Google’s New Mobile Ad Formats & Tools

Oct 6th, 2014 | By | Category: Ad Operations

As Advertising Week in New York City kicks off, Google is introducing new mobile display formats and tools that will roll out over the coming months. The push to make it easier for advertisers to run campaigns on the mobile web and in apps — with creative units that perform better than traditional banners — is being made across the Google Display and AdMob Networks as well as DoubleClick.

For brand advertisers, new mobile lightbox engagement ads dynamically resize to fit any ad size across devices. Existing ads can be turned into engagement ads in HTML5. Advertisers pay when users engage with the ads to expand them. This ad type will be available soon in the AdWords Ad Gallery for Google Display Network (GDN) campaigns.

Below is a Google-provided mockup of a mobile lightbox engagement ad for Kate Spade. When expanded, users can click on a video, images and a location finder.


Invitation State


Expanded State

In-app video ads will become available across the AdMob network — Google’s app advertising network — beyond gaming apps where they run now. These are TrueView ads, which YouTube advertisers will be familiar with.

The final new mobile ad update is what Google calls the magazine style text ad format for apps. These are already available on mobile websites via the Google Display Network, now Google is opening up inventory on the AdMob network. On the Web, these ads are rendered like display ads (and compete in the auction with display banners). On AdMob, the magazine style text ads display as an interstitial, as opposed to the traditional banner-like anchor ad format.


As hinted at above, Google is also going to be rolling out tools to convert existing advertising assets to the formats that will work across devices and screen sizes.

An auto-resizing tool will automatically generate new image ad sizes for mobile on the GDN. For browsers and devices that don’t support Flash (i.e. Apple products), a Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tool will be available for GDN and DoubleClick Campaign Manager. Google will automatically display HTML5 versions of ads will be shown when Flash is not supported.

In DoubleClick (which faces new competition from Facebook’s newly relaunched Atlas ad serving platform), Google now offers 29 HTML5 and in-app formats in DoubleClick Studio Layouts, “a tool that lets you upload your existing creative assets into a pre-built rich media ad template to quickly create rich ads that work on smartphones and tablets”.

These new formats and tools to lure — or push — advertisers (both performance and brand) to mobile follow on new offerings for app marketers, including ad formats for search and YouTube and analytics tools. Earlier this month, the company said it would begin changing the way mobile search ads display to increase click-through rates.

From Google’s official blog

It’s true that mobile devices offer a new canvas for advertisers to connect with consumers, but painting on this canvas has not always been easy. Many marketers started out by shrinking down their existing display ads for mobile, but this didn’t always make for a great consumer experience. They also discovered that frequently their existing display ads were not able to run on mobile devices or on mobile browsers. But now, a new generation of display ads is changing how advertisers engage with consumers on mobile devices.

Today, we’re excited to announce that over the coming months we will launch several mobile display ad formats and tools across the Google Display Network, the AdMob Network and DoubleClick that will make it easier for advertisers to build successful ads that work across screens.

Display ads built for mobile
The new display ad formats that will be rolling out in the coming months are designed specifically for mobile environments:

  • Big brand ads, built for mobile and resized for every screen:  Mobile lightbox Engagement Ads use your existing brand assets to automatically create engaging rich media ads in HTML5 that run seamlessly across devices and screens. The ads will dynamically resize to fit any ad size, making them quick-to-create, and you only pay when users engage. We built a demo of this new format for Kate Spade’s 2013 holiday campaign. These will soon be available in the AdWords Ad Gallery.
  • Video ads for the AdMob network that people can choose to watch: TrueView ads have already been running across gaming apps in the AdMob network. In the coming months, they will roll out broadly across more apps in AdMob. With TrueView, your ads can reach consumers while they engage with their favorite apps. Plus, you only pay when a user chooses not to skip your ad
  • Ads that stay put even while a person scrolls down the page: The anchor ad format is a mobile web ad unit that sits at the bottom of the screen on a mobile device. As a user scrolls down the page, the ad remains “anchored” to the bottom of the screen. The user can dismiss the ad at any time.
  • Magazine glossiness for your existing text ads: The magazine style text ad format (previously launched for mobile websites) has now been extended as an interstitial in-app format for the AdMob network, bringing the glossiness of print magazine ads to the ease and practicality of a text ad. Google Display Network text ads automatically become eligible to serve in this new ad space.
  • Tools to help make your existing ads mobile-ready:
    These next generation mobile formats will make it easier for advertisers to build beautiful and engaging mobile ads that work across screens, but we also wanted to make it easier to do more with your existing ads designed for desktop. We’ve developed three new tools, that will be available in the coming months, to convert your existing ads into versions that will work across screens and devices.

    • Automatic mobile sizes for your image ads: The auto-resizing tool for the Google Display Network will automatically create new sizes of image ads, including mobile-specific ad sizes.
    • Interactive HTML5 backups when Flash isn’t supported: The Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tools for the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Campaign Manager will automatically create an HTML5 version of your Flash ads. When these ads are served on a device or browser that doesn’t support Flash, the system can show the interactive HTML5 ad instead of a static image backup.
    • HTML5 and in-app rich media ads built in minutes: There are now 29 HTML5 and in-app formats available in DoubleClick Studio Layouts, a tool that let’s you upload your existing creative assets into a pre-built rich media ad template to quickly create rich ads that work on smartphones and tablets.

    With these new tools and formats, we’re making it easier for advertisers to develop beautiful display ads that just work, regardless of screen or device, ensuring a better experience for both consumers and brands.

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