Lightbox ads are unique engagement ads that show on the Google Display network. While being available for desktop display since late 2012, Google recently announced that Lightbox ads are now available globally across various screens. This makes it easier than ever to create engaging, responsive video ads for both computers and mobile devices.
The following is a tutorial on how to create Lightbox video ads, including a few explanatory notes that I found unclear in Google’s setup instructions:
Lightbox ads can only run in Display Campaigns. To create a Display Campaign, click on the “+ Campaign” button and select “Display Network Only”.
Fill out the required fields appropriately. Make sure to select “Engagement” as your Feature Type (Note: In order to create Lightbox ads, you MUST select “Engagement” as your Feature Type. Lightbox ads are not available with any other campaign subtype.)
Create an Ad Group in the way you would like to target your ads. Similar to YouTube ads, you can target ads using Keywords, Interests, or other – topics, placements, and remarketing lists. (Note: Creating your first Ad Group will allow you to create your first set of Lightbox ads. You can’t create your ads without having an Ad Group to specify. After you create your ads, you can create more Ad Groups to copy your ads and distribute them differently.)
After creating your first Ad Group, move to the “Ads” tab. Click on “+ AD” and select “Ad Gallery”.
The AdWords’ Ad Gallery allows for 5 different types of engagement ads. But of course, for Lightbox ads, you will select the “Lightbox ads” option.
There are 2 main types of Lightbox ads – one with multiple videos, the other with one video and an image. Both are similar to create, but to create video only ads, select the “Lightbox with multiple videos” option.
The Lightbox ad maker is straight forward and simple to use. You will need a logo, a landing page, and at least 2 videos to engage users. You can upload your own video thumbnails that will display if you do not already have custom thumbnails for your videos. YouTube links make Lightbox ads easy by allowing you to simply search for your video URL or your channel URL, which can be helpful depending on your overall goal. (Note: Your videos MUST be uploaded to YouTube, set to either Public or Unlisted. This is the same requirement as setting up YouTube ads.)
After you have created your Lightbox video ads, you will click the blue “Preview and save” button to complete setup. Your ads will be classified as “Under review” until Google gets around to approving them – typically within 24 – 48 hours, as with other video and display ads. Once your ads are approved, they will be ready to go live across the Google Display network.