Rich media developer's guide

Developer best practices

Google Marketing Platform strongly recommends that you gather site-specific specifications before you build any rich media creatives. However, sometimes you need to build creatives or mockups before a final media plan or site specs are available. You can avoid potential live issues with creatives by meeting best practice and lowest common denominator (LCD) requirements.

Best practices and LCDs are generated based on what's acceptable on most sites. There's always a possibility that the website where an ad is running has specs that are different from the ones in this article.

Use the Basic QA checklist as a simple way to check if your creative meets these guidelines.

Google Web Designer users: Open the Ad Validator panel to review file size and see other validation checks as you make your ad.

Guidelines for all rich media creatives

200 KB size limit for initial load

If the total, gzipped file size of all ad assets is over 200 KB:

  • Set up polite loading to wait for the publisher's page to load before you load larger files. Subsequent loads can be up to 300 KB, for an overall total load of 500 KB.
  • Delete unused elements, images, and videos from your creative. For more tips, see Reduce HTML5 file size.
Creatives with a file size larger than 4 MB, CPU usage of more than 15 seconds per 30 second period, or 60 seconds of total CPU usage may be unloaded by Chrome at serving time.

15-second autoplay animation time limit

Publishers usually don't budge on this point. No one wants to visit a site where ads are blinking and moving all over the place. It's distracting and annoying. Don't let your animation loop.

30-second total autoplay video and animation time limit

Stop animations after 30 seconds of play or add a "Click to continue" button to let the viewer choose to resume.

On exit, all creatives should:

  • Stop all videos (if creative includes videos).
  • Stop all sounds (if creative includes sound).
  • Resolve the ad to end-frame graphics.
  • Collapse the creative if expanded (expanding creatives only).
Video creative guidelines

Limit autoplay video to 30 seconds

If a video exceeds 30 seconds, add a "Click to continue" (or "Tap to continue") button at 30 seconds that plays the video when clicked.

Limit motion to 30 seconds total

If your ad includes both animation and video, the total duration of all motion should be no more than 30 seconds. For example, if the ad has 10 seconds of animation followed by a video that plays automatically, the video must stop after 20 seconds.

Give the viewer control of audio and video

After up to 30 seconds of autoplay, all video and audio should be started by the viewer using video controls (play/pause, stop, mute/unmute, and replay).

  • Always add video controls such as play, pause, mute, and replay.
  • When the video completes, show the replay button, but hide the rest of the video controls.

Video sound should only be turned on by the viewer

  • Most sites forbid autoplay video with sound.
  • Autoplay video creatives should include a "Replay with sound" or "Unmute" option. 
  • Videos that require a person to click to play can play with sound.
  • (Expanding creatives only) If a creative requires a click or tap to expand, video in the expanded state can autoplay with sound.
Expanding creative guidelines

Expansion size and direction

  • 300 x 250 creatives should have maximum expansion of 500 x 250 left and right.
  • 728 x 90 creatives should have maximum expansion of 728 x 180 up and down.
  • 160 x 600 creatives should have maximum expansion of 300 x 600 left and right.
  • 120 x 600 creatives should have maximum expansion of 300 x 600 left and right.

Expanding creative must have a close button

All expanding creatives should include a way to collapse the creative after it expands.

Close button and expand button shouldn't overlap

If the close button overlaps the expand button, or the ad might re-expand after a user clicks the close button.

Limit the size of the click to expand area

The clickable area that triggers expansion should no more than 25-33% of the collapsed area of the creative.

Expand and collapse methods should match

If an ad is click-to-expand, then it should be click-to-collapse. If an ad is rollover-to-expand, then it should be roll-off to collapse.

Automatically expanding creatives must collapse after 15 seconds

  • If a person interacts with the ad, the ad can stay open, otherwise it should collapse. For example, when an ad expands automatically, and the viewer clicks a "Play game" button, the ad can remain expanded.
  • Automatically expanding creatives don't trigger the rich media expansion timer because it's not triggered by a user interaction.
  • Use the startExpanded() call to pre-expand your creative. See the Expanding build guide for more information.

Clean up expanding elements

To avoid potential problems interacting with the publisher page, the <div> element used for expansion must be removed when the creative is collapsed.

Interstitial creative guidelines

Interstitial creatives must:

  • Have a close button
  • Close after 15 seconds

Interstitial creatives should never polite load

Interstitials should appear right away. Otherwise a user might go elsewhere before the ad appears, providing a poor site experience, which publishers want to avoid.

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