Manage creatives

Traffic custom creatives

Custom creatives are used to embed media assets within custom HTML code. Often these assets use multimedia technologies. Learn about managing landing pages for custom creatives.

About custom creatives

There are two types of custom creatives:

  • Custom display creatives are displayed within the host webpage.

  • Custom display interstitial creatives are displayed in a separate browser window, such as a pop-up. You don't need to define the dimensions of this creative: the associated HTML code defines the formatting of the new browser window, and this determines the dimensions.

Your developer may provide you with custom creative templates, which can help you format your custom creative code. You can paste these into the HTML box on your creative properties page. While you can use custom creative templates, the Campaign Manager support team does not offer support for them. 

Make sure your developer is aware of the options available in Studio for creatives, including HTML5 interstitial creatives.

Edit custom creative properties


Creative name:A name that identifies your creative in Campaign Manager and in reports. If you leave this field blank, the file name of the first file that you upload will be used.

Creative type: This will be custom display or custom display interstitial, depending on whether the creative will appear on the page or as an interstitial (pop-up, pop-under, etc.).

Version: If you upload a new asset to an existing creative, the version is increased by one. Or, if you check the checkbox, the version automatically increases by one when you save, regardless of whether you make changes to the creative. In reports, data is available on the performance of each version, as well as on the creative overall.

Status: Active creatives can serve. Inactive creatives can't serve. An active ad requires at least one active creative. Note that if you deactivate a creative, it stops serving with all ads it's assigned to. If you want to deactivate a creative for just one ad, view the ad properties and, under Creative assignments, set Include in rotation to No. Learn more about status.

Creative assets

Dimensions: Creative dimensions must match the assets of the ad and placement you choose for your creative.

You don't need to specify dimensions for custom display interstitial creatives.

Assets: Lists the files you have uploaded.

HTML: Enter the custom creative code provided by your developer here.

  • For custom creatives that include forms, you can use the GET or POST methods in the HTML code. Information sent using the POST method is never transmitted to Google Marketing Platform, so this method is appropriate for sensitive information.

  • If your creative clicks through the wrong landing page, check the HTML code. If the URLs in the HTML code are correct but your creative is still clicking through to the wrong page, it may be because a developer has hard-coded URLs into the creative asset. Check with your developer.

  • Custom display interstitial creatives require the %i macro to track impressions.

  • If you've uploaded an asset to a custom display creative that you reference in the HTML, you can use the %h macro to load the asset.

  • If you’re using a custom creative that contains a redirect to a third-party asset, you need to add some macros into your third-party URLs to ensure that your third party can count clicks and impressions correctly, and in some cases to manage landing page URLs. If the third party requires a cache-buster, you may also need to add the %n random number macro:

    • %c expands into a click string
    • %n expands into a random number
    • %u expands into the landing page URL (for cache-busting) if your landing page URL is dynamic

    Different vendors will need these macros in different locations, so it's important to confirm with the vendor exactly where to add them.

Creative fields

Creative fields are labels that you can apply to your creatives. These labels are used in reports to help you organize and understand how groups of your creatives are performing.

Creative fields and their associated values are set at the advertiser level. For each creative, you can set one Name and one Value.

  1. Click Manage creative fields. This takes you to the advertiser-level Creative fields tab.

  2. Edit names and values in-line. When you add values, you must click Apply in the Values drop-down.        

  3. Your changes save automatically.

In reports, this creative will now be associated with the selected field name and value.

Add an Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) Icon

What is OBA and the YourAdChoices Icon?

As part of the online ad industry's commitment to protecting consumer privacy, Campaign Manager supports adding the YourAdChoices Icon to creatives that use ads that protect consumer privacy in compliance with the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA)'s Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising.

If you partner with an approved compliance service provider (who can ensure your ads are in compliance with the DAA's program), you may wish to add the YourAdChoices Icon to your creatives. For each compliance service provider, your developer should have custom creative code.

Add the YourAdChoices Icon to a custom display creative

Use the method below only when adding an YourAdChoices Icon to custom display creatives. For other creative types, you can use impression event tags to add the YourAdChoices Icon.

  1. Open a custom display creative in your campaign or advertiser. You can also create a new one (New > Custom display).

  2. In the Edit HTML code box, add the advertising icon creative code provided by your developer.

  3. Click Add a file and upload your creative assets. Then finish setting up the rest of your creative and save.

    Note that your creative may not appear in your preview in some cases. Don't worry — even if there's no preview, your creative should work once you've trafficked it.

  4. When you generate tags for placements with this creative, use iframe/JavaScript or JavaScript tags. The icon requires these tag types to display correctly.

    Do not use standard tags, even for creatives that only use images.

Note that creative templates are not available in Campaign Manager. That is why you must manually add the creative code for your YourAdChoices Icon to custom display creatives. Then use iframe/JavaScript or JavaScript tags.

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