New Feature: Apple Search Ads Creative Sets

How to Make Search Ads Creative Sets

  1. Start making a creative set when making a new campaign or for existing ad groups.
  2. Click add creative set.
  3. Add a name.
  4. Select the assets you want to show in your Search Ad result (the first asset in the list selected will be the first shown; see caveat bullet #2).
  5. 3 assets must be selected for portrait orientation assets, or 1 asset for landscape orientation.
  6. Select assets for each asset size you like or check the use default assetscheck box.
  7. Save the creative set; new creative sets will show in the list above the default sets.

What You Can’t Do With Creative Sets

  1. Upload new creatives directly into the Search Ads interface.
  2. Test all unique combinations of screenshots/preview videos in your product page.
  3. See creative set + keyword/search term performance.
  4. Give two creative sets the same name in any other campaign/ad set in the entire account — it would seem this is a bug!
  5. (Easily) see aggregated creative set performance across a campaign/account.
  6. Report on data such as age/demographics/time of day/day of weeks for creative sets.

Important Details to Know About Creative Sets

  • Creative sets are created only from screenshots or preview videos uploaded to iTunes Connect for a target app.
  • Order matters when selecting creative sets — creative ad sets can only be created from screenshots or preview videos in the left-to-right order they were uploaded into iTunes Connect in.
  • This means that if you are using your later screenshots for creative set A/B testing, you will need to order the screenshots in the order you want to select them.
  • Apple’s documentation specifies:
  • iPhone example: if you have a Creative Set with four assets — ABCD — possible ads would be combinations of: ABC, ABD, ACD, BCD but CBA is not a valid combination.
  • Put another way, if your first screenshot is selected in a creative set, it will always show as your first screenshot.
  • If running tests with a set of 5 regular screenshots, upload your first test screenshot as iTunes Connect screenshot #6, your second test screenshot as iTunes Connect screenshot #7, and your third test screenshot as iTunes Connect screenshot #8)
  • A creative set can enable apps with preview videos to use only screenshots in a Search Ad without removing the preview video from the live product page.
  • Special characters such as pipes (useful for creating delimiters for analysis) are not permitted, but others such as commas or dashes are permitted.
  • Creative sets can be shared (AKA duplicated) between ad sets and campaigns.
  • Creative sets do not indicate the order of screenshots.
  • This makes it vital to name your creative sets appropriately, so that you can maintain accurate reporting.
  • Thankfully, creative set names can be edited after they are live, but the asset selection is immutable.
  • Creative sets also have their own IDs, which can make reporting easier.
  • Like search terms, creative sets do not appear in the campaign-level of hierarchy.
  • Creative sets don’t require all asset types to be selected to be completed (meaning you can test using only one asset size if you have multiple; just select the use default check box).

First Thoughts on Using Creative Sets for iOS 1st Party A/B Testing

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Gabe Kwakyi

Gabe Kwakyi

A curious mind and a passionate soul seeking to reflect and share learnings on life through the practice of mindfulness.

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