Preview creatives in Display & Video 360

You can preview creatives from 3 places in Display & Video 360:

  • In an advertiser's Creatives page
  • In a creative's Creative details or Ad Canvas tab
  • In a line item page, in the Creatives section

In each case, click Preview or , and a new window will open where you can preview your creative.

Supported creative formats

  • Creatives hosted by Display & Video 360 (all creative types)
  • Mobile and display creatives synced from Studio
  • Mobile, third-party served MRAID creatives from Celtra, InMobi, and Innovid

See how your final creative will look

When you first preview a creative, it will display automatically on a blank screen in Desktop mode. Use the drop-down menus at the top of the screen to change how the preview is displayed.

Mobile preview mode

Use mobile preview mode to test creative events and preview how creatives will look on a mobile device.

To change the context (either within a mobile app, or in a mobile browser), use the Context menu:

  • To view a display creative in a mobile app, select In-app.
  • To view a display creative in a mobile browser, select Mobile web.
  • To view an audio creative in a mobile streaming app, select Streaming app.

To change the device, use the Device menu:

  • Select a device by name (for example, iPad or Pixel 3) to show your creative on that device.
  • To rotate the device into landscape or portrait mode, click Rotate device Rotate device.

To see how an interstitial creative will be scaled when it's not as wide as a device, use the Fit to device menu:

  • Select a device that's wider than the creative using the Device menu.
  • In the Fit to device menu, select Yes. This setting doesn't turn this feature on or off, it only allows you to preview scaling. How to turn off scaling
To send the preview to a phone or tablet, install the Creative Preview app or scan a QR code.

Desktop preview mode

Use desktop preview mode to test creative events and preview how the creative will look in a desktop browser.

Display creatives

When previewing a display creative, you can customize the preview using the Website menu:

  • To see it on a blank page, select Blank.
  • To see it a sample website and adjust desktop positioning, select Sample website.
  • To see it on any website, select Custom URL. This URL can be any website, but the creative preview can only be shown if Display & Video 360 is able to detect an ad placement that's the same size as the creative you're previewing.

Desktop preview mode

Video creatives

When previewing a video creative, you can customize the preview using the Video resolutions menu:

  • Select a preset resolution to see the video in that size.
  • To see it in a custom resolution, click Add new size.
    • Enter the width and height you want to preview the video in. Custom-sized previews are for preview only and have no effect on the actual serving size of the video.

Assets preview mode (audio creatives only)

Use assets preview mode to preview the audio file along with all assigned companion creatives on one page.
To show or hide companions, use the Companion sizes menu.


Send a preview to a mobile phone or tablet

There are two options for sending a preview to a device: you can install the Creative Preview app on your device to see an accurate preview of mobile in-app creatives or you can scan a QR code with your phone to open a preview using your mobile web browser.

Preview mobile creatives using the Creative Preview app

  1. If not installed already, install the Creative Preview app on your device.
  2. Open a creative in Display & Video 360 and click Preview.
  3. Open the Preview location drop-down menu. Under "Push to device", you'll see a list of linked devices that have the Creative Preview app installed.

    Available devices are paired with your Google Marketing Platform account when you sign into the app. If you don't see any available devices, first add a device, then refresh the page.
    The device name that appears in the "Push to device" list in the Preview location menu is your device's model name. You can change this name in the Creative Preview's app settings on your device to make it easier to remember.
  4. Select the device name to send the creative to. The preview is sent to the Creative Preview app and you'll get a notification on your device. Tap the notification to open the preview. (If you don't get a notification on your device, app notifications may be disabled. Learn how to enable notifications)
  5. Back in the Display & Video 360 preview page on your computer, click Show details Show details, then click Event summary.
    Play around with the creative on your mobile device. You'll see events and timers triggered by interacting with the creative recorded in the Event summary and Event log panels.

Scan a QR code to preview on a device

  1. Open a creative in Display & Video 360 and click Preview.
  2. Open the Preview location menu, then click Scan QR code.
  3. Use a QR code reader app on your device to scan the displayed QR code. (Search Google Play or the Apple App Store for "QR scanner".) After you scan the code, the creative is opened in your mobile browser.
  4. Back in the Display & Video 360 preview page on your computer, click Show details Show details, then click Event summary.
    Play around with the creative on your mobile device. You'll see triggered events and timers recorded in the Event summary and Event log panels.

Share a preview

You can share creatives built in Ad Canvas with others for review or sign-off using a preview link. Anyone you share this link with will be able to view it. No sign-in is required.

  1. Open the creative, then click Ad Canvas.
  2. Hover over the creative and click Preview Preview. A pop-up window opens with a creative preview.
  3. Below the preview, click Share preview Share, then select a copy option:
    1. To copy the preview link only, click Copy link.
    2. If you plan to share several links at once and you want additional details to identify which preview is which, click Copy link & details instead. This will copy the link along with the date and time the preview was created, the creative name (or variant name for data-driven creatives), and the creative's dimensions. For example, ", 3/14/2027, 10:16:26 AM, My Flipbook, 336 × 280".)
  4. Paste and send this copied link to the person you want to review your creative.

Shared previews are full page previews that allow you to test how the creative looks in different environments, and whether events are recorded at the right time. Learn more about preview options

Test rich media creative event tracking

To make sure creative events are tracking at the right time, use the event summary panel. This panel logs standard rich media events as you interact with the preview. Custom counters, exits, and timers are not currently available and won't appear in the event summary or event log. Use Studio's preview to test custom rich media events.

View recorded rich media events
  1. Click Show details Show details, then open the Event summary section of the Creative details panel.
  2. Play around with your creative preview. If your creative has video, play the video and try out the video controls to make sure video events are logged.

Using the event summary panel

The event summary panel displays the total number of events in your creative, and real-time event logging as you interact with your creative preview.

Here are some tips for using the panel as you review events:

  • Enter an event name in the "Event name" field to search for a specific event.
  • Make the event list easier to review by applying one of the following filters:
    • Type: Filter the display by event types.
    • Show: Filter the display by triggered or untriggered events, depending on whether you tested them in the Preview tab.
Use the event log panel

Click Event log to open a real-time log of standard rich media events as they happen. Events include a time stamp, event type, and event name. As events are triggered in the preview, each new event is displayed at the top of the list.

Clear the event log

If you need to clear out the event list and start over, click Clear log Clear log. Only the event log is cleared; event counts will not be zeroed out.

Preview video creatives

When you first add a video creative to Display & Video 360, the video will be processed, which can take several minutes. You won't be able to preview the video until it's done processing. If you try to preview it before processing is done, you may only see a placeholder video.

Note: Video creatives require a servable ad tag in order to preview. Ad tags take about 20 minutes to create. When you make changes to the creative's asset, companions, or OBA icon settings, there will be a delay of up to 20 minutes before the preview is updated.

  1. Find the creative you want to preview.

  2. Click Preview or . The orientation of the video player in the preview will match the video source file. 

  3. Click Show details or Show details on the right to view the Creative details, Event summary, and Event log. These sections are the same as rich media previews. See above for descriptions.

  4. To see what your video will look like in different resolutions, select a size under Video resolutions. If you don't see the size you want in the menu, go to the bottom and click Add new size to enter a custom width and height to preview. Custom video resolutions are used for preview only and don't affect trafficking placement sizes.

  5. To preview your video on a device, select the device to send it to under Preview location. Devices only appear on this menu when you've installed the Creative Preview app and signed into it with your Display & Video 360 account.

  6. To restart the video, click Refresh Refresh.


Preview audio creatives

Note: Audio creatives require a servable ad tag in order to preview. Ad tags take about 20 minutes to create. When you make changes to the creative's asset or companions, there will be a delay of up to 20 minutes before the preview is updated.

There are two ways to preview an audio creative:

  • Preview in Ad Canvas (Display & Video 360-hosted audio creatives only)
  • Full page preview that opens in a new tab

Preview in Ad Canvas

To listen to the audio file, open any Display & Video 360-hosted audio creative and preview in Ad Canvas. If you just saved the creative, you may need to wait a few moments for the audio to be processed before you can play the audio. To get more preview options, open the preview in a new window.

Preview in Ad Canvas is not available for audio creatives synced from Campaign Manager 360. Instead, below the creative name, click Preview to open the preview in a new window.

Preview an audio creative in a new tab

You can open a full page audio creative preview from the Ad Canvas preview, or from the list of creatives (either in your advertiser's Creatives page or in the Creatives section of a line item).

  • To open a full page preview from Ad Canvas, hover over the companion preview area (if there's no companion assigned, you'll see a gray box with an image icon in the middle). At the top right, click Preview . The creative preview opens in a pop-up window. At the bottom right of the pop-up window, click Open in new window .
  • To open a preview from the list of creatives, hover over a creative and click Preview .

In the full page preview, you can:

  • Share a link with someone else for review. Just copy the link from your browser's address bar. Shareable preview links are formatted like this:
  • Switch between two preview modes: mobile and assets. Mobile is recommended because most audio inventory is available through audio streaming apps, and this preview is the closest to what consumers will see at serving time.
  • Play your audio creative. In “Mobile” preview mode, find the audio player controls at the bottom of the device screen. Click play to hear your audio file. You can also pause or adjust the volume.
  • Preview companion creatives, if assigned. Use the “Companion size” menu at the top to preview a different companion. In "Mobile" preview mode, companion creatives are only visible while the audio is playing. If you have multiple companions and want to see them all on one page, use the Preview mode menu to switch to assets preview.

Preview native creatives

Since native creatives can be rendered in hundreds of different design combinations, there are additional preview options for these formats to get a feel for how different asset combinations will look when your ad is serving. In addition to the preview during creative build, native site and native video creatives include publisher-styled previews and real publisher sample previews.

Preview while you create your ad

As you add text and images to your creative, the Ad Canvas preview updates automatically, showing how the different elements in your creative might be rendered. This preview is not an accurate representation of how the creative will display in a live environment, but will give you an idea of how each creative element might look when displayed in an app versus in a website.

If you entered both long and short versions of headlines and body text, only the short versions will be shown in the preview.

(Native site creatives only) Switch between square, rectangle, and Gmail

  • If you uploaded a square image, use the Preview drop-down to switch between previews of the square and rectangle sample layouts.
  • If your creative will run on Gmail, use the Preview drop-down to switch to the Gmail preview to see a sample of how your creative assets will look in Gmail.

Sample native preview with navigation

See how the creative will look on different publishers

To see samples of how real publishers will style your native assets, open the publisher samples preview. Unlike the initial quick preview, these samples use real native ad styles from publishers. Note that these previews represent a range of potential native ad designs, but do not include every design variation.

Publisher samples are available for native site and native video creatives only.

  1. Click Preview publisher samples . The Publisher samples page opens in a new window.
  2. Scroll down the page to view samples from different publishers using your native assets.
  3. On the Publisher samples page, some samples include an additional preview mode that displays your ad on a sample publisher page. Click Preview Preview at the bottom of a publisher sample to open this fullscreen preview in a new window.

    How to preview on a publisher page

    Publisher sample that can be previewed on a mock publisher page
    Sample preview on the mobile version of mobile page with native site ad preview

Preview data-driven creatives

Because data-driven creatives can have hundreds of variants, there are different preview options for these formats. In the list of creatives, there's no Preview option  next to these creative types. Instead, open the creative in Ad Canvas to preview all variants. To filter and share data-driven creatives, add them to a preview sheet.

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