Creative guidelines

Guidelines for audio creatives

Review best practices and common requirements for audio creatives to serve on Display & Video 360’s supported exchanges.

Best practices for audio creatives

Best practices: Check mark icon  For the best performance, follow these recommendations. 



 ​Download the Audio Ads Best Practices PDF

Creative considerations

1. Understand your audience

Research shows a personalized message is more engaging across mediums.

2. Consider the context

  • Understand platform specs and which ones support companions.
  • Consider how people listen to content on different platforms.

3. Keep it brief and memorable

  • Shorter clips have higher recall.
  • Include a clear call to action.
  • Repeat the brand name 2–3 times.

4. Be thoughtful with sound

  • Balance the mixing between voiceover, music, and other sound effects.
  • Use storytelling techniques for engagement and recall.

Audio

1. Use a consistent tone and tempo

  • For 30 second ads, aim for 55-75 words
  • For 15 second ads, aim for 40 words

2. Be conversational

A friendly tone transitions listeners between entertainment content and ads.

3. Include a call to action

Give listeners a chance to engage. A direct call to action drives higher clickthrough rates.

4. Tell a story

Transport the listener through the use of subtle effects and environmental sounds that create imagery in the mind.

5. Create multiple versions

Develop a variety of audio ads tailored to unique audience preferences.

Dos & Don'ts

Do

Don't

Use simple background music that sets an emotional tone and doesn’t compete with the voiceover. Incorporate jarring sounds effects (alarms, air horns) or cheesy jingles which could annoy listeners.
Ensure mixing of sound elements is balanced. Use multiple voices, which can confuse listeners.
Incorporate music only if it complements the message. Be intrusive, consider audio goes directly into a listener’s ears.
Consider using music similar to your audience’s preferences. Try to explain every benefit your product or service provides — stick to what’s most relevant for the audience.
Incorporate audio elements and storytelling techniques that transport the listener through sound.  

Companions

Use a companion to reinforce your message

  • A visual companion is the strongest connection back to the brand.
  • Use the brand logo, repeat the call to action, and other elements that reference the audio ad.

Asset requirements

Audio file

  • Supported file type: .mp3 

  • File size: Up to 1 GB if hosted on Display & Video 360. To meet specs across exchanges, always upload a source file with the highest possible quality. Individual exchanges may have different maximum file sizes, so plan accordingly.

  • Duration: Either 15 or 30 seconds.

  • Landing page URL: Required.

Display & Video 360 does not accept third-party VAST tags for audio creatives.

Companion asset

Requirements and supported companion types vary by publisher, check publisher ad specs for the most up-to-date information

  • Supported file types: .jpg, .png, .zip
  • File size: Up to 250 GB
  • Dimensions: Varies by publisher
About companion creatives for audio

Display & Video 360-hosted audio: Advertisers that host audio creatives in Display & Video 360 can assign display creatives (supports image and HTML5 assets) as companions.

Campaign Manager-hosted audio: Advertisers that use Campaign Manager can add companion creatives to their in-stream audio creatives. The companion will sync to Display & Video 360 along with the creative.

Content requirements

Most audio inventory has the same content requirements as standard creatives. For more info, see General guidelines for creatives.

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