How to Use eCommerce Creatives As Part of Your Amazon DSP Strategy

For many Amazon Brands looking to scale their business, Amazon DSP (Demand-Side Platform) is one of the first places they explore to make that happen. Through Amazon DSP, brands can automate time-consuming tasks such as buying ad placements and measuring their ad campaigns’ performance.

Among the many contributors to a successful campaign, the creatives used for ads create a lasting impression on potential customers, making it important to use creatives that are eye-catching, compliant with Amazon’s policies, and are able to communicate the product’s purpose.

But before launching your Amazon DSP campaigns, it’s important to understand and set your campaign objectives. Every brand will have its own marketing funnel, making it a key factor for brands to define objectives first before venturing into Amazon DSP campaigns.

Basically, brands should assess the major parts of their marketing funnels, specifically:

  • Awareness stage
  • Consideration stage
  • Purchase stage

Every stage of the marketing funnel will always require different actions and approaches, which is why brands need to be specific about planning before launching ad campaigns. Part of the planning process involves the use of various high-quality eCommerce creatives that fit specific audiences and placements.

READ MORE: Here’s a refresher blog about what Amazon DSP is and why you should take advantage of it!

How to Use eCommerce Creatives As Part of Your Amazon DSP Strategy

How Does Amazon Advertising Define eCommerce creatives?

Amazon Advertising’s eCommerce creatives are creative assets that are displayed in numerous regions and placements. These creatives also appear on specific devices depending on the type of ad campaign they’re used for.

For many shoppers, the creatives that a brand uses dictate their products’ quality and uniqueness from other products in the same category. Because of this, many brands strive to keep their creatives compliant, engaging, and best of all, concise.

Here is a list of Amazon eCommerce creatives and brief improvements that you can create to optimize your ad campaigns:

  • Brand Logo for Amazon DSP eCommerce Creatives

When it comes to creating a unique identity for your brand, creating a distinguishable logo is usually the place to start. Having a unique logo can help improve the way customers perceive your brand. It also helps them identify your brand from the rest of the other brands in any niche. Not only should your logo look different from your competitors, but it must also be visually appealing, easy to read, and have different formats for different placements and uses.

In fact, Amazon has reported that shoppers engaged 20% more on desktop and 13% more on mobile with ad campaigns that have brand logos that meet Amazon’s logo requirements.

Improvement Suggestions: To make your brand logo stand out, make sure to create one that’s reflective of your brand as a whole. It’s also best to fill all available spaces when uploading your logo, use a white background color to make your text pop, and use proper text/font that’s large and easy to read across all platforms and devices.

  • ADSP-Friendly Brand Message

Brand messages are not just included in brand pages and listings to introduce your brand. This type of message is there to start conversations as well. While it’s common for shoppers to read through various content that describes products to inform them of their potential purchases, brand messages give those content the human touch which blends into their brand personality.

Improvement Suggestions: Since brand messages are also helpful for conveying your brand story, it’s important to touch on aspects such as the brand’s inclusivity, uniqueness, encouragement, and the tone with which it presents itself. Use simple words, to convey your brand message and any related terms in a way that everyone can relate to and understand.

  • Videos for Amazon DSP

Before shoppers add your products to their cart, most of them buy your brand’s story before fully committing to the purchase. The beauty of videos is that they tell a better, more vibrant story than images and text. With the added use of sounds and imagery, video creatives allow your audience to experience your brand and see themselves using your products that can potentially solve their problems. Videos can also dictate the step-by-step process needed to operate, clean, or repurpose the product which may be difficult to demonstrate via text or a series of images.

Improvement Suggestions: To make your videos interesting and engaging, you have to make sure that all the assets that help create them are visible and complementary to your videos. Be sensitive to colors, fonts, lighting, and other elements that can hinder the aesthetics or the flow of your video. Amazon also suggests the use of text that’s clear and visible over the background and the avoidance of black screens due to the use of fade-in effects.

Most online shoppers watch videos with no audio. In fact, a study conducted by Verizon Media and Publicis Media concluded that 69% of U.S. consumers view videos with the sound off in public places and that 80% of consumers will watch a whole video when captions are available.

  • Lifestyle Images Specifically for Amazon DSP

Another way to help customers see themselves using your brand’s products is through lifestyle images. These images are designed to support your brand story and product details. By showing customers the product’s colors, uses, limits, compatibility with other products, and its various capabilities, customers are given a limit to what they can expect the product to do.

Improvement Suggestions: Aside from videos, lifestyle images basically give customers the hard sell that the product description can’t offer them. Because of this, lifestyle images need to have high resolution, a positive vibe that depicts life experiences, a maintained focus on the product, and diversity across ethnicities, races, weights, and ages.

  • Amazon Ad Formats

Ad formats on Amazon vary greatly depending on the platform and destination they’ll be displayed at.

Improvement Suggestions: As a rule of thumb, all creative assets for all ad formats should have high-resolution images, clear visibility which won’t affect the legibility of ad templates, and makes use of animation on in-video ads.

  • Custom Images

Similar to Amazon’s requirement for lifestyle images, custom images must be attractive, engaging, concise, and created with high resolution. These images should not interfere with the landing page but instead should complement it.

Improvement Suggestions: As a rule, custom images must NOT contain one of your selected product images, individual or multiple images on a solid or transparent background, have illegible elements, contain only an individual logo or a set of logos, contain your selected products images, or contain letterbox or pillar box formats.

READ: Marketing funnel not working? It’s not too late to integrate Amazon DSP into your advertising strategies!

Amazon Advertising Specifications and Policy Requirements

Creating Amazon Ad creatives requires brands to follow a set of rules and become compliant with their ad specifications and policies. These requirements are set in place to provide a customer-centric experience for Amazon visitors. All ads must be appropriate for a general audience as well as the type of placement in which they will be displayed. Amazon wants brands and advertisers to be responsible for following the guidelines and standards that they have set for the geographical areas where their ads will appear. Honesty and diversity are some of the things that Amazon doesn’t want its advertisers to overlook either. Amazon wants advertisers to avoid creating content that is misleading or offensive to their customers. On the topic of diversity, Amazon encourages its advertisers to represent a wide variety of ethnicities, genders, races, sexual orientations, abilities, religions, and ages.

Below are summarized points for each specified aspect of Amazon Ads…

General Creative Guidelines 

For all Amazon ads, Amazon sets a high creative bar that ensures consistency and high-quality customer experience. Their general creative guidelines apply to all Display Ads in all locales and are divided into sections: Advertiser Branding, Background colors and border, Borders, Distracting ads, Fake functionality, Image Quality, Pop-Ups and Pop-Unders, and Sponsored Display custom images.

The content included in ads must also fit Amazon’s standards starting from the language used to the customer reviews the product receives. In this section of Amazon’s ad specifications and policy requirements, regulations for Advertising Copy, Call to Action (CTA), Claims and Substantiations (advertising claims need to be supported by accurate and factual data sources), Comparative Advertising (comparing your brand against competitors), Customer Reviews and Star Ratings (eligibility of customer reviews that can be used in ads), Disclosures (discusses ad copy text requirements and maximum word count for ads), Editorial Guidelines (guidelines on creating professional and grammatically correct ad copy), Free Offers (terms and conditions for free items need to be presented in the ad), Language (ad copies should be written in the language of the site where they will be displayed in), and Pressuring Language (no toleration of language that pressures and shouts at customers) are discussed.

In this section of the policy and specifications page, Amazon Offers, references to Amazon, along with the use of Amazon’s logo are explained. Some of the main highlights of this section include the policy on Amazon offers where advertisers need to be transparent and specific with discounts especially when subscriptions and add-on items with discount claims are involved. 

Amazon DSP desktop and mobile web static display ads

The requirements of Amazon DSP’s desktop and mobile web static display ads vary greatly depending on their ad placement. Desktop DSP ads ranges in ad placements such as medium rectangle, leaderboard, wide skyscraper, large rectangle, and billboard. While Mobile DSP ads have ad placements in mobile leaderboard, mobile detail and search results page, mobile medium rectangle, and mobile leaderboard for tablets.

Amazon details the display size, creative dimensions, maximum file weight, and file format for each display type here.

Amazon DSP mobile app static banner ads

Advertisers can target and reach mobile app users on several third-party applications on devices that use Android or iOS platforms along with Fire Tablets. Among the ad types that can be displayed on mobile apps include image banner ads and rich media ads (for third-party apps).

When creating creatives for Amazon DSP mobile banners, Amazon recommends advertisers to use minimal text, simple and clear images, and headline or copy messages. Animated banners are also permitted to use, but are not recommended for mobile banners.

You may find Amazon’s detailed information about all mobile app ad types and their requirements here.

Streaming TV, online video, and Amazon DSP video ads

Similar to static display ads for desktop and mobile web apps, video ads for streaming services also depend on the platform and placement. Whether the ad you’ll be creating will be displayed as streaming TV ads video assets or Online Video (OLV) assets, there are specific requirements that Amazon strictly implements. Streaming TV ads differ from OLV ads in a way that they’re only available in the US and UK, are non-clickable (and shouldn’t include call-to-action elements), and can be tracked using third-party software.

Get to know Amazon DSP’s specific requirements for creating and using streaming video ads here.

Prohibited Content 

Amazon has also listed a set of global guidelines for prohibited content that must not be included in any ads, services, or products throughout the whole platform.

Prohibited content on Amazon includes (and is not limited to):

  • Deceptive or misleading content
  • The exploitation of humans or animals
  • Content targeted directly at children
  • Promotion of physical or mental harm
  • Content that encourages the use of drugs or alcohol
  • Violence or gore
  • Content that invades another’s privacy whether it’s obscene, controversial, defamatory, libelous, or illegal
  • Content of political nature or about highly-debated topics
  • Sexual content such as pornography
  • Content with vulgar language and profanity whether suggestive, scatological, or graphic
  • Content that advocates or demeans any religion
  • Discriminatory content that threatens, harasses, or abuses advocates of particular groups (based on race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, color, national origin, religion, age, or other categories
  • For Austria: Content that relates to the comparison of another brand/product’s environmental impact
  • For New Zealand: Content that displays cultural appropriation or the inappropriate use of Māori imagery, words, and other taonga.

You may browse through Amazon’s full list of prohibited content here.

Prohibited Products and Services 

Amazon has also listed the products and services that cannot be promoted in their global platform’s ad placements. As of writing, the list of prohibited content includes:

  • Aerosol paint
  • Airsoft/BB guns, paintball guns
  • Alcohol recovery or hangover cures or treatments
  • Anti-radiation products
  • Projectile weapons such as bows, arrows, slingshots, etc.
  • Coupon websites
  • Cryptocurrency topics
  • Adult dating, toys, escort services, products, etc.
  • Etching creams
  • Fat burners and blockers
  • Fertility clinics and research
  • Free non-Kindle books
  • Schemes for getting rich quick and pyramid schemes
  • Handgun safety certificates
  • Drug-related products, tests, and services
  • Sensitive pharmaceutical products and services
  • Cannabis-related products such as cannabidiol (CBD), THC, or other he,p-derived products
  • Medical procedures and research
  • Tobacco-related products including e-cigarettes
  • Knives (except for kitchen knives, cutlery, and general multi-purpose camping knives). The Netherlands: Knives and other bladed objects are prohibited except for kitchen knives, cutlery, or silverware.
  • Lethal weapons including guns, gun parts, kits, mace, black powder, and ammunition
  • Reward or loyalty-related content
  • Viruses such as malware, scareware, and spyware
  • Online pharmacies
  • Pre-natal gender selection and determination test products and services
  • Pay-per-call services
  • Content, products, services, technology, or website that infringes on intellectual property or personal rights, promote dangerous and illegal activities, falsification of documents, counterfeit designer goods, fireworks, cable descramblers, or websites that promote evading law enforcement and promotes hacking
  • Psychics and psychic-related content
  • Religious or spiritual services
  • Pet training collars with shock function
  • Short-term high-interest loans with a repayment period under 12 months and an APR of more than 50% (or 25% in Denmark)
  • Spy cameras, voice bugs, or other spy devices that are disguised as everyday items and can be used to record video or audio without the other person knowing
  • Tattooing and body branding products and services
  • Testosterone boosters
  • Australia and New Zealand: Ticket reselling
  • UV tanning equipment and services
  • Weapons

View Amazon’s full list of prohibited products and services for ads here.

READ MORE: Here’s how you can win on Amazon DSP this year!

How would your ad creatives get rejected?

The following are just some of the many reasons why your Amazon Ad creative might be rejected:

  • Poor quality creative assets
  • Custom images are against policies
  • CTAs are missing or unclear
  • Creative content isn’t approved
  • Illegible as text or disclaimer
  • Missing creative border
  • Ad content is mismatched landing page content
  • Animated video is longer than 60 seconds
  • Reviews are against Amazon’s policies
  • Landing pages are non-functional

Campaign Destinations

Landing Pages

Amazon Ads that use landing pages as placement must be tailored to highlight the objective of the redirection. By having a landing page to redirect to, advertisers can communicate with their potential customers what the ad’s purpose is. Here are some examples of landing pages that your Amazon Ads campaigns can redirect to:

  • Stores with images, text, or video
  • A recommended product widget for Stores that features multiple products
  • Stores with widget features such as deals or “Add to cart” CTA
  • Stores with Subscribe & Save or Refills
  • Product detail pages containing videos and lifestyle images
  • Product detail pages with positive customer reviews
  • Product detail pages for an individual product that details comparisons between product versions and list the product’s characteristics and benefits
  • An offsite page with educational content and promotions
  • An offsite page with value propositions, CTAs, lead generation features, and action items

Product Detail Pages

It is recommended for product detail pages to have the basic elements that highlight the products benefits as well as Amazon Ad creatives that feature the following:

  • Solid positive and genuine product reviews that can help you build trust with customers. It’s best to have at least a 3.5-star rating and 1 5 positive reviews before running an ad campaign
  • A concise product title that highlights the product’s brand, type, and name
  • Use bullets for product descriptions and describe the product’s features and specifications using short sentences

Web Static Creatives

Amazon DSP has a full list of standard sizes for ad creatives for static ads on Amazon and other websites outside of Amazon. Here are some of the standard sizes for each ad placement:

  • Desktop

(browse standard sizes table here)

  • Mobile

(browse standard sizes table here)

  • Medium Rectangle

Dimensions: 300×250 pixels, 200kb maximum

File Format: HTML

File Weight: 40kb max. static (JPG / PNG-8); 50kb max. (FR, IT, ES, JP)

  • Leaderboard

Dimensions: 728x90pixels, 200kb maximum

File Format: HTML

File Weight: 40kb max. static (JPG / PNG-8); 50kb max. (FR, IT, ES, JP)

  • Wide Skyscraper

Dimensions: 160x600pixels, 200kb maximum

File Format: HTML

File Weight: 40kb max. static (JPG / PNG-8); 50kb max. (FR, IT, ES, JP)

  • Large Rectangle

Dimensions: 300x600pixels, 200kb maximum

File Format: HTML

File Weight: 50kb max. static (JPG / PNG-8)

  • Billboard

Dimensions: 970x250pixels, (NA: 2x required for Onsite and preferred for Offsite); 800×250 pixels (DE)

File Weight: 200kb max. HTML or static (JPG / PNG-8)

  • Mobile Leaderboard

Dimensions: 320x50pixels – 640×100 pixels @2X (required)

File Weight: 50kb max. static (JPG / PNG-8)

  • Mobile Detail and Search Results Page

The 414×125 custom ad size only runs on Amazon mobile web and mobile shopping

Dimensions: 414×125 – 828×250 pixels @2X (required)

File Weight: 100kb max. static (JPG / PNG-8)

  • Mobile Medium Rectangle

Dimensions:300×250 – 600×500 pixels @2X (required)

File Weight: 40kb max. static (JPG / PNG-8)

  • Mobile Detail and Search Results Page

Dimensions: 728x90pixels – 145×180 pixels @2X (required)

File Weight: 200kb max. static (JPG / PNG-8)

Video Creatives

Being one of the most effective top-of-funnel campaigns, improving your Amazon online video (OLV) ad campaigns through creatives can advance you in the Awareness and Consideration stages of your marketing funnel. Through this section of the funnel, you can reach potential customers who have never heard of your brand before more effectively.

Here are some recommendations to help you boost your ad video creatives:

  • Video length

Amazon recommends having longer videos with lengths between 24 to 29 seconds as it helps achieve a higher detail page view rate (DPVR) which is 181% higher than video creatives that last 6 seconds or less.

To boost purchase rate (PR), it’s recommended to use video ad creatives that are 10 seconds long. Video ads that are 10 seconds long have a 51% higher PR than those that are only up to 6 seconds.

  • Presence of speech

According to Amazon, adding speech to your video ad creatives can increase your DPVR up to 37%. The speech time should be 30-50% of the whole video duration and should not be delayed by 1 second at the start as it usually decreases DPVR by 22%.

When it comes to purchase rates, there are no significant differences when it comes to videos with and without speech. However, using speech for about 60% to 90% of the video can increase PR. Video creatives with 80% to 90% of speech time have 24% more PR than those with 10% or less speech time.

  • Number of speakers

To increase DPVR, your video creative must have at least 2 speakers in order for shoppers to hear more than one perspective throughout the ad. When there are more than 2 speakers in the video ad, Amazon has noted that the DPVR decreased by up to 45%.

For purchase rate purposes, it is recommended to use 2-3 speakers as it can lead to a 26% increase in PR unlike when the video ad had only one speaker.

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