Google Ads

What are Google Ads?

Google ads are any digital display ad (i.e. banner) served through the google platform, which comes in several flavours: Adwords or DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers), DCM (DoubleClick Campaign Manager) and DCS (DoubleClick Studio – now rebranded as Studio). Since Google has about 80% of the market share when it comes to ad serving, it is fairly likely that you will encounter a Google ad at some point on your digital display journey.

Each arm of the Google giant deals with different parts of the ad serving process. DFP, and DCM are platforms that help publishers and media agencies traffick your ads. DCS, or Studio, is a developer interface that helps your production team build cool features into your ads, such as weather feeds, location targeting and good old fashion video banners. To make things even more convoluted, the DCS or Studio interface plugs into the DCM interface for trafficking (sorry, we don’t make the rules, we just enforce them!).

Obviously, with all these twists and turns of the Google-verse, it is no surprise that our clients are often confused about which part of Google they should be working with. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a bit about the technicalities, specifications, and the benefits of each system to help you navigate.

Almost any ad, so long as it is served via the Google platform, can be a Google ad. Check out some of our more popular types of banners.

DCM (Standard Media)

Short for DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DCM is one of the products offered from Google’s DoubleClick Suite. It can host ad creative and record all metrics and performance indicators.

If you are working directly with the DCM system (and not with any DCS plugin) you are working with what is referred to as “standard” builds. The most importanting thing to remember about standard builds is that they cannot include video, and they cannot be connected with any kind of live, data feed. File size is also a good marker for a standard unit. Whereas rich media units will almost always have a 2.2Mb file size limit, a standard build can range from 150KB to 300KB and can only go up to 2.2MB in some very rare cases if polite loading options available to you/your client. Polite loading sees a unit have a baseline of animation and assets to load in with the initial site load, and then loads the rest when the page has finished loading completely.

To host creatives on DoubleClick, you media agency will be responsible for uploading as a ZIP files that contains the ad unit, relevant JPGs, PNGs, CSS, JS, and any other files relevant to the creative. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, you need to be sure that your media agency has access to the appropriate DCM accounts to traffick your units. Production agencies (like TBM) do not have access to these portals, so you will need to make sure the correct avenues are in place. Secondly, when you are working with the DCS system (as we will discuss), you will deliver a link to your media agency, not a ZIP file. When delivering your ZIP file, ensure that nothing external is being used or referenced with the exception of Google Fonts, Google-hosted jQuery, Google-hosted Greensock, and Google-hosted CreateJS.

Google has also developed a useful tool to double check your DCM creatives once they’ve been built in the form of their HTML Validator. Once you upload the ZIP file of your developed creatives to this platform, it runs a quality check of the HTML, click tags, assets, and anything else that could potentially cause issues or delays with your creatives down the road so you can address them right away.

Here are some of our favourite, standard DCM Google Ads. Remember, if it’s standard, there can be absolutely no video, so all of these units are built using HTML5.

DC Studio (Rich Media)

The DCS or Studio interface is a system that helps advertisers deal with more robust creatives. These builds are dynamic or rich builds—or both!—and usually start at 200KB and can go up to around 2.2MB. For DCS builds that are not dynamic, but are rich media, the build and upload process doesn’t differ an exceptional amount from the DCM process, though there is no self-validation tool for DCS. Instead, these units pass through a system called DC QA which takes place after the units have been uploaded and any dynamic work has been done. QA then lets you know if there are any flags or concerns with your units.

The major difference of DCS builds shows when working with a dynamic campaign. A dynamic campaign is an entire campaign, often made up of hundreds of ads, based on one master unit and animation style that then generates different variations of copy, imagery, clickthrough, CTA, and other elements the client would like to include. Assets of the proper size and configuration are then uploaded into the Studio profile of the advertiser, and the Google sheets meant to control and hold other campaign information are setup and connected. Because of this difference, the components of a dynamic creative differ slightly from that of DCM or a non-dynamic DCS build. For a dynamic creative, you’ll need to have all the necessary assets, including a master HTML file that frames the functionality of the ad, and a Studio profile. Depending on the campaign and the elements to be changed or updated, you may also need a Profile field to update creative elements on the fly, or a Dynamic feed, which is often a spreadsheet or API feed that contains all variations for your creatives to display.

Here are some of our favourite DCS, dynamic units.

How Google Ads can benefit your business?

From what you know now, it is pretty easy to see that Google ads are almost (80%) synonymous with any digital display advertising. Presently, Google is such a large player in the digital display scene that they can demand top dollar, which does drive some advertisers to make deals with the lesser known platforms such as Celtra. Recently, another big player has entered the ad serving platform arena with Amazon buying a smaller platform called Sizmek in 2018. It will be interesting to see where ad serving goes with these two goliaths fighting it out for your marketing dollars.

Why Choose The Bannermen

we’re open 24 hours
no consultation fees
our experience delivers
we offer fixed prices
we focus on banners
we train your team

See some of our work

Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker our work Standard Media Adverts Exceptional and Unparalleled Johnnie Walker is one of those brands to whom we could pen a love letter. Their briefs range from elegant builds with subtle animation to chipper and quick frame transitions with bright colours, to builds that feature rich colours paired with smooth and captivating animation. [...]

Diet Coke

Diet Coke our work Standard Media Adverts Oh yes, we can What’s better than an animated banner ad? Probably nothing—except maybe a glittery animated banner ad! And that’s exactly the creative brief that Diet Coke came to us with. We were only too happy to help glitter-fy the screens of Diet Coke’s audience with these [...]

Heineken Social

Heineken Social UEFA Champions League our work Social Facebook Instagram Global campaign in 6 hours or less Heineken came to us in 2018 with some lofty social media goals as they wanted to make their brand synonymous with UEFA Champions League games. To do so, they proposed creating Instagram posts, Instagram Stories, YouTube videos, and [...]


Nike our work Rich Media Adverts Find your Unlimited Potential Nike approached us with a killer banner ad campaign concept—desktop-only video ads that featured various Nike athletes, almost no text aside from a tagline, and multiple product shots in action. Which is exactly what we created! Just try and tell us these aren’t the slickest [...]

Heineken Rich

Heineken our work Rich Media Adverts Raise a Heineken to Video & HTML5 Integration Heineken is one of our favourite brands to work with, both because they have such great creatives and because they have such high standards. For this rich media campaign, we were commissioned to seamlessly integrate HTML5 with video. A quick word [...]


Gatorade our work Standard Media Adverts Client Direct Gatorade is one of our most important direct-to-client relationships. While more and more companies are looking to in-house some or all of the production process, our professionalism and expertise really starts to shine. Deploying (on average) two or three campaigns a year, it was not financially viable [...]


E.ON our work Rich Media Adverts Dynamic Media Programmatic Display Guardians of the Brand Galaxy E.ON is an international, privately owned energy supplier based in Essen, Germany, and has around 43,000 employees. As with any global powerhouse, E.ON delivers only the highest quality in everything they do, and digital display media is no exception. The [...]

McDonald’s Wraps

McDonald's Wraps our work Standard Media Adverts Campaign Consistency We know it feels like it's been a long time since McDonald's launched it's wraps, but when they did, we were right there with them! To get this campaign out the door, we produced a series of video and HTML5 units. This campaign was actually launched [...]

McDonald’s GTA

McDonald's GTA our work Rich Media Adverts Dynamic Media Parallax Plunge When McDonald's comes knocking at your door, you answer. So when we were brought in to help introduce the flavours of America to a British audience, we were thrilled! The beauty of these banners is found in their simplicity. As anyone who works with [...]

Destination BC

Destination BC our work Standard Media Ads Rich Media Ads Programmatic Ads Go Wilder Explore BC is an initiative to get BC residents to experience different aspects of their province during the fall, winter and spring months. It also includes a global ski campaign which help to advertise BC ski resorts, which account for almost [...]

Lotto Max

Lotto Max Millions our work Rich Media Adverts Dynamic Display Programmatic Display Retargeting Undercover This campaign for Lotto Max Millions was perhaps one of the most challenging projects we have undertaken. Take a minute to consider that every single banner you see on this page is in fact the exact same banner with minor adjustments [...]

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime our work Standard Media Adverts Fall in Love with Amazon Prime This great set of banners was designed to accompany a campaign that saw shoppers falling in love not only with an Amazon product, but with the version of themselves who made the purchase. In the television spot associated with these banners, shoppers [...]


Evo our work Rich Media Adverts It's a BC Thing Evo is a carsharing service in the Greater Vancouver area, created by the British Columbia Automobile Association. When Evo approached us to re-create their visually stunning TV spot in HTML5 it was not a simple task because at the time, the digital sphere was undergoing [...]

Google Assistant

Google Assistant our work Standard Media Adverts The Tightest of Deadlines Working with an international powerhouse brand like Google is always exciting and this campaign for Google Assistant was nothing if not that. The biggest challenge facing our team on this project was the tight deadlines. The client had less than a week to produce [...]


Bulb our work Standard Media Adverts Greener. Brighter. Better. Working with Bulb was simply electric! Pun intended! But seriously, getting this campaign in and out the door was a lot of fun. Firstly, Bulb has such an undeniably cool style and we were very excited to bring the hand drawing to life. As with most [...]

Get in touch

Need help navigating the Google-verse? We have a crack team of developers, designers and animators who know the system by heart.

Contact us