How to make custom native expanding ads (two creatives)

Expanding ads are ads that increase in size to reveal the whole image or another image when the viewer clicks or hovers their mouse cursor over the ad. You can use native templates to create expanding ad items that are tailored to your needs.

A sample expanding ad with two creatives

A sample expanding ad with two creatives fully revealed

This feature requires the Enhanced Ads add-on. For more information on adding add-ons to your subscription, read How to change your subscription.

In this guide, we're going to create a simple expanding ad with two creatives using a custom native ad template. This type of native template has all the code - HTML, JavaScript, and style element - necessary to display the ad properly.

If you'd rather sanitize the template and have only HTML inside it, you should make your expanding ad using a styled native ad template instead. For more information on the differences between custom native ads and styled native ads, read About native ad templates.

If you want to make an expanding ad that has only one creative, read How to make expanding ads (one creative).

Templates for custom native ad items are not compatible with styled native ad items, and vice-versa.

You will learn:

  1. How to create a template for a custom expanding ad (two creatives). You can customize the sample code to fit your needs.
  2. How to create a custom expanding ad (two creatives) ad item once you have a custom expanding ad (two creatives) template.

How to create a custom expanding ad (two creatives) template

This template will require the user to provide the URLs to where the image creatives are hosted when creating the expanding ad item.

  1. Click Templates in the left navigation menu. The Templates section will appear.
  2. Click Native Ad Templates. The Native Ad Templates subsection will appear.
  3. Click Add Native Ad Template. The New Native Template window will appear.
  4. Click Custom Rendering/API. The New Native Ad Template page will appear.

Selecting a native template type

  1. Name the template then add two image URL variables for the images that will be in the ad. In our sample code, we called these variables ImageURL and ImageURL2.
For templates that have multiple variables such as this one, you can drag the icon on the far left of each variable field up or down to reorder your variables.

Creating a custom native expanding ad template (two creatives) in AdButler

You can save variables and use them in other templates. After adding a variable, click on the three dots at the far right of the variable fields then click Save Variable as Template. To use a saved variable, click Add Saved Variable while creating a native template.
  1. Enter the code in the HTML Template (Custom Rendering) field, then click Save Changes.

Here's the code we used in our example:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
            .expand-container {
                position: relative;
                width: 950px;
                height: 250px;
                margin: 0 auto;

            .image-container {
                position: absolute;
                top: 0;
                left: 0;
                transition: all 1s ease;

            .image-container-1 a img {
                height: 250px;
                width: 950px;

            .image-container-2 {
                opacity: 0;
                clip: rect(0, 950px, 250px, 0);

            .image-container-2 a img {
                height: 700px;
                width: 950px;

            .expand-close-button-container {
                position: absolute;
                top: 5px;
                right: 5px;
                cursor: pointer;

            .expand-close-button {
                width: 21px;
                text-align: center;
                display: inline-block;
                color: #ffffff;
                font-size: 18px;
                background: #000000;
                border-radius: 21px;
                user-select: none;
        <div class="expand-container" onmouseover="showImage2()" onmouseout="showImage1()">
            <div class="image-container image-container-1" >
                <a target="_blank" href="[TRACKING_LINK]">
                    <img src="[%ImageURL%]">
            <div class="image-container image-container-2">
                <a target="_blank" href="[TRACKING_LINK]">
                    <img src="[%ImageURL2%]">
            <div class="expand-close-button-container">
                <span class="expand-close-button" onclick="closeButton()">×</span>
            function showImage1() {
                document.querySelector('.image-container-1').style.opacity = '1';
                document.querySelector('.image-container-2').style.clip = 'rect(0, 950px, 250px, 0)';
                document.querySelector('.image-container-2').style.opacity = '0';

            function showImage2() {
                document.querySelector('.image-container-1').style.opacity = '0';
                document.querySelector('.image-container-2').style.clip = 'rect(0, 950px, 700px, 0)';
                document.querySelector('.image-container-2').style.opacity = '1';

            function closeButton() {
                document.querySelector('.expand-container').style.display = 'none';

You can now use this template to create a custom expanding ad (two creatives) ad item.

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How to create a custom expanding ad (two creatives) ad item

  1. Go to the section of the relevant zone (Your AdButler > Publishers > Your Publisher > Your Zone) or campaign (Your AdButler > Advertisers > Your Advertiser > Your Campaign).
Custom native expanding ad ad items can be assigned only to Standard zones with the size set to Dynamic. The zone size can be configured only when creating a zone and cannot be changed afterward.
  1. Click Add Ad Item in the Ad Items table. The Add Ad Item window will appear.
  2. Click Native (Custom Rendering/API). The New Ad Item page will appear.

Creating a native (custom rendering/API) ad item

  1. Set the ad item's size to Dynamic.
  2. Select your expanding ad (two creatives) custom native ad template in the Template dropdown menu.
  3. Fill in the rest of the fields as needed, including the image URLs. If you entered a destination URL, you can test it by clicking Open Destination URL to the right of the field.
  4. Click Save Ad Item.

Creating a custom native expanding ad item (two creatives) in AdButler

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