creative.
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