How to make styled native sidekick ads

Sidekick ads are interactive ads that appear to be a typical medium rectangle (300 x 250), but reveal a second and larger image when the viewer hovers their mouse cursor over it. You can use native templates to create sidekick ad items that are tailored to your needs.

A sample sidekick ad

A sample sidekick ad 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 sidekick ad using a styled native ad template. This type of native template has only the HTML code. You must add the necessary JavaScript code and style element directly to your website to display the ad properly.

If you'd rather have all the necessary code (HTML, JavaScript and CSS) in the template, you should make your sidekick ad using a custom native ad template instead. For more information on the differences between custom native ads and styled native ads, read About native ad templates.

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 styled sidekick ad. You can customize the sample code to fit your needs.
  2. How to create a styled sidekick ad item once you have a styled sidekick template.

How to create a styled sidekick ad template

This template will require the user to provide the URL to where the image creatives are hosted when creating the sidekick 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 Styled. 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 styled native sidekick ad template 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 (Styled) field, then click Save Changes.

Here's the code we used in our example:

<div class="sidekick-container">
    <div class="sidekick-image">
        <a target="_blank" href="[TRACKING_LINK]">
            <img src="[%ImageURL%]">
        <div class="sidekick-close-button-container close-button-container">
            <span class="sidekick-close-button close-button">×</span>
    <div class="expanded-image">
        <a target="_blank" href="[TRACKING_LINK]">
            <img src="[%ImageURL2%]">
        <div class="expanded-image-close-button-container close-button-container">
            <span class="expanded-image-close-button close-button">×</span>

You can now use this template to create a styled sidekick ad item.

Back to top

How to create a styled sidekick 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).
Styled native ad items can be assigned only to Native zones, with or without custom rendering enabled.
  1. Click Add Ad Item in the Ad Items table. The Add Ad Item window will appear.
  2. Click Native (Styled). The New Ad Item page will appear.

Creating a native (styled) ad item

  1. Select your sidekick styled native ad template in the Template dropdown menu.
  2. 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.
  3. Click Save Ad Item.

Creating a sidekick ad styled native ad item in AdButler

At this point, you have finished setting up the ad item on the AdButler interface. You must now add the JavaScript and style element needed to display this ad properly directly to your website. Here's the sample code that we used in our example. You must replace the zone tags and zone class in the code with your own zone tags and zone class.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
            .sidekick-container {
                position: relative;
                width: fit-content;

            .sidekick-image img {
                max-width: 300px;
                max-height: 250px;

            .expanded-image {
                display: none;
                position: absolute;
                top: 0;
                left: calc(100% + 1rem);

            .expanded-image img {
                max-width: 300px;
                max-height: 600px;

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

            .close-button {
                width: 26px;
                text-align: center;
                display: inline-block;
                color: #ffffff;
                font-size: 21px;
                background: #000000;
                border-radius: 26px;
                user-select: none;
        <!-- To Edit 1: Replace Zone Tags below here with your own -->
        <script type="text/javascript">if (!window.AdButler){(function(){var s = document.createElement("script"); s.async = true; s.type = "text/javascript"; s.src = ''; var n = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; n.parentNode.insertBefore(s, n);}());}</script>
        <div class="plc104327"></div>
        <script type="text/javascript">
            var AdButler = AdButler || {}; = || [];
            var abkw = window.abkw || '';
            var plc104327 = window.plc104327 || 0;
                var divs = document.querySelectorAll(".plc104327:not([id])");
                var div = divs[divs.length-1];
       = "placement_104327_"+plc104327;
      {handler: function(opt){ AdButler.register(######, ######, [0,0], 'placement_104327_', opt); }, opt: { place: plc104327++, keywords: abkw, domain: '', click: 'CLICK_MACRO_PLACEHOLDER' }});
        <!-- Replace Zone Tags above here with your own -->

   () {
                // To Edit 2: Update this class with your zone's class
                var zoneClass = 'plc104327';
                var wrapper = document.querySelector('.' + zoneClass);
                wrapper.addEventListener(AdButler.EVENTS.LOAD, function (e) {
                    <!-- Below code listens for the mouseover event and then shows the expanded image -->
                    var sidekickImage = document.querySelector('.' + zoneClass + ' .sidekick-image');
                    sidekickImage.addEventListener('mouseover', function () {
                        document.querySelector('.' + zoneClass + ' .expanded-image').style.display = 'block';

                    <!-- Below code makes the sidekick close button functional -->
                    var closeButton = document.querySelector('.' + zoneClass + ' .sidekick-close-button');
                    closeButton.addEventListener('click', function () {
                        document.querySelector('.' + zoneClass + ' .sidekick-container').style.display = 'none';

                    <!-- Below code makes the expanded image close button functional -->
                    var expandedImageCloseButton = document.querySelector('.' + zoneClass + ' .expanded-image-close-button');
                    expandedImageCloseButton.addEventListener('click', function () {
                        document.querySelector('.' + zoneClass + ' .expanded-image').style.display = 'none';

Back to top

Can't find what you're looking for?

Send us an email

Visit the blog

For more ad serving tips, industry news and AdButler insights.