Configuring creatives

Introduction

For any creative you upload and configure in Smart AdServer's system, you need to use a script template. The script template defines how the creative will be displayed.

This guide covers the configuration of creatives with the script template Default Banner. This script template supports:

  • creatives in format flash, HTML5, agency redirect, image
  • delivery on desktop websites, mobile websites and responsive websites
  • synchronous and asynchronous tagging

Before you start

Before you start
  • prepare your campaign and insertion
  • for the insertion, use the Insertion category Web
  • switch to the Creatives (2) tab of the insertion => the Default Banner script template will be preselected there

Adding creatives

  • click Add a creative (1) to start the upload
  • select the creative type (Flash, Image etc.) (2)
  • click Choose a file (3) to upload a file from your hard drive (swf, png...)
  • use Insert a URL (4) if you wish to specify the path towards a creative file (when creative file is not hosted in Smart AdServer)
  • paste the clickthrough URL into the Click URL (5) field

Clickthrough URL validity

The user interface checks if the clickthrough URL you entered is valid. The following rules apply:

Rule 1: The URL must start with http/https/itms, followed by "://", potentially followed by "www.", followed by a pattern "xxx.yyy" (basically, a "typical" URL syntax)

Rule 2: If http/https/itms is not present, the URL must begin with one of the following:

--  ...:// (a custom URL)
--  market: (Android market)
--  mailto: (mail client)
--  tel: (telephone app; for mobile insertions only)
--  sms: (messages app; for mobile insertions only)

Customized scripts

Customized scripts

Along with the creative assets (gif, png, swf etc.), you can deliver custom HTML code. For instance, you can serve additional tracking scripts, impression counting pixels, CSS code etc.

You can use two fields:

  • Customized script for the creative (see screenshot above) => code served with the individual creative
  • Customized script for the insertion => code served with any creative in the given insertion

Limitations

  • The limit for each of these fields is 6000 characters. A warning message will inform you if your code is too long. If the limit is exceeded, the ad will be transformed into an HTML5 ad automatically.
  • The character limit for the entire ad will be 60000. Entire ad means the complete code: code written by Smart AdServer plus code entered and served via the "customized scripts" fields.

Creative types

Flash creatives

  • upload the flash creative file (swf) as described above (Adding creatives)
  • make sure the uploaded flash file complies with the clicktag specification (see here)
  • if the clicktag in the flash file is named differently, enter the appropriate name in the field ClickTag (1)
  • click Add Click URL (2) in case the flash file has multiple clickable items and paste the second clickthrough URL (3) and ClickTag name (4)

Backup images for flash creatives

Backup images for flash creatives

You should add a backup image (gif, png etc.) to any flash creative. This backup image will be displayed as a fallback in case the end user's browser cannot display the flash creative (e. g. no flash plugin installed or flash plugin version is too low).

  • first, upload the flash creative (swf.) and save it
  • click Add a creative
  • For Type (1) select Backup image (2)
  • upload the image file (gif, png etc.) as described above (Adding creatives)
  • in case you do not have any backup image, just upload the flash creative and use the option Add a replacement pixel to all creatives concerned (3); this will add a backup pixel (a gif sized 1x1) to all the creatives concerned

To speed up the process:

If you have multiple flash creatives and backup images, proceed as follows to speed up the process:

  • name each flash creative and its backup image identically but leave the file extension unchanged; e. g.: blue.swf, blue.png, red.swf, red.png
  • place all files into a folder and zip the folder
  • click Upload Zip file and upload the zip file
  • => each backup image will be assigned to the correct flash creative (based on the identical naming of the file)

Image creatives

  • click Add a creative
  • upload the image file (gif, png etc.) as described above (Adding creatives)
  • define the Click URL

Agency scripts

Agency scripts

Typically, agencies host and configure their creatives in an agency ad server. They will provide you with a redirect ad tag (agency tag).

  • click Add an agency script (1)
  • paste the script into the field Customized script for the creative (2)
  • click Format the script (3) => this will insert Smart AdServer's macros into the script: [timestamp] (will be replaced by a random number to avoid cache busting),  [countgo] (will be replaced by Smart AdServer's click counting URL)
  • if you receive the message Your script is unknown, the automatic inserting of macros failed: the script formatter was unable to find the appropriate parameters (where to insert the macros) => you need to insert the macros ([timestamp] and [countgo]) manually. If necessary, ask your contact at the agency for documentation about these parameters
  • Use the Send a mail to support... (5) option to have the script added to the script formatter; additionally, please request documentation on the macros from the agency and send it to your service contact at Smart AdServer
  • Click Add creative to save the agency script

If your website (page) is loaded over https:

  • Smart AdServer ad tags must be called with https
  • third party ad tags (agency scripts) must be called with https
  • the landing pages (click URLs) must be secure (https)

 

Failing to do so leads to a security error in the browser!

Counting pixel

You can add creatives with the Type Counting pixel in order to create an impression counting URL. When called, this URL will return a 1x1 transparent gif (pixel). These counting pixels can be used: in other creatives (customized script for the creative), on a website for impression counting, in a newsletter etc.

  • click Add a creative
  • for Type, select Counting pixel
  • define a name in the Name field
  • click Add creative
  • Click the expand button (1) to retrieve the counting pixel
  • copy the URL from the Impression pixel (2) field

Keep in mind: a newly created Counting pixel will be disabled (highlighted in red). There is no need to activate it. The pixel is able to count impressions, even if it is disabled (highlighted red).

If you enable (3) the counting pixel, it will be delivered as a "regular" creative.

Counting pixel and Click command

This creative type is set up similarly to the creative type Counting pixel (see above). However, in addition to the Impression pixel, you will receive a click command. A click command is a URL, which tracks a click and redirects to a landing page.

  • click Add a creative
  • for Type, select Counting pixel & Click command
  • define a Name and enter the landing page in the field Click URL
  • click Add creative
  • Click the expand button (1)
  • copy the Click command (2) and Impression pixel (3)


Dynamic Landing page

If you wish to leave the landing page unspecified (dynamic landing page), enter "%" (without the quote characters) in the field Click URL.

Retrieve the click command and attach your landing page as follows:

http://diff.smartadserver.com/call/cliccommand/13982113/[timestamp]?http://www.mylandingpage.com

You can change http://www.mylandingpage.com at any time without influencing the counting of clicks.

Keep in mind: a newly created Counting pixel  Click command will be disabled (highlighted in red). There is no need to activate it. The pixel is able to count impressions, even if it is disabled (highlighted red).

If you enable (4) the counting pixel, it will be delivered as a "regular" creative.

HTML5 creatives

The upload and configuration of HTML5 creatives is covered in these articles:

Uploading and configuring HTML5 creatives (Publisher solution)

Uploading and configuring HTML5 creatives (Agency solution)

Pixel ratio (high-resolution ads)

Pixel ratio (high-resolution ads)

The Pixel ratio option is to be used in the context of devices with a high resolution (high pixel density). With this option you make sure that such creatives are displayed properly.

Defining a pixel ratio of 2 means that the width and height of the creative's container will be divided by 2.

Example:

  • upload a png creative sized 640x100
  • select Pixel ratio: "2"

=> the creative will be delivered in a container with width="320" and height="50"; the high-resolution device will scale it properly

<img id="13990549" src="http://ec.sascdn.com/diff/73/4635024/640x100.png" alt="" width="320" height="50" border="0">

Keep in mind: the Pixel ratio setting only applies to image creatives (png, gif etc.)!

Preview

Preview

In the footer bar:

  • first click Save to save the creative
  • click Preview in the page footer

=> This will open a new window and display the creative on a sample page

  • click Update (1) to reload the page; if there are multiple creatives in the insertion, click Update again to see the creative you need to preview
  • select from Javascript or Ajax mode (2)
  • define a background color (3) for the page

When you click on the creative, you should be redirected to its landing page. Make sure this works properly and check if you get the confirmation that the click can be counted by Smart AdServer.

Using the live preview

With the live preview you can test how your creative will be displayed on a website you can specify. There is no need to put the insertion online. Live preview is useful to make screenshots and to share direct links to the preview page.

  • upload your creative
  • always click Save in the page footer, before you enter the Live Preview
  • Click Live preview in the page footer
  • In the field URL (1), enter the URL of the website, where you need to test your creative; this page must have Smart AdServer Ad tags or ad tags of Adtech, Open Ad Stream or Google/Doubleclick
  • click Update (2) to render the page
  • For Enabled on (3), select the format from the dropdown menu, where you wish to preview the creative; these are the format names found on the page
  • activate the option Other formats (4) and click Update (2); then click the links under Formats available on this page (5) to scroll to the location of each format
  • copy the URL of Demo (6); this URL can be opened by anone who has the URL (no authentication needed)

When you click on the creative, you should be redirected to its landing page. Make sure this works properly and check if you get the confirmation that the click can be counted by Smart AdServer.

Keep in mind: the live preview looks for sas_formatId in the page; on any page where sas_formatId is not used, the Live preview will not work

Using the live preview

clic cachebuster click-command clickcommand clic command tracking link trackinglink

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