Ad format preferences land in Google Demand Gen campaigns

New creative controls for video ads that allow advertisers to dictate where their videos appear across Google’s different ad formats are being introduced for Demand Gen campaigns. They have been released in beta.

Why we care. Assigning video assets to specific formats (e.g. in-stream, in-feed or Shorts) gives marketers more control over the amplification of their brand storytelling. It enables advertisers to select the best format for their brand.

How it works. With the flexible ad format preferences, you can anchor video assets to one of three ad formats:

  • In-stream: Video plays before, during or after other videos. Skippable after 5 seconds.
  • In-feed: Appears in YouTube’s home/search feeds, Google Discover, and Gmail.
  • Shorts: YouTube’s short-form video feed. Users can skip any time.
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To set preferences:

  1. Create or edit a Demand Gen video ad and add the videos.
  2. Enable “set ad format preferences.”
  3. Use “prefer on” to select formats for each video.
  4. Assign at least one video per format or have one for all formats.  
  5. Complete ad setup (logos, text, URL, etc.).
  6. Preview the ad filtered by format.

Best practices for ad format preferences:

  • Ensure assets meet format requirements.
  • Use segmentation reports to analyze performance by format.
  • Optimize winning creative elements for each placement.

First spotted. This new feature was first flagged by Senior Performance Marketing Manager and Google Ads expert, Thomas Eccel.

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About the author

Anu AdegbolaAnu Adegbola

Anu Adegbola has been Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land since 2024. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media, video and more.

In 2008, Anu’s career started with

 delivering digital marketing campaigns (mostly but not exclusively Paid Search) by building strategies, maximising ROI, automating repetitive processes and bringing efficiency from every part of marketing departments through inspiring leadership both on agency, client and marketing tech side.


Outside editing Search Engine Land article she is the founder of PPC networking event – PPC Live, host of weekly podcast PPCChat Roundup, and brand evangelist at ClickTech. 


She is also an international speaker with some of the stages she has presented on being SMX (US), SMX (Munich), Friends of Search (Amsterdam), brightonSEO, The Marketing Meetup, HeroConf (PPC Hero), SearchLove, BiddableWorld, SESLondon, PPC Chat Live, AdWorld Experience (Bologna) and more.

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