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Assembling a creative from scratch

A creative includes all the visual content of an ad, such as videos, images, calls to action, interactive features, dynamic content, links, and so on. Typically, you prepare your visual assets using third-party video or image editing software, then import your visual assets into Mixpo. You then build out the ad experience by assembling visual assets, creating video timelines, making content interactive, and so on. You can also add interactive functionality or display dynamic content, such as maps, social media feeds, a search box, and so on, using standard widgets from the Mixpo Media Library (see Adding interactive widgets to a creative).

For inspiration, visit the Mixpo example gallery at https://www.mixpo.com/examples/.

Tip: To speed up the process of assembling a creative, you can:

  • start from a template, then modify the template to meet your requirements. For background information and steps, see Assembling a creative from a template.
  • make a copy of an existing creative, then modify the creative to meet your requirements. For background information and steps, see Copying a creative.

For steps to build a creative from scratch, see the following sections:

For background information about the different types of creatives that you can assemble in the Mixpo platform, see Ad types.

A creative is one of the basic building blocks of an advertising campaign. Each ad that a viewer sees consists of two parts: the visual content of the ad, called a creative, and information about where and how the ad is trafficked, called a placement. Before you can traffic an ad, you must associate a creative with a placement. For background information and steps to create a placement, see Creating a placement.

Before you start

  • Determine the type of creative that you want to build. For background information, see Ad types.
  • Depending on the type of creative, do the following:
    • In-Banner Video creative: Prepare the video file that you want to display, an image to display at the end of the video (optional), and any additional content that you want to display on the ad.
    • In-Stream Video creative: Prepare the video file that you want to display and any additional content that you want to display on the ad. Confirm the aspect ratio of the In-Stream player that the ad will play on.
      Note: The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) guidelines for In-Stream ads recommend that video files for In-Stream ads have a resolution of 640 × 480 pixels, with accommodation for wide screen videos (for details, see http://www.iab.net/media/file/IAB-Video-Ad-Format-Standards.pdf). By default, Mixpo saves In-Stream Video creatives with at least that resolution. However, the size of the ad when it is served is determined by the third-party video player, regardless of the size information that Mixpo provides to the third-party video player. Because of this, Mixpo In-Stream Video ads are sized to the full width and height of the third-party video player, but the size that you specify applies only to the preview in the Mixpo Platform.
    • SWF (Flash file) creative: Prepare the SWF (Flash) file that you want to display.
      Note: You can build animation and actions into SWF files before you upload them to the Mixpo Platform. If you upload a SWF with built-in actions enabled, the clickthrough URL that you specify in the Mixpo Platform is ignored. Instead, you must include the clickthrough URL in the SWF file itself.
    • Image creative: Prepare the image file that you want to display.
    Note: If you use a Windows computer, you can transcode your video and any images on your computer, before uploading the files to the Mixpo Platform. Transcoding files on your computer is usually faster, and for videos, gives you greater control if you want to trim content from the beginning or end of a video. For steps, see Transcoding images and videos on your computer.
    For information about the types of files that you can upload to Mixpo, see Supported file formats. For required content to display on image and widget overlays, see the links in the steps below.
  • If you plan to display your ad on smartphones or tablets, familiarize yourself with the best practices in Designing mobile browser ads for the iPhone or iPad and Designing ads for a mobile app.

To build an In-Banner Video creative from scratch

  1. Navigate to the Division, Account, and Campaign that you want to build the creative in.
  2. Click the Campaign Management tab, then click the Creatives tab.
  3. Click New Creative.
  4. Type a Name for the creative.
  5. In the Clickthrough URL field, type the address of the website that you want viewers to be sent to when they click the ad.
  6. From the Creative type drop-down list, select In-Banner Video.
  7. From the Environment drop-down list, select the type of device that the creative is intended to display on, such as a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. If you are not sure which type, select Multi-screen (desktop, tablet and phone).
  8. Specify the size of the creative, as follows:
    • Dimensions: The width and height of the ad in its pre-expanded embed size.
    • Expanded dimensions: The width and height of the ad when it is expanded, for example if a viewer hovers their cursor over the ad.
  9. If your creative does not expand, you can add interactive content to a custom StartFrame (the content that viewers see before they interact with the ad). To do this, select the Custom StartFrame check box.
  10. In the Keywords field, type keywords for the creative.
  11. Click Save creative. Mixpo Studio opens.
  12. If you are building an expanding In-Banner Video creative or a non-expanding In-Banner Video creative with a custom StartFrame, select the Interactive Display tab, then add the content that you want viewers to see before the ad plays. Typically, you should include compelling content that encourages viewers to interact with the ad or prompts viewers to play the video. For background information and steps to include different types of content, see the following:
  13. Add a video to your creative:
    1. Select the Timeline Canvas tab.
    2. Depending on the source of your video, select from the following:
      • If you have already uploaded a video to your Media Library, as described in Before you start:
        1. Click Add video from Library.
        2. Select the Library tab that the video is saved to. For example, to select a video from Mixpo's stock library, click Our stock library.
        3. Select the video, then click Add media. The video is added to your creative, and displayed on the Timeline.
      • To upload a new video:
        1. Click Upload video to your Library.
          Note: If you use a Windows computer, you can transcode your video on your computer instead, as described in Before you start. For steps, see Transcoding images and videos on your computer.
        2. If you are uploading a TV video file in interlaced format, select the Deinterlace videos you're uploading check box.
        3. Click Choose files to upload.
        4. Select the video, then click Open. The video is processed before it is saved to your Media Library. Depending on the size of the video, this might take a few minutes. Close the video upload dialog box.
        5. Click Add video from Library.
        6. Click the Campaign media tab, then select the video that you uploaded. Click Add media. The video is added to your creative, and displayed on the Timeline.
    3. Type a Name for the video.
    4. By default, the entire video plays. If you only want to play part of the video, you can trim the beginning or end of the video. To do this, click Trim video. Drag the left handle to select where the video clip begins, and drag the right handle to select where the video clip ends. Click the Play button to preview the trimmed video, then make any adjustments. When you are satisfied, click OK.
      Note: If you use a Windows computer, you can trim the video clip while you import the video file. Trimming the video while you import the video file gives you greater control over the beginning frame and reduces the file size. For steps, see Trimming a video file.
    5. By default, when the video finishes, the last frame of the video is displayed. You can leave your viewers with a lasting image or message by displaying a custom image after the video finishes. To do this, select Choose custom EndFrame, then select from the following:
      • If you have already uploaded an image to your Media Library, select the Library tab that the image is saved to, then select the image. Click Add media.
      • To upload a new image, click Campaign media, then click Upload media to Library. Upload the image that you want to display. Select the image, then click Add media.
      • To extract a still frame from your video, from the Show drop-down list, select Videos. Click the Extract frame icon Extract Frame icon next to the video that you want to extract an image from, then click Extract image as the video plays to extract an image from the video. For detailed steps, see Extracting images from a video.
      Note: A custom EndFrame does not extend your video timeline or impact performance metrics.
    6. Specify the Video transition and effects.
    7. You can specify the video playback options that you want your viewers to be able to control. To do this, in the Control Options area, adjust the following:
      • Controls: Displays a play button and a progress bar at the bottom of the video. Viewers can fast forward a video using the progress bar.
      • Bind controls to: If the size of your expanded ad is larger than your video, you can display video controls at the bottom of the video (Video) or at the bottom of the expanded ad (Canvas).
      • Controls size: Adjust the size of the video player controls.
      • Continue button: Displays a continue button. If you disable the continue button, make sure that you enable the video player controls. Otherwise, viewers won't be able to pause or restart the video.
    8. To adjust the appearance of the video player controls, click the Player skin drop-down list and select a video player skin. Adjust the Player controls and Glow effects colors to match the theme of your creative.
      Note: If you plan to add a Video widget to your creative (for requirements and steps, see Adding a Video widget to a creative), Mixpo recommends that you select the same player skin in both in the widget and the standard video player to provide a consistent visual experience for your viewers.
    9. If you want to add social media links to the video player, in the Social Media Options area, select from the following:
      • To display a link to your Facebook page, select the Facebook icon check box, then type the address of your Facebook page.
      • To display a link to your Twitter feed, select the Twitter icon check box, then type the address of your Twitter page.
    10. If you want to adjust the size or appearance of the video, select the video. In the Advanced Video Options area, adjust the following settings:
      • Position and size: Adjust the position and size of the video. For example, you can display a video that is smaller than the size of the expanded ad, and include interactive text, image, and widget overlays on the canvas outside the video element.
      • Drop shadow: Displays a drop shadow around the video. Specify the drop shadow settings.
      • Border: Displays a border around the video. Select a border color and width.
      • Uniform corners: Adjusts the curvature of the video's corners. Select the Uniform corners check box if you want all corners to have the same curvature, or clear the check box if you want corners to have different curvature.
  14. Add to the Timeline Canvas tab additional images, links, interactive widgets, and other content that you want viewers to see or interact with when the ad is expanded. For background information and steps to include different types of content, see the following:
  15. To save your changes, click Save, then select from the following:
    • To preview your creative, click Return to the Dashboard. The Mixpo Platform opens. Click Preview next to the creative.
    • To continue editing your creative, click Continue editing.

To build an In-Stream Video creative from scratch

  1. Navigate to the Division, Account, and Campaign that you want to build the creative in.
  2. Click the Campaign Management tab, then click the Creatives tab.
  3. Click New Creative.
  4. Type a Name for the creative.
  5. In the Clickthrough URL field, type the address of the website that you want viewers to be sent to when they click the ad.
  6. From the Creative type drop-down list, select In-Stream Video.
  7. From the Environment drop-down list, select the type of device that the creative is intended to display on, such as a desktop computer. If you are not sure which type, select Multi-screen (desktop, tablet and phone).
  8. From the Dimensions drop-down list, select the size of the ad. For the best appearance, you should select a size with an aspect ratio that matches the aspect ratio of the In-Stream player that the ad will be played on.
  9. In the Keywords field, type keywords for the creative.
  10. Click Save creative. Mixpo Studio opens.
  11. Add a video to your creative:
    1. Depending on the source of your video, select from the following:
      • If you have already uploaded a video to your Media Library, as described in Before you start:
        1. Click Add video from Library.
        2. Select the Library tab that the video is saved to. For example, to select a video from Mixpo's stock library, click Our stock library.
        3. Select the video, then click Add media. The video is added to your creative, and displayed on the Timeline.
      • To upload a new video:
        1. Click Upload video to your Library.
          Note: If you use a Windows computer, you can transcode your video on your computer instead, as described in Before you start. For steps, see Transcoding images and videos on your computer.
        2. If you are uploading a TV video file in interlaced format, select the Deinterlace videos you're uploading check box.
        3. Click Choose files to upload.
        4. Select the video, then click Open. The video is processed before it is saved to your Media Library. Depending on the size of the video, this might take a few minutes. Close the video upload dialog box.
        5. Click Add video from Library.
        6. Click the Campaign media tab, then select the video that you uploaded. Click Add media. The video is added to your creative, and displayed on the Timeline.
    2. Type a Name for the video.
    3. By default, the entire video plays. If you only want to play part of the video, you can trim the beginning or end of the video. To do this, click Trim video. Drag the left handle to select where the video clip begins, and drag the right handle to select where the video clip ends. Click the Play button to preview the trimmed video, then make any adjustments. When you are satisfied, click OK.
      Note: If you use a Windows computer, you can trim the video clip while you import the video file. Trimming the video while you import the video file gives you greater control over the beginning frame and reduces the file size. For steps, see Trimming a video file.
    4. Adjust the Volume of the video.
    5. Specify the Video transition and effects.
    6. To display a continue button on the video player, select the Continue button option.
    7. If you want to adjust the size or appearance of the video, select the video. In the Advanced Video Options area, adjust the following settings:
      • Position and size: Adjust the position and size of the video. For example, you can display a video that is smaller than the size of the expanded ad, and include interactive text, image, and widget overlays on the canvas outside the video element.
      • Drop shadow: Displays a drop shadow around the video. Specify the drop shadow settings.
      • Border: Displays a border around the video. Select a border color and width.
      • Uniform corners: Adjusts the curvature of the video's corners. Select the Uniform corners check box if you want all corners to have the same curvature, or clear the check box if you want corners to have different curvature.
  12. Add to the Timeline Canvas tab additional images, links, interactive widgets, and other content that you want viewers to see or interact with when the ad is expanded. For background information and steps to include different types of content, see the following:
  13. To save your changes, click Save, then select from the following:
    • To preview your creative, click Return to the Dashboard. The Mixpo Platform opens. Click Preview next to the creative.
    • To continue editing your creative, click Continue editing.

To build a Rich Media creative from scratch

  1. Navigate to the Division, Account, and Campaign that you want to build the creative in.
  2. Click the Campaign Management tab, then click the Creatives tab.
  3. Click New Creative.
  4. Type a Name for the creative.
  5. In the Clickthrough URL field, type the address of the website that you want viewers to be sent to when they click the ad.
  6. From the Creative type drop-down list, select Rich Media.
  7. From the Environment drop-down list, select the type of device that the creative is intended to display on, such as a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. If you are not sure which type, select Multi-screen (desktop, tablet and phone).
  8. Specify the size of the creative, as follows:
    • Dimensions: The width and height of the ad in its pre-expanded embed size. This is also called the ad's StartFrame.
    • Expanded dimensions: The width and height of the ad when it is expanded, for example if a viewer hovers their cursor over the ad.
  9. In the Keywords field, type keywords for the creative.
  10. Click Save creative. Mixpo Studio opens.
  11. Select the Interactive Display tab, then add the content that you want viewers to see before the ad expands. Typically, you should include compelling content that encourages viewers to interact with the ad or prompts viewers to expand the ad. For background information and steps to include different types of content, see the following:
  12. If you are creating an expanding Rich Media creative, specify how long you want the ad's animation to continue:
    1. Select the Timeline Canvas tab, then select the Canvas tab.
    2. For Canvas animation duration, specify how many seconds you want the expanded ad to animate for.
  13. If you are creating an expanding Rich Media creative, add to the Timeline Canvas tab additional images, links, interactive widgets, and other content that you want viewers to see or interact with when the ad is expanded. For background information and steps to include different types of content, see the following:
  14. To save your changes, click Save, then select from the following:
    • To preview your creative, click Return to the Dashboard. The Mixpo Platform opens. Click Preview next to the creative.
    • To continue editing your creative, click Continue editing.

To build a SWF (Flash file) creative

  1. Navigate to the Division, Account, and Campaign that you want to build the creative in.
  2. Click the Campaign Management tab, then click the Creatives tab.
  3. Click New Creative.
  4. Type a Name for the creative.
  5. In the Clickthrough URL field, type the address of the website that you want viewers to be sent to when they click the ad.
  6. From the Creative type drop-down list, select SWF.
  7. From the Environment drop-down list, select Desktop.
  8. Click Select SWF, then upload your SWF (Flash) file. For file requirements, see Supported file formats.
  9. In the Keywords field, type keywords for the creative.
  10. Click Save creative. Your creative is saved.

To build an Image creative

  1. Navigate to the Division, Account, and Campaign that you want to build the creative in.
  2. Click the Campaign Management tab, then click the Creatives tab.
  3. Click New Creative.
  4. Type a Name for the creative.
  5. In the Clickthrough URL field, type the address of the website that you want viewers to be sent to when they click the ad.
  6. From the Creative type drop-down list, select Image.
  7. From the Environment drop-down list, select the type of device that the creative is intended to display on, such as a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. If you are not sure which type, select Multi-screen (desktop, tablet and phone) to build a creative that works across all types of devices.
  8. Click Select image, then upload your image file. For file requirements, see Supported file formats.
  9. In the Keywords field, type keywords for the creative.
  10. Click Save creative. Your creative is saved.
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