Google Display and Video Network

Image ads

Third-Party Served Ads

Video ad formats in the Ad gallery

In AdWords, the Ad gallery is a free ad-creation tool that offers various ad templates in different categories, including video. You’ll need to use this tool to build video ads that use cost-per-click (CPC) , cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM), or cost-per-view (CPV) bidding.

Before you get started building and placing your ads on these sites, learn more about the video formats available and how they work:

  • Explore the available video ad formats for the Ad gallery
  • Understand where these formats may appear and how they’re priced
  • Discover how to monitor the performance of your video ads


You can also build video ads using AdWords for video. Explore the benefits and differences between these two tools

Understanding the differences between similar Ad gallery video formats

There are several video formats that may be created within the same tools, and function similarly. It can be confusing to understand the difference between some of these formats and the tools used to create them, so we’ve summarized some important things to help you better understand your video ad options:

The in-video static image (overlay) template

These ads appear within streaming premium partner and user video content on YouTube, or across the Google Display Network. There are two versions of the overlay: a static image, and an interactive Flash overlay. The static image format is available using an Ad gallery Video category. The Flash overlay format is available for a limited number of advertisers.

How it works

  • Ads appear within an online video stream based on when the video publisher chooses to begin displaying the ad. The ad appears within the bottom 20% of the video stream’s play space. Only one ad will appear in this space during each video stream.
  • Ads are collapsible, so a viewer can hide or show the ad while they watch the video. The ad will also automatically minimize after several seconds.
  • Depending on the ad format, a viewer can click the overlay to initiate one of the following: a video ad within the video player, an interactive Flash ad within the video player (limited availability), or a new browser window featuring the ad’s landing page. These ads will be labeled with the notation Ads by Google.

See video ad demos with the in-video static image overlay

TrueView in-stream ad templates

These formats allow you to place video ads within video content being streamed online. Your ad can appear within popular content on YouTube – in full-length TV shows and movies and in front of clips from content partners – and on video sites on the Google Display Network, such as,, and (in the US).

If you’re focused on expanding your brand, in-stream ads can help you make that happen. Nearly one third of time spent online is spent consuming video. With AdWords, you’re able to target specific content without having to bundle your ads, and this also means detailed reporting so you’ll know exactly where your ads appeared, and how customers interacted with them.

How it works

There are two templates for in-stream ads within the Ad gallery:

  • In-stream ad: Place a 15-second video ad or 30-second video ad within video publisher content.
  • Skippable in-stream ad: Place an in-stream ad that includes the option for customers to skip the ad within video publisher content. (This template has limited availability.)

When an online video is served to a website in the Google Display Network, customers will see an in-stream video play automatically before, during, or after online video content depending on where the content publisher chooses to show ads within their video content. The video will cover the entire area of original content video space.

The ad will play for a maximum duration of 60 seconds, although publishers can limit the ad content shown to 15 seconds or less. Web users won’t be able to skip the in-stream ad content.

If the viewer clicks the ad while it plays, the browser will automatically launch the ad’s landing page in a new browser tab or window.

If you’ve already got a television campaign — we’re not suggesting you stop advertising online! In-stream video is a great complement to television. Here are a few benefits you may experience if you combine your television ad campaigns with in-stream ads:

  • Measurement: Know the effectiveness of your ad through conversion metrics and viewer behavior.
  • Flexibility: A 2010 Nielsen IAG study found that re-purposed television ads perform well online, oftentimes beating web original video ads. (US only)
  • Brand Impact: A recent Nielsen study found that online video advertising outperforms television advertising for brand recall, message recall, and likability. Nielsen found that general online video ad recall is 65%, which is roughly 40% higher than TV ads. (US only)
  • Viewer Engagement: A 2009 Online Video Engagement Consortium study found that online TV show viewers are 28% more likely to pay attention than live TV show viewers. (US only)

You can bid on either a CPM or CPC basis:

  • CPC: You won’t be charged for each play of your video, but rather for customer clicks that open your landing page while your video ad is playing.
  • CPM: Charges are counted as soon as the ad plays. The CPM minimum for partner video sites is set individually by each publisher and therefore varies. This minimum is also specific to the US, and may vary per market.

Companion banner ads: There’s no additional cost to add these to your in-stream ads. Not all video sites on the Google Display Network support companion ads. For those that do, they’re free and aren’t counted as an additional impression. Instead, they’re counted as a single impression combined with the video ad.

The expandable video ad template

Expandable video ads appear on sites across the Google Display Network. When a customer clicks on an expandable ad, it expands to twice its width or height, depending on the format. Expandable formats encourage more interaction from interested customers by increasing your ad’s presence on the page.

The following ad sizes are supported for expandable templates:

  • 120 x 600
  • 468 x 60
  • 728 x 90
  • 300 x 250
  • 160 x 600
  • 336 x 280

We don’t charge you when a viewer clicks to expand your ad. However, we do charge you if a customer visits your landing page after clicking on the expanded ad.

Expansions will be listed in reports as “interactions,” so you can track how people are interacting with your ads.

Next steps

Lightbox ads

In light of the recent announcement of the Chrome Plugin Power Saver feature that may become the default as early as September 2015, we highly recommend that you build your Lightbox creatives using HTML5 rather than Flash. Building in HTML5 will prevent your Flash ads from being automatically paused as well as avoid negative impact to performance and reach. You can also choose from one of the templatesin Ready Ad Gallery or Studio Layouts to build HTML5 ads within minutes!

What’s the policy

Lightbox ads are an opportunity for you to reach, delight, and engage with new audiences through rich, interactive formats. You pay only when viewers engage with your brand’s message. Upon engagement, the ad itself can be a large canvas that you use to promote your brand’s message, whether the canvas is a video carousel, interactive game, or catalog.

The rules for image ads also generally apply to Lightbox ads. To ensure your Lightbox ads are appropriate, we have additional policy requirements for using Lightbox ad formats, as shown below.

Lightbox ad formats must use the cost per engagement (CPE) bidding method, and are required to run only in Lightbox ad campaigns.

Technical requirements

Custom Lightbox ads

Custom Lightbox ads are third-party served Lightbox ads (HTML5 or Flash) that are fully developed by creative agencies, according to AdWords specs. This ad format must be hosted in Doubleclick Studio, trafficked from Doubleclick Campaign Manager (DCM), and implemented in AdWords.


  • All custom Lightbox ads are DoubleClick-served and can be implemented as either HTML5 ads or Flash ads.
  • Invitation state unit sizes:
    • 300×250, 728×90, 160×600, 468×60, 120×600, 200×200, 250×250, 300×600, 336×280, and 320×50
  • Expanded state unit sizes:
    • HTML5: The fullscreen API must be used. The fullscreen API automatically chooses the maximum size allowed by the Google AdSense API, expanding the ad to a majority of the viewer’s screen with room to click out on desktop or mobile web.
      • Flash: You can set the size up to 1000×600.
  • Expansion methods:
    • The Google AdSense API automatically introduces a two-second delay on hover. The ad can’t begin expanding until the AdSense API notifies the ad that expansion is completed.
    • If you’re removing mouseover handlers, remove them only once the expansion state is done expanding. For example, in studio this can happen in the onLoaded() function or later, not in the start() function.
    • Expansion occurs upon hover or rollover on desktop.
    • Expansion occurs upon tap in the central region of the ad for touch enabled devices. If a tap occurs within 10 pixels of the border, there will be a 2-second “expanding” notification allowing user to tap again to cancel the expansion in case ad tap was unintentional. Note that ads cannot trigger expansion upon a viewer’s attempt to scroll the page.
  • Invitation panel
    • Expansion methods:
      • You must include an expansion call-to-action (CTA) phrase that clearly indicates the expansion action (for example, “hover to expand”).
        • If it’s not already provided in the template, the advertiser must provide two invitations for creatives running across devices. These must include an expansion call-to-action phrase that clearly indicates expansion action per environment (for example, “hover to expand” on desktop invitation and “tap to expand” on tablet invitation).
      • The invitation panel cannot be expanded until an expansion CTA is visible. For an optimum viewer experience, we recommend that you place the expansion CTA as early as possible on load and making the entire invitation state hot for expansion.
      • The invitation panel cannot contain exit hotspots.
      • The invitation panel can have auto-play video or animation for up to 30 seconds without sound.
  • Expanded panel:
    • The expanded panel must collapse on click-through or exit.
  • Close methods:
    • The lightbox component automatically adds a “Close” btn in the upper-right corner of the creative that covers a 12×12 area.
    • Click X in the upper-right of an expanded state unit (or click the grayed background of the lightbox in the expanded state).
    • You can also define the creative itself with a close method within its own content. This is not required.
  • Frame rate: Maximum 24 frames per second (FPS)
  • Flash version(s): Flash 9 through 11.2
  • ActionScript (AS) version(s): AS3
  • Expandable ads currently depend on the use of JavaScript tags. Iframe tags cannot be used.
  • Note: A mobile video Masthead or Universal Video Masthead cannot be repurposed for a Masthead in Lightbox ad.


  • Initial load size:
    • 150 kilobytes (KB) maximum is recommended for the fastest initial load time.
    • For an optimum viewer experience, we recommend compressing and using the minimum required assets in initial load.
  • Total non-viewer initiated load size*: 2.2 MB maximum
    • *Total non-viewer initiated load size includes initial and subsequent/polite loads.
  • Viewer-initiated load size:
    • Up to 10 MB per interaction. (YouTube Video and streaming video are not counted.)
    • 2.2 MB maximum total load size is recommended for optimal performance. For a total load size exceeding 2.2 MB, bandwidth targeting settings will be applied.
  • CPU usage: For an optimum viewer experience, Lightbox ads must not exceed 40% of the central processing unit (CPU) capacity of a viewer’s computer.


  • Border and iFrame:
    • The ad’s border must stay within iFrame in both the invitation state and the expanded state.
    • On all invitation states with partially black, white, or transparent backgrounds, you must add a visible border of a contrasting color to the majority background color of the creative.
  • Mouseover policy:
    • The Google AdSense API introduces a two-second delay on hover. The ad can’t begin expanding until the AdSense API notifies the ad that expansion is completed.
  • Special design features:
    • The invitation state must have a z-index value that is less than 9,010. This is to accommodate for any online behavioral option icon provided by Google or a third-party vendor.
    • Google Display Network auction campaigns: For a Lightbox ad in a collapsed or invitation state, we recommend leaving a 76×15-pixel space in the upper-right corner of the ad to accommodate the AdChoices logo, which will be automatically inserted. Learn more about the in-ads notice for the Google Display Network.
  • Backup image:
    • A backup image of 150 KB or less is required for all creatives. There is a dimensions limit of 1024×1050 pixels
    • There should be no Close X btn on the image.
    • A backup image must use a single, generic click-through CTA. Don’t use hover or rollover CTAs because backup images cannot expand.
    • Flash content and Flash fallback (SWFs and FLVs) are not permitted in HTML5 ads, except for SWFs when using the HTML5 YouTube player and served on desktop.
    • All HTML5 ads must gracefully fall back to support basic HTML5 and to ensure full functionality across all modern browsers.

Video and animation

  • Autoplay video:
    • Maximum 30 seconds long
  • Viewer-initiated video and animation:
    • Upon expansion, video can play with sound in the expanded panel.
    • Small countdown clock (200×50) is permitted in the expanded panel.
    • Pause/play, mute/unmute, and an indicator of the video duration and elapse status are required for video. If any of these functionalities are hardware-controlled when the ad serves on tablet, the corresponding btns are not required.
    • Maximum 4 minutes long per video or animation.
    • Exits from YouTube video annotations must be set to open a new window.
    • An HTML5 video tag or a pre-determined YouTube player is required for HTML5 creatives.
  • Actions on viewer clicks (video):
    • Once the pause or stop btn is clicked, the video must stop.
    • After an exit click, all sound and video must stop.
  • Progressive and streaming video:
    • Videos can be progressive or streaming.
  • For HTML5 creatives:
    • CSS animation is recommended.
    • For non-YouTube-hosted video, both MP4 and WebM (or Ogg) formats must be used to ensure compatibility across all major browsers. YouTube videos are exempt from this requirement as the appropriate format will be called automatically.
  • If your Lightbox ad contains live video, please see the live streaming in ads guidelines.

Serving and tracking

  • Serving capabilities:
    • Lightbox ads may be served only with DoubleClick Rich Media through DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA).
    • In-banner survey invitations and in-banner surveys are not allowed.
    • To ensure your ads are eligible for the most amount of inventory, ads should follow these SSL-compliant ad guidelines.
  • Custom event and interaction tracking: All tracking and interaction metrics should be determined by the client and Media Solutions consultant before each launch.
  • Impression and click-tracking with third-party pixels
    • Multiple exit URLs are allowed.
    • Impression- and expansion-tracking is accepted through certified third-party vendors only.
    • Click-through tracking is accepted through the use of redirect URLs.
    • Google does not offer credits or make-goods if there are reporting discrepancies with a vendor.
  • Brand study tracking:
    • Exposure and panel-based brand studies accepted only through certified third-party vendors. Given the tablet environment, some vendors are not approved currently, but your Media Solutions consultant can evaluate the specific research vendor’s pixels prior to launch.
    • Brand study pixels cannot be trafficked directly in DFA, and must be implemented in the Flash file and called only after completion of initial load. Brand study pixels may fire on engagement.
  • Remarketing pixels
    • The collection of customer lists from remarketing pixels in ads is not accepted. However, you may either target ads to existing remarketing lists, or use tag-less storyboarding remarketing. Storyboarding allows advertisers to create a list of people who engaged with their Lightbox ad, which can be used for a remarketing campaign. This feature requires a list of beta testers from Google. If you are interested, please contact your Google representative. A list of engaged customers will appear along with your other customer lists on the “Remarketing” tab in AdWords. Learn more about our remarketing policy.
  • Social:
    • Before integrating any social gadget (for example, a social feed) into a Lightbox ad, an interested vendor must first be certified. This applies to both fourth-party calls and any cookies that are set or read.
    • The use of social icons and clicks to a social landing page is allowed.
    • Due to business and legal considerations, we don’t allow ads to run on the Google Display Network or on Google sites that incorporate the Facebook “Like” btn or the “Like” box plugin. Also, the recently updatedFacebook developer policies prohibit this feature from being used within an ad, and the Facebook Brand Resources website re-state this policy. Therefore, use of the API and any of the logos associated with this feature are not permitted for use within the Google Display Network or on any Google sites. Ads that incorporate this feature or icon, whether the feature is functioning or not, will be disapproved.
    • If you have further questions about how to incorporate Facebook APIs or features into your ad, please contact Facebook directly. Google is not in a position to interpret a third party’s terms for you. Please contact your own legal counsel for any questions about how to interpret the scope of Facebook’s Developer Policies or Site terms.

HTML5 feature readiness

  • Not all HTML5 features are supported in all browsers. For a visual representation see the HTML5 & CSS3 Readiness website. For a full compatibility list see the Can I use website.

Supported devices

  • HTML5 Lightbox ads may be built specifically for desktop, mobile or cross-devices (desktop, tablets, mobile). Tablet-only Lightbox ads are not currently supported.
  • All desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones are eligible to serve HTML5 Lightbox ads. WAP and mid-range mobile phones are not supported.
Ready Lightbox ads and Studio Layouts

Ready Lightbox ads are a pre-designed set of templates available in AdWords. Use your existing brand assets, including YouTube videos, images, and maps to easily create rich brand experiences. Once you upload your assets, AdWords auto-generates ads, which seamlessly serve across all sizes and devices (desktop computers, mWeb, and mApp). Your ads will be ready in minutes, and will appear in your AdWords ad group.

Studio Layouts offer the same pre-designed set of templates only in DoubleClick Studio. Layouts may also be used to create Lightbox ads in minutes. The ads are then trafficked in Doubleclick Campaign Manager (DCM) and implemented in AdWords.

Ad sizes

  • A single set of assets can be used to serve ads on every device and screen by auto-generating ads in the sizes below.
    • 160×600, 250×250, 300×250, 300×600, 320×50, 468×60, and 728×90

Note: Advertisers can choose to opt out of ad sizes.

Brand assets

  • Logo image
    • The logo is the image that appears in the header of the ad, and will be used in both invitation and expanded states.
    • PNG, JPG, or Static GIF files are accepted.
    • 150 KB maximum file size. There is a dimensions limit of 1024×1050 pixels
    • Minimum dimensions are 50×50. Using a vector-based logo is recommended so size doesn’t matter, and it scales across screen sizes.
    • We recommend a transparent image, such as a transparent PNG or GIF file, that is optimized for good contrast on a semi-transparent background of 80% opacity black or white.
  • Logo click URL
    • The logo URL is the URL to which the logo image in the expanded state navigates on click or touch. The URL must match the domain of the display URL.
  • Header message
    • The header message is a 1- to 3-line description to use in invitation and expanded states. A minimum of 1 line is required, but at least 2 lines are strongly recommended. Lines 2 and 3 scroll every 8 seconds as the ad animates.
    • There is no character limit, but fewer than 35 characters per line are recommended. We also recommend using the ad preview to see how the message rotates and appears across devices.
  • Header call-to-action btn
    • The header call-to-action is the description for the call-to-action btn in the expanded state.
    • 20 characters maximum are allowed for most languages and 10 characters maximum are allowed for double-byte languages (languages that use double-width characters, like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean).
  • Header call-to-action URL
    • The call-to-action URL is the URL to which the call-to-action btn navigates on click or touch. The URL must match the domain of the display URL.
  • Display URL
    • The display URL must match the domain of the landing page URL. (Note: The display URL won’t appear in the ad.)

Style guidelines

  • Theme
    • Dark or light visual theme
  • Accent color
    • Use the color picker or enter a color hex code to select the accent color of branded elements.
  • Background color
    • Use the color picker or enter a color hex code to select the background color.
  • Background fade opacity
    • Select 0-100% for the opacity of the background color fading with the visual theme, where 0% is completely transparent and 100% is completely opaque.
  • Google font name
    • Choose a font from that looks appropriate for both desktop and mobile size previews. Please note that not all the fonts available on are available for use in the Ad gallery.

Reported metrics

  • Impressions: Number of impressions served
  • Engagements: Number of engagements (viewers who expand the ad past full content load)
  • Engagement rate: Number of engagements received divided by the number of impressions served
  • Average CPE: Average cost-per-engagement
  • Video play: Number of video activations per video
  • Quartile video plays (25, 50, 75, and 100): Number of video plays reaching x% of video completion; applies to all the videos
  • Expansions: Number of taps or hovers on the ad
  • Non-billable click-throughs: Clicks on a call-to-action btn in an expanded state to a third-party web page

Core assets

Family status

  • Google assigns a “family status” to all ads. Lightbox ads and the content they point to must be “family safe.” Lightbox ads and their associated websites cannot contain “non-family” or “adult” content. For more information see the policy on adult-oriented content.

Submissions and turnaround times

Custom Lightbox ads

  • Creative assets for your Lightbox ads (or creatives published to DoubleClick QA) should be delivered to DoubleClick no later than 9-11 business days before your campaign’s start date. Note that, depending on creative volume and complexity, production and QA might take longer.
  • Submission and turnaround times vary by region. Please contact your media solutions consultant for region-specific rules.
  • A maximum of 2 creative revisions for site-served ads are allowed per 90-day period for active campaigns.
  • Turnaround times vary as follows:
    • Post-production and QA: 4 business days
    • Revisions and client approval: 2-3 business days
    • Trafficking in DCM: 1-2 business days
    • Google Display Network site testing and beta testing: 2 business days

Ready Lightbox ads

  • Lightbox ads can be built by an account manager within 1 business day, and will be approved within 24 hours of ad creation.

For more information on Multi Channel Network’s and YouTube how to videos please check back weekly or subscribe here.

Suite of Free Tools

$0.45 USD - $4.00 USD

Note: The accepted formula that Auxiliary Mode Inc. uses to calculate the CPM range is $0.45 USD - $25.00 USD.

The range fluctuates this much because many factors come into play when calculating a CPM. Quality of traffic, source country, niche type of video, price of specific ads, adblock, the actual click rate, watch time and etc.

Cost per thousand (CPM) is a marketing term used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage. If a website publisher charges $2.00CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions of its ad. The "M" in CPM represents the Roman numeral for 1,000.

$0.00 - $0.00

Estimated daily earnings

$0.00 - $0.00

Estimated monthly earnings

$0.00 - $0.00

Estimated yearly projection

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