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Creating Products Ads

Adform has released a special solution for banners with the dynamic content: Product Ads. Ads of such type are very useful for the campaigns which run banners with many different products. You simply need to make one banner with one product and through Adform system you can control what products (and how many) should be placed in the banner.

Steps of the Product Ads Setup

  • The implementation of tracking on a client's site.

    Our Adform site tracking team ([email protected]) could help you to built tracking point (TP) scripts. These scripts should be implemented and fire on particular product view or purchase state. Regarding these TP fired and what are the cookie values stored on visitors machine Adform ad server picks the most suitable product (ad message) to display. This is basic product targeting engine principle.

  • Create Adform's XML template

    The data synchronization should be done between client's product feed and the Adform's XML template. Adform XML is an XML template on Adform system that is created manually and the data to it for product targeting (DCO) banners is filled doing automatic data import (transformation). Automatic data import checks/updates products data within defined interval of time - like once a day, twice a day, every 10 or 15 minutes. Minimum update interval is 5 minutes (can not be smaller). Using Adform XML transformer 2Gb+ files can be transformed. Know more how to work with XML Transformer tool in Adform HELP Center (system login required).

    Note 1: once the feed is created, 4 retargeting engines are enabled by default: "View recency", "Interest score", "Interest score with rotation", "Viewed category". For more information about retargeting models, please refer to this documentation page product targeting models (system login required).

    Note 2Adform's data template is filled with just with 5 testing ad messages.  Full product targeting data is stored to different location and is not visible in a template view - system's interface.  All data is served to the banner JUST in TAGs level (when banner is published).   These 5 ad messages in system's UI are used for banner testing stored on local drive or Adform Studio tool.

    Requirements and specs for XML source:

    -via HTTP or FTP (if FTP - login credentials should be provided)

    XML validation check:
    - document needs to have a root node;
    - every node needs to be closed correctly;
    - no HTML tags in content (e.g. no <br/> tag like "1st line.<br/> 2nd line.") are recomended to use;
    - encoding should be UTF-8, ISO-8859-1 or Windows-1252: or better always to use UTF-8;
    - every product node(instance) must have a unique value, something like id, sku, number or unique string combination;
    - product item's unique value should not be longer then 200 symbols (including spaces, commas, etc.).

    Sample: if we get from a client such XML structure: it is very good and suitable to make a transformation.

    Important: product ID must be unique for each product. Also, the default output variables are product_id, product_category_id, product_name, product_deeplink, product_image. But this list could be filled with any other variable you like. Each variable value is filled with data from XML source.

    Info: Adform Technical department guys could help if any issues appear. Contact Adform Technical Support: [email protected]


  • Product targeting banner should be build according to Adform specs

    Building banner with flash technology Adform components like Adform Core, Adform XML Manager, Adform Product, Adform Product Item should be on stage. These components could be found on Flash application when you install Adform Creative Toolkit plugin.

    It is recommended to use already existing Adform banner project template as a starting point. For creating Product Ad banner please see product ad project template or if you want to make a banner from scratch please follow instructions below.

    1. Product Ad banner basically starts of creating Standard banner ad.
    2. Drag the Adform XML_Manager component to the stage;
    3. Drag the Products component (product holder) from the Adform Product Components folder to the stage;
    4. Increase/decrease the size of this component. The products will be placed in exactly the same area which the component "product" occupies. Product component area covered with clickTAG button will lead visitor to product deeplink and the area that is not - it will lead to general asset's clickTAG landing page.
    5. Drag component „productItem“ to the stage. By default this component contains two dynamic textfields „product_price“, „product_name“, and a movieClip „product_image“. You will be able to change the content of these objects using the Adform system. Other variables are also possible to use, just keep in mind that banner variable names should be corresponding to Adform XML template variable names.
    6. Drag „productsNextButton“ and „productsPreviousButton“ components to the stage if it is necessary (the products can be scrolled automatically);
    7. The components dragged on stage should look like this:

      Dco _flash _components

    8. Now select component „products“ and open Component Parameters;

      Products _component _settings

      Auto Scroll: number 0 (disabled) by default. When the value is more than 0, auto scroll of the products is enabled. Products' next action is performed after the amount of time in seconds according to this value.
      Orientation: horizontal or vertical product scrolling is enabled.
      Products Padding: integer, -1 by default. If the value is equal to -1, spaces between product items will be calculated automatically according the products' holder size. You are also able to define your own space in pixels.
      Products to Show: integer, 1 by default. This parameter shows how many product items to put into a product Holder.
      Scroll Step: integer, 0 by default. This parameter shows the amount of items to change on next/previous event.
  • Products Ad banner testing

    Note: Currently it is not possible to test Product Ads through Adform Creative Toolkit. It can be tested once uploaded to Adform system or using additional flash variables it is possible to make a local test extracting some Adform's XML template data.

    Once client‘s feed has been synchronized with the Adform’s template, variables for Product Ads banner can be provided and the banner can be tested locally. Banners could be tested locally using flash variables. After the Adform XML template is created, you may use client's id (cid) and template's id (tid). If we would like to use my mentioned template for banner we should take cid=12216 and tid=7199. Otherwise these vars would be generated according to your account on Adform. Variables allow seeing product information in the compiled banner on your local machine.

    Variables used in flash banner for local testing are:

    //ActionScript 2  
    if ( ! _root.clickTAG) {
    var bn = 1523535; // bn number of particular banner in Adform system that rotates ad messages. It is used just to do the rotation on banner testing locally. If you got banner which rotates the same XML template - you might use it's bn here. Otherwise - simply put 0 here.
    var cid = 1309; // client ID, that could be get from
    var gid = 385267; // specific ad message id from template, let's say: 385267 or it not used place 0.
    var tid = 5103; // template id from
    var domain = "";
    var pgsz = 6; // how many most suitable ad messages load for banner to be waiting in rotation background
    var gcnt = 100; // total amount of ad messages asked from adserver to retrun in rotation.


    // ActionScript 3
    import com.adform.utils.AdformFlashVars;
    if (!AdformFlashVars.getFlashVar('clickTAG')) {
     var fakeFlashVars : Object = {
      'bn': 0,
      'cid': 12044,
      'gid': 0,
      'tid': 7226,
      'domain': '',
      'pgsz': 6,
      'gcnt': 100