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Variants for video ads

Variants are different versions of a video ad created from a single document. For example, the same video document could have multiple variants for different products, with each variant switching in media, text, and images specific to a product.

Similarly to dynamic ads, variants use bindings to designate which elements and clips may differ between variants. Instead of using a data feed to provide attribute values when serving the ad, you specify the different values within the document, then export the variants as separate, complete video ads when publishing in Google Web Designer.

You should finalize any video and audio clips for the default variant before setting up any variant bindings for them. Variant bindings and data can be erased by some types of edits to clips that already have variant bindings.

The Dynamic panel

The Dynamic panel lets you access bindings and variants for your video ad. The panel contains two tabs:

Variant bindings

Variant bindings specify which elements and media clips and which of their attributes can differ between variants.

You can view all variant bindings in a video document in the Dynamic panel by selecting the Bindings tab.

Add a binding

If you want to change an element or media clip for a variant, it first needs a variant binding.

To add a variant binding:

  1. Specify the element or clip that you want to bind, using either of the following methods:
    • Right-click the element or clip that you want to bind on the stage, in the timeline, or in the Outliner, then select Add variant binding.
    • In the Dynamic panel, select the Bindings tab and click the Add binding button at the bottom of the panel. Select the element from the dropdown that appears.
  2. Select the attribute that you want to bind.

To set different values for this binding, learn how to configure a variant.

Delete bindings

If you want a bound attribute to use the default variant's value for all variants, you can delete the binding for that attribute.

To delete a binding:

  1. In the Dynamic panel, select the Bindings tab.
  2. Select the bindings you want to delete.
  3. Click the Deleted selected bindings trash can icon button.

Edit a binding

You can change the element, clip, or attribute that a binding applies to.

To edit a binding:

  1. In the Dynamic panel, select the Bindings tab.
  2. Click the element ID or attribute that you want to change.
  3. Select the new element ID or attribute from the dropdown.

Any variant data for the previous binding is cleared.

Variants

A default variant is automatically created for each video ad, and can't be renamed or deleted. The default variant is the version of the document whose values will be used for any attributes without bindings or variant data.

Elements with variant data display a diamond icon in the element label on the stage and in the Outliner.

Create a new variant

You should create a new variant for each version of your video ad. Each variant will be exported as a separate video.

To create a new variant:

  1. In the Dynamic panel, select the Variants tab.
  2. At the bottom of the panel, click the Create new variant button.

The new variant is initially identical to the default variant. Customize the variant by following the steps in the next section.

Configure a variant

Configuring a variant overrides the default variant's values with your edits for that variant only.

To configure a variant:

  • On the stage:
    1. In the Dynamic panel, select the Variants tab.
    2. Select the variant you want to edit. The stage reflects the active variant.
    3. Make changes directly to any attributes that have bindings.
  • In the Dynamic panel:
    1. In the Dynamic panel, select the Variants tab.
    2. Either double-click the variant, or right-click the variant and select Edit. The panel switches to the variant editor view.
    3. Enter new values for the attributes that you want to change. When the field is blank and no variant data is specified, values from the default variant are displayed in gray.
    4. Click the arrow at the top or the X to go back to the list of variants.

Note the following when editing media clip sources or in points for a variant:

  • Clips cannot be shorter in duration than the default clip.
  • The variant's in point can't be set so late that there's insufficient source media for the clip duration.
  • If the variant's clip source is too short in duration to use the clip's in point, the in point is automatically adjusted.
  • A video without audio can't be used as the source of an audio clip or a linked video clip.
  • Editing the source of a linked clip will automatically add a binding and change the source for the other linked clip.

Rename a variant

Variants are automatically assigned a generic name when they're created, but you can rename them.

To rename a variant:

  1. Right-click the variant in the Dynamic panel.
  2. Select Rename.
  3. Enter the new name and press Enter.

Duplicate a variant

If you want to add a variant that's identical to an existing variant, you can duplicate the existing variant.

To duplicate a variant:

  1. Right-click the variant in the Dynamic panel.
  2. Select Duplicate.

Delete a variant

If you no longer need a variant, you can delete it.

To delete a variant, use one of the following methods:

  • Right-click the variant in the Dynamic panel, then select Delete.
  • Select the variant in the Dynamic panel, then select the Delete trash can icon button at the bottom of the panel.

Export variant data

You can export variant data as a CSV file so that you can edit it in a spreadsheet rather than in Google Web Designer.

To export variant data:

  1. In the Dynamic panel, select the Variants tab.
  2. At the bottom of the panel, click the Export variants (CSV) button.
  3. Save the CSV file to your computer.

Edit a variant data CSV file

You can use Google Sheets or another spreadsheet program to open and edit the CSV file. During your edits, keep in mind the following:

  • Variant bindings (element IDs and attributes) can't be edited. Changes to the header row will cause errors upon import.
  • Values for the default variant are included for your reference, but can't be edited.
  • You can add new variants by filling in additional rows.
  • Removing variant rows will cause those variants to be deleted upon import.

When you're done making changes, import the edited CSV file by following the steps in the next section.

Import variant data

After you've exported and edited your variant data, you should import it so that your edits are reflected in your video document.

To import variant data:

  1. Click the Import variants (CSV) button.
  2. Select your CSV file.

The imported data replaces all existing variant data.

Publish variants

When you publish a video document, you can select which variants you want to export. Each variant is exported as a separate video file.

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