Upload and use a custom creative format

You can upload custom data-driven creative formats into Display & Video 360's Format Gallery, then use them to quickly build creatives in Ad Canvas. There are two ways to upload: publish directly from Google Web Designer, or upload a published ZIP in Display & Video 360.

If you've already started working on a creative in Ad Canvas, you can also replace the format in an existing creative.

Publish a format from Google Web Designer

When you build a custom creative format in Google Web Designer, you can publish it directly to your Display & Video 360 advertiser.

Click the down arrow on the Publish button at the top of the window and select Display & Video 360.

If you're publishing to Display & Video 360 for the first time, you'll be prompted to sign in to your Google account, and allow Google Web Designer to view and manage your reports in Display & Video 360.

In the publish dialog:

  1. For "Publish as", select Custom format. This publish setting is only available for dynamic creatives that use the Brand Awareness schema.
  2. Enter the partner name you want to use the custom format with. If you only have admin or standard access to a single partner, that partner is automatically selected.
  3. Enter the name of the advertiser you want to use the custom format with.
  4. Enter a custom format name.
  5. Select or deselect publishing options:
    • Inline local files - Places the JavaScript and CSS within the HTML file, rather than in external files.
    • Polite Loading - Delays the loading of assets until the hosting page finishes its initial load.
    • Groups Unpacking - Unpacks groups so the creative can load faster, but results in a larger file size.
    • Add Border - Adds a one-pixel border, using the color you specify.
  6. Select which CSS prefixes you want to include in the file. By default, all are selected to provide the widest range of browser compatibility.
  7. Click Publish.

Custom formats are not linked to Google Web Designer

When you publish a creative as a format, your Google Web Designer document is not associated with the custom format in your Display & Video 360 account the way a draft creative is. Each time you publish, you'll create a new custom format instead of updating the existing one. This helps you avoid making potentially unwanted changes to existing creatives that are built using a custom format.

Upload a format to Display & Video 360

  1. Open the advertiser you want to upload your custom format to.
  2. Click Creative and then Format Gallery in the left menu.
  3. Click Custom.
  4. Click Upload.
  5. Enter a name for your custom format in Display & Video 360.
  6. Upload your custom creative format .zip file. Note: This file must use the Brand Awareness schema. How to build a custom format
  7. Save.
  8. (Optional) Edit the format's description to add instructions on how to use it.

The first time you upload a custom format, the format's thumbnail will show only placeholder text and images. After you make a creative using a custom format, the thumbnail will show the first creative built from the format.

Build a creative using a custom format

  1. Open an advertiser, then click Creative and then Format Gallery in the left menu. (Alternatively, you can click Creative and then Creatives, then click New and then Creative from format gallery).
  2. Choose the format you wish to use. Under your chosen format, click Create.

You'll be taken to Ad Canvas, where you can begin to swap in your own images, text, and landing page URLs. Learn how to use Ad Canvas

Display & Video 360 macros are currently not supported in landing page URLs for data-driven creatives.

Edit a custom format in Display & Video 360

After you've uploaded a custom format, you can add a description to share details about what it is and how to use it.

Find a custom format

  1. Open the advertiser you uploaded the format to.
  2. Click Creative and then Format Gallery in the left menu.
  3. Click Custom. Find your custom format in the list.

Edit a format's name

  1. Find the custom format in Format Gallery. 
  2. Click Details. (Or hover over the format and click More actions More menuand thenEdit name, then skip to step 4.)
  3. On the format details page, hover over the format's name. Click Edit name Edit icon image.
  4. Add a description (up to 128 characters).
  5. Save.

Edit a format's description

  1. Find the custom format in Format Gallery. 
  2. Click Details. (Or hover over the format and click More actions More menuand thenEdit description, then skip to step 4.)
  3. On the format details page, hover over Add a description. Click Edit description Edit icon image.
  4. Add a description (up to 1000 characters).
  5. Save.

Download a format

  1. Find the custom format in Format Gallery. Click Details.
  2. On the page that opens, click Download format.
  3. The custom format .zip file will download to your computer. This file is the published creative .zip file, not the Google Web Designer source file.

Archive and delete custom formats

When you no longer need a format and want to hide it from the Format Gallery, you can archive it, then optionally delete it. To prevent deleting a format by mistake, you must first archive a format before you can delete it.

Archive a format

  1. Find the custom format in Format Gallery. Click More actionsMore menuand thenArchive.

Find an archived format

  1. Click Creative and then Format Gallery in the left menu.
  2. Click Custom.
  3. Click Filter Filterand thenArchived. Only archived custom formats will be shown.
  4. To go back to viewing unarchived custom formats, click Filter Filterand thenAll.

Unarchive a format

  1. After you've archived a format, filter the list to show only archived formats, then find the format you want to unarchive.
  2. Click More actionsMore menuand thenUnarchive.

Delete a format

  1. After you've archived a format, filter the list to show only archived formats, then find the format you want to delete.
  2. Click More actionsMore menuand thenDelete.

Replace a format in an existing creative

If you've already built a creative using a built-in data-driven creative format, you can replace the creative's format with a custom format while keeping any assets the two formats share.

You can replace the format for any data-driven creative that uses the Brand Awareness schema, including both custom formats and built-in Display & Video 360 formats, such as Panorama, Cue Cards, or Blank Slate.

  1. Open an existing data-driven creative or create a new one.
  2. From the action toolbar, click Replace format.
  3. Choose a locally published zip file of a custom format created in Google Web Designer.
  4. Save.

Limitations

  • After a creative has been published, the creative's dimensions cannot be changed. Make a new creative to use a format with different dimensions.
  • After a creative has been published, exits cannot be changed. All future custom formats you want to use with that creative must have the same number of exits with the same reporting labels.

What happens to previously saved changes when a format is replaced

When you replace a format in an existing creative, all the variants and dynamic rules you created will be preserved. After you publish the creative, only the assets used in your current format will be saved. To avoid increasing your published file size, any unused assets, text, or style values will be removed from your creative.

  • If your new format uses the same schema elements as the original format (for example a background image) the assets will now be applied to the new format.
  • If your new format has new assets (defined by its data schema binding) you will need to upload images or add text to all of your variants.
  • If your new format does not use some of the assets that were in the previous format, these elements will no longer appear in the asset panel. However, Google will keep this data in memory, so that if you update the format to add those assets back, all of your previous work will be preserved.

For example, imagine you added a logo to 10 variants of the Cue Cards format. Then you replaced Cue Cards with your own custom version with no logo, and no logo binding. You'd still see 10 variants (now using your new format), but without the logo, and the logo element would no longer show in the asset panel.

If you then make a second version that includes the logo, and replace the format again, you'd see 10 variants (now using the second custom format) and all would show the original logos you'd uploaded to the Cue Cards format. The logo element would also reappear in the asset panel.

Troubleshoot custom format uploads

If you're having trouble uploading your custom format, review these steps to fix the error, then re-upload your ZIP file.

Step 1: Make sure the creative is using the right schema and environment

Custom formats must:

Step 2: Make sure the creative dimensions match

If you're replacing the format of an existing creative, make sure the dimensions of the format you're uploading match the dimensions of the creative you're editing.

Step 3: Make sure the format uses the same events

If you're replacing the format of an existing published creative, make sure format has the same custom events as the creative you're editing.

To prevent problems with report data, after a creative has been published, you can't add or remove events.

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