Manage creatives

Preview creatives

Click the preview button to see your creative and try out different settings.

  • Find the preview button: A quick way to find this button is to hover over your creative's row in your campaign (or advertiser Creatives tab), or open the creative. See all the button locations below.

  • Try preview settings: Click Show details Show details in the preview window for extra details and preview options. You can also use buttons at the top of the preview window to see how your creative would look on different sites, devices, and browsers. Learn about settings below.

The preview window loads your creative based on your creative properties in Campaign Manager, even if you haven't saved your latest edits yet.

Based on where you're previewing a creative from in Campaign Manager, certain preview options may not be available. For example, if you preview from the Creatives tab of an advertiser, you won't be able to test final landing pages for all creative types.  

General preview options

The following preview options are available for most creative types:

  • Preview on a website: In Desktop preview mode, open the Website menu and select Custom URL, then enter the full URL of the website you want to preview on. Note: The creative preview can only be shown if the website has an ad placement that's the same size as the creative you're previewing.

  • Devices and browser types: Click here for steps. This is covered in the rich media section. (This is only supported for images and rich media).

  • Backup and image assets in a creative: Open the creative properties and click the preview button next to the asset.

  • Preview features by creative type: Most creative types have special features, such as video preview features or settings for rich media elements. See below.

  • Event log: Use the event log to see specific events, such as the landing page. Depending on where you preview the creative from in Campaign Manager, such as from an ad versus a creative, the landing page may be different. Always check live placement tags for the final landing page. 

All preview button locations

Campaign view

  • Find a row with a creative. Hover over its name and click the preview button.

Ad properties

  • Open an ad that has creatives. The button is in the Creative assignments section (or for default ads, in the Default creative section).

Creative properties

  • The button is beneath the properties window, next to the Save button.

  • Find the button next to various creative assets, such as in-stream serving files.

  • You can preview standard or rich media creatives on the creative properties page.

Creatives tab of your advertiser

  • Click Advertiser in your header and choose an advertiser. View the advertiser's Creatives tab. The button is in the Preview column.

Rich media and VPAID preview

See below for guidance on each section of your preview window, plus a quick troubleshooter at the bottom. Note that rich media preview options are only available when you preview your entire creative, not when you preview individual backup or image assets within the creative. This includes VPAID creatives.

Try different devices or browser types

Mobile creative types include a Preview location menu at the top of the preview window. Use this menu to send mobile HTML5 creatives to the Creative Preview app on your mobile phone or tablet. Creative Preview is an Android and iOS mobile app that helps you test creatives with mobile ad SDKs. Learn more

If you don't have the Creative Preview app, you can click the remote button  to preview your creative on other devices or browser types. This only works for image or rich media creatives.

  • Preview on other devices: Click the remote button at the top of your preview window. Scan the QR code with your mobile device. (You'll need a QR scanner app installed.) Then visit the URL that loads.

    As an alternative, right-click the link beneath the QR code, copy the URL, and send it to your device (such as by email).

  • Preview on other browsers: Click the remote button at the top of your preview window. Right-click the link beneath the QR code and copy the URL. Then paste the URL into another browser window.

Any change you make in your preview window automatically updates the creative on your other device or browser window.

Why use this feature?

It's a quick way to make sure your creative renders properly on other devices or browser types. For example, you might want to check that a rich media creative works on both Chrome and Firefox browsers.

Website

Choose the type of website to preview your creative on. While in Desktop preview mode, open the Website menu and select one of the following:

  • Blank page: View your creative on a blank page.

  • Sample website: View your creative placed in a slot in a sample webpage layout. This page consists of various placements on a fake page layout (with headers and sidebars). Campaign Manager places your creative in the placement that best matches its dimensions.

  • Custom URL: Enter an external URL to preview the creative on an external page, such as the site where your ad will run. This URL can be any website, but the creative preview can only be shown if Campaign Manager is able to detect an ad placement that's the same size as the creative you're previewing.

Creative details

Click Show details Show details, and expand the Creative details panel to view the name, type, mode, dimensions, and creation/last modified dates for your creative.

Display properties

To adjust a creative's display settings, click Show details Show details, then expand the Display properties panel. When you first open a preview, these properties load based on your actual creative.

  1. Edit fields in the Display properties section. Some fields can't be changed because the properties are only editable in Studio.

    If you're previewing a creative with multiple parts, your properties will be divided into separate sections. For example, a rich media display banner with floating will have a section for the banner asset and the floating asset.

  2. To refresh the creative with your changes, hit the ENTER key or click into a new field.

    Keep in mind that if you set a display start (i.e., a delay of a few seconds before the creative appears), you won't see the new version until the seconds you set have elapsed.

  3. If you like the changes you make to your properties in preview, click Save to save them to your actual creative.

    To start over, click Discard changes. That discards your changes and reloads your original preview. No changes you make in preview will affect your actual creative unless you click Save.

See the next section for extra guidance on positioning.
Positioning

To adjust the position of your creative in the placement, use the settings under Positioning in your preview's Display properties section. You can either enter values or move the creative using your cursor or arrow keys.

  • Enter values: Set the creative's position by entering its distance from the top and from the left of the page. Enter values in the Top and Left fields. You can enter a number of pixels or a percentage of dimensions.

    • For example, enter 10 pixels in the Top field to move the creative 10 pixels from the top of the window. Enter 10% in the Top field to set the creative's distance from the top as 10% of the total height (i.e., 90% to the top).

  • Cursor / arrow keys: Click Enable dragging to move the creative manually with your cursor or arrow keys.

    • Cursor: Use your mouse to drag and drop the creative. Click Lock position if you only want to move the creative in one direction (such as only up or down, not from side to side).

    • Keys: For more precise positioning, use the arrow keys. Each time you press an arrow key, the creative moves 1 pixel in that direction. Hold down SHIFT to increase the rate to 10 pixels.

Events

Click Event summary to view and filter aggregate data about your creative’s events.

  • Type filters: Choose whether All events, Custom events, or Standard events are listed below. Click the headers above the list to order your events by Name, Type, Count, and Time headers to change the order of the events listed.

  • Show filters: These filters change which events are displayed in your preview. Choose All to show both the events you’ve triggered in preview and those you haven’t. Choose Triggered to only show events you’ve triggered, or choose Untriggered to only show the events you haven’t yet triggered in preview. (These options also change which events are listed in your event summary.)

  • To search for a specific event, enter it in the Event name search box.

What is an event?

Creatives are coded to log information about their behavior and about user interactions. An event is anything that the creative is coded to log. It might be something the creative does (and then logs), such as expanding in the browser, or it might be something the user does, such as hovering over an animation.

Standard events are automatically enabled, measured, and reported on for any rich media creative. They include clicks, display time, and how often a video is played. Custom events can be tailored to an HTML5 creative by your Studio designer. They might include a particular kind of exit event or a timer for behavior that's specific to the creative.

Studio users can read more about events (also called "metrics") in the Studio Help Center.

Event log

The event log shows events that occurred with the time they occurred for all the standard and custom events. It also logs impressions when you trigger an exit event, expand the creative, view the creative in full-screen mode, or mouse over the ad for 1 or more seconds.

Click Clear log to clear the log and start over.

I can't see my creative!
Check the settings in your preview window's Display properties section:
  • Positioning: If you have a very large number of pixels entered for the Top or Left, the creative may be positioned off screen. Lower the numbers and hit the RETURN key. If you're previewing multiple assets (such as a rich media display banner with floating), make sure one element isn't hidden behind the other.

  • Display start / Display duration: Check that the display start is not set to None or delayed for a long time, and that the duration is not set to 0.

VPAID preview

VPAID creatives are also rich media, but they have different kinds of assets than other rich media creatives, since they use in-stream video players. You can preview the entire creative with the preview button in your campaign view or creative properties. Or preview individual image assets and backup asset serving files.

When you preview the entire creative, you have rich media preview options. See the "General preview optoins" section above for guidance.

In-stream video preview

Steps to preview in-stream video
  1. Click the preview button. The orientation of the video player in the preview will match the video source file. 

  2. View the Creative details, Event summary, and Event log on the right. These sections are the same as for other rich media previews. See above for descriptions.

  3. Try video settings. You can find these settings at the bottom of the preview pane. Here are your options:

    • Try different resolutions: select from the Video resolutions menu at the top of the window.

    • Add a different size: open the Video resolutions menu, scroll to the bottom and click Add new size to enter a custom width and height to preview. Custom video resolutions can be used for preview only and don't affect trafficking placement sizes.

    • Try player controls: open the Player controls menu to show or hide the video controls.

    • Restart video: click Refresh Refresh.

  4. Preview other serving files.

    1. Open a creative, then click the preview button next to any valid serving file in the Serving files section, under Creative assets.

    2. When you're done viewing this video, click the arrows beneath the video to cycle through your other serving files. Every serving file available for preview can be found here. Note that in some cases, you may not have the right browser support to view a particular format.

    3. If you want to preview a specific serving file in the main preview (i.e., check events, try different properties, etc.), here are your steps: First, set the serving file to ON under Include in serving in your creative properties. Next, set every other serving file to OFF. This way, you can be sure the video player uses that specific serving file. Finally, click the preview button at the top of your creative properties.

In-stream audio preview

Steps to preview in-stream audio

  1. Click the preview button at the top of your creative properties.
  2. There are two preview modes: Mobile and Desktop.
    • Mobile preview mode (recommended)
      • Audio ads are previewed in a device frame. Use the audio player controls at the bottom of the device to listen to your audio creative.
      • To preview assigned companion creatives, use the "Companion size" drop-down at the top. Companions will appear inside the device frame while the audio is playing.
    • Desktop preview mode
      • Audio creatives are previewed in a video player with only audio content. A compatible audio serving file will be selected automatically. Click the play button to hear it. The video player screen will be black while the audio file plays.
      • The player size choices available for video creatives won’t impact the audio preview experience.
      • If companions are assigned, companion previews will appear below the video player while the audio is playing.
  3. To preview a specific serving file, click the preview button next to it in the Serving files section. You can cycle through every serving file in this window, but you can't check events or try different properties.
  4. If you want to preview a specific serving file in the main preview:
    1. Set the serving file to ON under Include in serving in your creative properties.
    2. Set every other serving file to OFF. This way, you can be sure the Campaign Manager video player uses that specific serving file.
    3. Click the preview button at the top of your creative properties.

Dynamic creative preview

Dynamic creatives include additional settings that allow you to switch between draft and published dynamic content. To switch which content is shown, click Show details Show details, and expand the Dynamic preview settings panel. Select either Draft or Published, then click Apply.

What are dynamic elements?

If your creative is dynamic, you will see the dynamic creative icon Image of a green dot in a lighter green circle and ID next to it in Campaign Manager, in your campaign view or advertiser Creatives tab.

Dynamic creatives can be set to look or behave differently in depending on context. This is because they allow dynamic elements, which can change based on rules your developer chooses.

There are many kinds of rules for how dynamic elements change. They might change based on keywords, country code, Campaign Manager ad ID, or custom key-value pairs.

For example, your creative might have a rule to use different images for Germany than for France, based on the country code Campaign Manager detects. In this case, the image is the dynamic element, and your creative has a rule to use different images based on the country code.

Dynamic creatives are pushed to Campaign Manager from Studio. Learn more about working with dynamic creatives in the Studio Help Center guide.

HTML5 asset preview

If your display creative has an HTML5 asset, click HTML5 on the upper left of the preview window to see it.

Click tag preview

To see the click tags in your asset, preview your creative, click Show details Show details, then expand the Event log panel. If you click on your creative, you'll see an entry for the click tag it triggered.

Display image gallery

Display image gallery creatives offer a set of images you can rotate through, like a slideshow.

Creative preview offers an event summary with details on interactions with the gallery. Click Show details Show details, then expand the Event summary panel:

  • Triggered events include any click on the creatives or the gallery arrows that rotate the gallery images.

  • Untriggered events include automatic rotation of the images (if you set the creative to rotate automatically).

  • Counts show how many times each exit is clicked, how long each image is displayed, and how long the entire creative has been displayed.

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