how native advertising formats will look

The ads will typically be rendered in one of the six unit types below, but each publisher will do this in a bespoke, unique way which ensures the format looks just right in the environment. 

The IAB Native Advertising Playbook lists six types of native ad units:  

  • In Feed Units
  • Paid Search Units
  • Recommendation Widgets
  • Promoted Listings
  • IAB Standard with Native Elements
  • Custom / “Can’t be contained”

Some example layouts native ad formats are visualised below:


assets required for native formats


Native ad formats allow publishers to pull in content from an advertiser dynamically and compile creative formats that are integrated with the design and content of their application or website. The advertiser needs to provide all the constituent elements of the ad unit and these will be pulled together dynamically according to the way the publisher has integrated the native ad placements into their application or site.

At a minimum, advertisers need to provide the following:

  • Sponsored By Text
  • Ad Text
  • Call To Action Text
  • Landing Page URL
  • Logo Image
  • Main Image or Video

Optional third party impression and click tracking pixels can also be provided. Numerous third party tracking options are supported and your account manager can advise you based on your set up. 

Ad Content specification

Sponsored By Text 

Description: Connected to a 'Sponsored By' by label, this should typically be the name of the advertiser, product or service.  

Specification: Text, 25 Characters Maximum, no special characters (emojis etc). 

Sample Values: Vodafone | Nike | Iron Man 3 

Ad Text 

Description: Copy for the advertising unit.  

Specification: Text, 100 Characters Maximum, no special characters (emojis etc). 

Sample Value: Fashion Pony - showcasing curated collections from the very best local fashion designers

Call To Action Text

Description: The text for the call to action button.  

Specification: Text, 15 Characters Maximum, no special characters (emojis etc). 

Sample Values: Learn More | Download Now | Buy Now | Sign Up

ad asset specification

Icon Image

Description: A small image that is often the brand logo or a smaller product image thumbnail. Images selected should be clearly visible at small size.   

Specification: 128x128 pixels and 320x180 pixels (best practice to supply both sizes) | .jpg, .png | Up to 100kb 

Main Image

Description: The main ad image that will be the primary feature in most native advertisements. It will be dynamically resized by publishers according to their native implementation but always in the correct aspect ratio.    

Specification: 1200x627 | .jpg, .png | Up to 100kb

Main Video

Description: Some native advertising units support a video instead of the main image. Like the main ad image the video will be the primary feature in most native advertisements. 

Specification:  .mp4 | Up to 1MB