What Are The Creative Requirements For Responsive Display Ads?

Display ads aren’t the afterthought of remarketing they once were.

Strong creativity matched with smart targeting can inspire desire for transactions, as well as pre-qualify leads with critical insights.

No one wants to undermine a campaign in preparation.

That’s why this month’s Ask the PPC question is a great question for all those willing to take advantage of the offer.

Prabish asks from Kathmandu:

“Why doesn’t a responsive display campaign work for different types of creatives? What creative sizes will be used in a responsive display?”

We’ll look at the following questions to make sure you’ve set up the correct display:

  • Who can advertise on screen?
  • What designs are acceptable?
  • How are placements affected by creatives?

Note: There is quite a bit of overlap between the Google Display Network (GDN) and the Microsoft Audience Network (MAN), so the advice used for one applies to the other.

Who can advertise on screen

All ad networks have editorial policies about what domains can advertise on their channels.

If you fall into one of the following categories, display ads will not be fully/at all available to you.

  • gambling.
  • arms.
  • Adult game/entertainment.
  • counterfeit goods.
  • Predatory financial services.
  • Enabling dishonest behavior (fake passports, test takers, etc.).

If you’re trying to show your ads on all placements (including those for children and teens), you may run into additional restrictions.

Other than those restricted industries, display ads are somewhat accessible to most brands.

What designs are acceptable?

That’s the crux of this month’s question: What sizes and designs can be used.

Responsive display ads need the following sizes:

  • Landscape (1.91:1): 1200 x 628 (Minimum required: 600 x 314, Max file size: 5120KB).
  • Square: 1200 x 1200 (Minimum required: 300 x 300, Max file size: 5120KB).

Logos should be:

Horizontal Logo (4:1)

  • Recommended size: 1200 x 300.
  • Accurate. Size: 512 x 128.

square logo (1:1)

  • Recommended size: 1200 x 1200.
  • Accurate. Size: 128 x 128.

NB: The maximum file size for any image is 5120 KB.

Images should be crisp, not violate any editorial policies, and uploaded in the way most people would agree is correct (i.e. not sideways or upside down).

If your image is too large for the standard size, you will have the opportunity to crop it.

Screenshot from Google Ads, July 2022

Cropping can sometimes make your photo look worse, so be careful while using the tool.

Crop images in google adsScreenshot from Google Ads, July 2022

Video can be a powerful creative tool.

Make sure your video conveys the intended message even without sound.

Upload your 30-second video to YouTube, then link it to your Display Network campaign.

How are placements affected by creatives?

One of the biggest advantages of RDAs (Responsive Display Ads) is the number of placements they open.

Instead of being restricted to the right inventory of your uploaded assets, your campaigns will be able to reach more locations.

However, there are some limitations.

Ad networks will make educated guesses about your content.

If the publisher sets restrictions (adult content, trademarks, etc.), your ad will not show with them.

Additionally, if the publisher limits the placement sizes that can be shown, you may not get the placement because Google thinks your design performs better with other sizes.

The final takeaway

Both the amount of creative assets and content can lead to a shortage of placements.

It’s important to upload creatives that can be used for all positions and be realistic about the limitations your industry may impose.

Do you have a question about PPC? Submit via this form or tweet me at @navahf using the hashtag #AskPPC. See you next month!

More resources:

  • How to improve Google’s Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)
  • What are Display Ads: A Complete Guide for Digital Marketers
  • PPC 101: A Complete Guide to the Fundamentals of Pay-Per-Click Marketing

Featured Image: Paolo Bobetta/Search Engine Magazine

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