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About Lightbox ads specifications

Lightbox ads allow you to show sophisticated, interactive ads across the Google Display Network.

This article describes the specifications for Lightbox ads created using AdWords templates. If you want to learn more about these ads, read About Lightbox ads. If you’re ready to jump into using Lightbox ads, see our article on how to Create a Lightbox ad.

Types of Lightbox ads

The technical requirements vary depending on which type of Lightbox ad you choose to create:

  • Ready. These Lightbox ads are built in AdWords using one of the Ready Ad Gallery templates, which include the responsive Lightbox template. Responsive Lightbox ads are “sizeless.” When you create an ad, you enter assets—which can include videos, images, product feeds, and maps. Then AdWords automatically generates ads to fit across almost any size ad space across computers and mobile.
  • Custom. These custom ads are developed by creative agencies, according to AdWords specs, and served through DoubleClick. Custom Lightbox ads may include Studio Layouts, a set of templates in DoubleClick Studio. Studio Layouts are created in DoubleClick Studio and then trafficked in DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM) and implemented in AdWords. Learn more about creating Lightbox ads with Studio Layouts on DoubleClick Studio. Note: Custom Lightbox ads should be built using HTML5. Flash is not supported.

This article discusses how to create ready Lightbox ads. For custom Lightbox ads, go to the DoubleClick Studio guide, create your ads in DoubleClick, then contact your Google representative to add then them to your AdWords account.

Basic assets

Here are the basic asset specifications for Lightbox ads created with AdWords templates:


Your logo is the image that appears in the header of the ad, and will be used in both invitation and expanded states. For best results, use a transparent image, such as a transparent PNG or GIF file, that is optimized for good contrast on a semi-transparent background of 80% opacity black or white.

  • PNG, JPG, or static GIF file
  • 200KB maximum file size
  • 50 x 50 pixel minimum dimensions

Logo click URL

When the expanded logo image is clicked, the user is taken to this URL. The URL must match the domain of the display URL. The Logo click URL is compatible with Upgraded URLs and tracking templates. Learn more about Upgraded URLs.

Header message

A description to use in invitation and expanded states. Use the ad preview to see how the message rotates and appears across devices. The header’s second and third line, which are optional, scroll every 8 seconds as the ad animates.

  • Minimum of 1 line, maximum of 3 lines
  • No character limit, but use fewer than 35 characters per line for best visibility

Call-to-action button

The description for the call-to-action button in the expanded state. Unless the ad uses custom invites (described below), AdWords automatically generates the button text.

Custom call-to-action button (optional)

These custom invites can use files in all Interactive Advertising Bureau sizes. Assets are required in three sizes — 728 x 90, 160 x 600, and 300 x 250 — but 320 x 50 is also commonly used.
  • Static banners or GIFs (Flash and HTML5 not supported)
  • 72 PPI minimum resolution
  • 200KB maximum

Custom invites require that you include either call-to-action text or the Google expand icon (no variations or substitutions are allowed).

For text calls-to-action, you must include a Hover to Expand option for desktop and Tap to Expand option for mobile. The ad’s header call-to-action is the description for the call-to-action button in the expanded state. The call-to-action includes a maximum of 20 characters, or 10 characters for double-width character languages (such as Chinese, Japanese, or Korean).

Call-to-action Final URL

When the call-to-action button image is clicked, the user is taken to this URL. The URL must match the domain of the display URL The URL is compatible with Upgraded URLs and tracking templates. Learn more about Upgraded URLs.

Display URL

The display URL must match the domain of the Final URL. The display URL won't appear in the ad.

Final URL

The Final URL is the web address of your landing page, where people go when they click your ad. The URL is compatible with Upgraded URLs and tracking templates (including custom parameters). Learn more about Upgraded URLs.

Image assets

Images will appear both in the image gallery and in the thumbnails. You can build up to 10 image galleries with a maximum of 10 images in each gallery.

Image specifications

File format: PNG, JPG, or GIF

File size: 200KB maximum file size

Image Dimension: 1024 x 1050 maximum

Resolution: 200+ PPI for high-resolution images (Export the image at twice the pixel width and height for images intended to appear on Retina devices.)

Aspect ratio: No mandatory aspect ratio, but 16:9 fits on a wide variety of screen sizes and orientations.

Image text

Descriptive captions, text, and calls-to-action (CTA) may be added to every image. HREF exit links must conform to display domain policies.

Maximum length for single-byte character set (SBCS) languages (such as English, French, Spanish)

  • Title: 40 characters
  • Text: 100 characters
  • CTA: 20 characters

Maximum length for double-byte character set (DBCS) languages (such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean)

  • Title: 25 characters
  • Text: 75 characters
  • CTA: 15 characters

Video assets

The responsive ad template allows multiple videos. For templates combining video with other assets, enter 1 video.

YouTube videos

  • Recommended maximum length of 4 minutes
  • YouTube annotations and info cards will be visible and actionable on supported browsers

Non-YouTube videos

  • Video Codec: H.264, MPEG-2, or MPEG-4 preferred
  • Audio Codec: MP3 or AAC preferred
  • Only accepted for Lightbox ads made with AdWords templates


If they have videos, Lightbox ads made with AdWords templates will start playing the first video automatically (without sound) when someone clicks to expand the ad on a device that supports video autoplay (primarily desktop and some tablets). Videos will still be click-to-play on expansion on mobile devices. The first video will auto-play and additional videos will auto-play when selected. If the user switches back to a previous video, that previous video will remain paused until clicked.


All Ready Lightbox ads with video will auto-preview in-banner and will play without sound on compatible devices (primarily desktop and some tablets).

Video cover images (optional)

The video cover image is an alternative high-resolution image to show before the video is played and in the background while the video is playing. If you don’t upload a video cover image, the ad will use the video's default thumbnail image, which may be low-resolution, if the video doesn’t have high enough resolution. Video cover images should have a play button, so users know that they are playable.

  • PNG, JPG, or GIF
  • 200KB maximum
  • 200+ PPI for high-resolution images
    (Note: To have your images appear best on devices with Retina screens,
    upload an image with twice the pixel width and height.)
  • No mandatory aspect ratio, but 16:9 fits on a wide variety of screen sizes and orientations

Map assets

This feature is available only if you have a location extension associated with the selected campaign. Your starting address is what the map will center on, and is typically your business location. Learn more about showing local business info with location extensions.

Product assets

Enter your Google Merchant Center ID to connect your Lightbox ad to your marketing feed.

Style options

Theme: Dark or light visual theme

Accent color: Use the color picker or enter a color hex code to select the accent color of branded elements.

Background color: Use the color picker or enter a color hex code to select the background color.

Background fade opacity: Select 0–100% for the opacity of the background color fading with the visual theme, where 0% is completely transparent and 100% is completely opaque.

Google font name: Choose a font from that looks appropriate for both desktop and mobile size previews. Note that not all the fonts available on are available for use in the Ad gallery. Reach out to your Google account team for more details on how to upload your own custom font.

Remarketing options for both ready and custom Lightbox ads

You can target Lightbox ads to existing remarketing lists or use tagless Storyboarding remarketing. For performance reasons, you can’t use remarketing pixels to create customer lists or collect information from impressions of your Lightbox ads.

Storyboarding lists, which include people who’ve engaged with your ads, are automatically generated for each campaign that includes Lightbox ads. The “List size” column of your account’s reporting table typically shows data after 48 hours.

Storyboarding allows advertisers to create a list of people who engaged with their Lightbox ads. That list, which you can find under your "Remarketing" tab in AdWords, can be used for a Lightbox remarketing campaign.

A list of engaged customers will appear along with your other customer lists on the “Remarketing” tab in AdWords. Learn more about our remarketing policy. If you are interested in using remarketing, please contact your Google representative.


To review information about DoubleClick Studio, go here.

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