About ad customisers

Ad customisers adapt your text ads to what someone is searching for, which device she's using, where he’s located, or even the date, time of day or day of the week. They can insert a price, the time left before a sale ends, and any other text that you define. For example, a line of text that says "Prices starting as low as ____!" could be filled in with the right sale price – and that's just the beginning.


  • Tailored messaging: Ads are hyper-specialised to each search or web page being viewed.
  • Scalability: Customisers let a single text ad have hundreds of variations, and show the most relevant variation to each potential customer.
  • Reporting: The automatic updates that happen when an ad is triggered don't reset the ad's performance data.

How they work

You can include ad customisers anywhere in your text ad except for the Final URL field. These ads only show on the Search Network.

Ad customisers are parameters that go within curly brackets {like this}. The parameter gets replaced by dynamic text when your ad is triggered by a user's search. 

Customisers fill in your ad text using ad customiser data that you've uploaded to Google Ads in a spreadsheet file. Customisers reference the name of the data set, as well as an attribute that it includes. Find out more

With customisers, you can also provide a default value for your ad even if the ad customiser does not show or your text exceeds the character limit.

Customiser data can include anything that you choose

Customisers work like the keyword insertion feature, which uses the {keyword:default text} parameter to put the keyword used for targeting into your ad text. Ad customisers can insert any type of text at all.

  • Are you running a sale? Customisers can display certain discounts with certain products, for sales that change periodically, or that are limited to a specific time period.
  • Are you managing a large inventory? Customisers can use brand-related keywords to display specific details about the product that someone's looking for.
  • Do you sell your products in multiple cities and regions? Customisers can use someone’s physical location (or the location that they’re interested in) to show location-specific pricing, product availability or calls to action.

When you use customisers well, they give people confidence that you have what they're looking for, as well as an incentive to buy it from you.


You want to target by keyword

Using target keywords lets your ad include more details about what potential customers are looking for. This method tends to work well for advertisers with a large inventory whose product details are a strong selling point.


Scott's kitchen supply shop offers hundreds of different stand mixers. He wants his ads to show details for each model, along with the current sale price that he's offering.

Ad customisers let him offer these details for all of his mixers, with only one ad. All he needs to do is upload ad customiser data with the details associated with each mixer. A line from this ad customiser spreadsheet might look like this:


Target keyword Model (text) Capacity (number) Type (text) Start_price (price) Sale_ends (date)
ProWhip 300 ProWhip 300 5 tilt-head £199 2015/05/15 20:00:00

The "Target keyword" column shows what keyword should trigger the details in the other columns, each of which specify what type of details that they include (text, number and so on).

When Scott writes his ad, he uses customisers that reference each column in place of specific details. The first part of the customiser ("Mixers") is the name that he gives to his data set, and the second part (for example, "Model") is the name of a column.


{=Mixers.Model} Stand Mixer
{=Mixers.Capacity} quart {=Mixers.Type} stand mixer.
{=Mixers.Start_price} - sale ends in {=COUNTDOWN(Mixers.Sale_ends)}.

Now, if someone searches for "buy prowhip 300" on 10 May 2015, and this ad appears, then the customisers update the ad according to the "prowhip 300" keyword, like this:


ProWhip 300 Stand Mixer
Ad www.example.com
5 litre tilt-head stand mixer.
£199 – sale ends in 5 days.

Scott's ad now gives people confidence that he has what they're looking for (a 5-litre tilt-head stand mixer), as well as an incentive (sale price) to buy a mixer from his shop.

You want to use customisers across a campaign or ad group


Scott's account is organised such that each campaign is focused on one category of appliances (e.g. stand mixers, blenders and bread machines), with one ad group per brand. He finds that when people look for a particular model, they often end up buying a different model within the same brand, so he wants to highlight his large selection for specific brands. To do this, he needs to customise his ads by ad group and use the "Target campaign" and "Target ad group" columns. Here's an example line from his ad customiser data:


Target campaign Target ad group Brand (text) Num_models (number) Start_price (price)
Stand Mixers ProWhip ProWhip 9 £150

He then creates an ad like this for each ad group:


{=Mixers.Brand} Stand Mixers
{=Mixers.Num_models} models to choose from.
Starts as low as {=Mixers.Start_price}.

Someone searching for "prowhip 300" might see his ad appear like this:

ProWhip Stand Mixers
Ad www.example.com
9 models to choose from.
Starts as low as £150.
You want to target by location

If you sell products in different cities, or if you have multiple shop locations, you can use customisers to update the details on your ad based on someone’s physical location or the location that they’re interested in.


Scott now runs a chain of kitchen supply shops throughout the United Kingdom. He wants his ads to highlight discounts offered in his shops that people are near.

Ad customisers let him offer location-specific information using only one ad. All he needs to do is upload ad customiser data with the details associated with each location. A line from this ad customiser spreadsheet might look like this:


Target location Brand (text) Sale (text)
Manchester ProWhip 20% off mixers in our Manchester store.
United Kingdom ProWhip Best price guaranteed.

The ad text he enters might look like this:
{=Mixers.Brand} Stand Mixer
Find the right mixer for you!


Now, if someone searches for "prowhip manchester”, then they may see an ad like this:

ProWhip Stand Mixer
Ad www.example.com
20% off mixers in our Manchester store.
Find the right mixer for you!

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