Ad Customizer

Displaying up-to-date and dynamic values in ad text can be very compelling for viewers. An advertiser who wants to advertise their prices benefits by keeping their ad text current. Deleting and re-adding an ad loses any historical information and introduces a delay for policy checks. Using AdWords scripts with ad customizers makes it possible to fetch live data and update an ad to reflect current prices, inventory levels, or anything else that may change over time.

This script sets up parameterized ads for a hypothetical flower shop whose inventory data is stored in Google Spreadsheets. An ad is set up such that when someone searches for a specific kind of flower in stock, the ad is customized to show that flower and its price; when someone searches for a more generic term like "flowers", the ad shows the flower that has the most stock in inventory, so that the shop can sell more of them while they're still fresh.

In real advertising campaigns, you'll have your own datasources — whether they be stored in Google Spreadsheets, Google Drive, or other data feeds retrievable via UrlFetchApp. You can modify this script to incorporate your own data into this example instead of using flower data.

Ad customizers enhance the functionality provided by ad params:

  • Arbitrary text can be used instead of just numbers.
  • Ad customizers can be applied on the campaign or ad group levels, not just on the keyword level.
  • Ad customizers collect stats that you can analyze and report on.

How it works

Data sources, items, and ads

Customized ads are basically normal text ads, except some of their text gets replaced by custom data:

adGroup.newAd().expandedTextAdBuilder()
    .withHeadlinePart1('{=Flowers.name} For Sale')
    .withHeadlinePart2('Fresh cut {=Flowers.name_lowercase}')
    .withDescription('starting at {=Flowers.price}')
    .withFinalUrl('http://example.com')
    .build();

This text ad will plug in values that it looks up from the data source called "Flowers". Each data source holds one set of related ad customizers and declares a set of "attributes" that can be substituted into ads — in this case, 'name' and 'name_lowercase', which have data of type text, and 'price', which has data of type price:

AdWordsApp.newAdCustomizerSourceBuilder()
    .withName('Flowers')
    .addAttribute('name', 'text')
    .addAttribute('name_lowercase', 'text')
    .addAttribute('price', 'price')
    // Attributes named 'Custom ID' are special: the system will make sure
    // that all values in the data source have unique custom IDs.
    .addAttribute('Custom ID', 'text')
    .build();

Finally, each source contains individual ad customizer items, which hold the actual values that get substituted into the ad, and keep track of stats for that particular ad variation. Ad customizers can apply to the whole account, or be targeted to specific campaigns, ad groups, or keywords. The script here creates ad customizers for each flower in stock which will show up when that flower is searched for:

source.adCustomizerItemBuilder()
    .withAttributeValue('Custom ID', flower.name.toLowerCase())
    .withAttributeValue('name', flower.name),
    .withAttributeValue('name_lowercase', flower.name.toLowerCase()),
    .withAttributeValue('price', flower.price)
    .withTargetKeyword(flower.name)
    .build();

What data to use?

This script reads in flower inventory from a Google Spreadsheet.

// Read flower / quantity / price data from a spreadsheet. In a real
// advertising campaign, you would have your own data source to read from.
function readFlowers(url) {
  var flowersByName = {};
  var spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.openByUrl(url);
  var sheet = spreadsheet.getSheets()[0];
  var data = sheet.getRange(2, 1, sheet.getMaxRows() - 1, 3).getValues();
  for (var i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
    if (data[i][0]) {
      var flower = {
        name: data[i][0],
        quantity: parseFloat(data[i][1]),
        price: data[i][2]
      };
      if (typeof flower.price != 'string') {
        // Spreadsheets will sometimes coerce "$4.99" into just the number
        // 4.99. In that case, add the dollar sign back.
        flower.price = '$' + flower.price.toFixed(2);
      }
      flowersByName[flower.name] = flower;
    }
  }
  return flowersByName;
}

Updating customizers

For each flower in the inventory spreadsheet, the script will try to update the price attribute for the corresponding ad customizer, or create a new ad customizer if no corresponding customizer exists yet. It also keeps track of which flower has the most inventory in stock, and then modifies or creates a 'Default' ad customizer which applies to the whole ad group, regardless of which keyword triggers the ad.

function main() {
  var adGroup = getAdGroup(CAMPAIGN, ADGROUP);
  var source = getOrCreateDataSource();
  maybeCreateAds(adGroup);

  // Get all customizer items in the 'Flowers' data source, and create a map
  // from item ID to item.
  var customizers = source.items().get();
  var customizersById = {};
  while (customizers.hasNext()) {
    var customizer = customizers.next();
    customizersById[customizer.getAttributeValue('Custom ID')] = customizer;
  }

  // For each flower in inventory, update the matching ad customizer item's
  // 'price' attribute. Also find the flower with the highest quantity in stock.
  var flowersInStock = readFlowers(SPREADSHEET_URL);
  var mostInStock;
  var highestStock = 0;
  for (var flowerName in flowersInStock) {
    var flower = flowersInStock[flowerName];
    if (flower.quantity > highestStock) {
      highestStock = flower.quantity;
      mostInStock = flower;
    }

    var customizer = customizersById[flower.name.toLowerCase()];
    if (customizer) {
      customizer.setAttributeValue('price', flower.price);
    } else {
      source.adCustomizerItemBuilder()
          .withAttributeValue('Custom ID', flower.name.toLowerCase())
          .withAttributeValue('name', flower.name)
          .withAttributeValue('name_lowercase', flower.name.toLowerCase())
          .withAttributeValue('price', flower.price)
          .withTargetKeyword(flower.name)
          .build();
    }
  }

  // Point the 'default' customizer item to the flower that has the largest
  // quantity in stock. The default customizer item has no target keyword, so
  // it'll be triggered for generic search terms like 'flowers'.
  var defaultCustomizer = customizersById['Default'];
  if (defaultCustomizer) {
    defaultCustomizer.setAttributeValues({
      name: mostInStock.name,
      name_lowercase: mostInStock.name.toLowerCase(),
      price: mostInStock.price
    });
  } else {
    source.adCustomizerItemBuilder()
        .withAttributeValue('Custom ID', 'Default')
        .withAttributeValue('name', mostInStock.name)
        .withAttributeValue('name_lowercase', mostInStock.name.toLowerCase())
        .withAttributeValue('price', mostInStock.price)
        .build();
  }
}

Setup

  • Create a new ad group and add any keywords you want.
  • Setup a spreadsheet-based script with the source code below. Use a copy of the template spreadsheet.
  • Don't forget to update SPREADSHEET_URL, CAMPAIGN, and ADGROUP in code.
  • Schedule the script to run hourly.

Source code

// Copyright 2015, Google Inc. All Rights Reserved.
//
// Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
// you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
// You may obtain a copy of the License at
//
//     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
//
// Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
// distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
// WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.

/**
 * @name Ad Customizer
 *
 * @overview The Ad Customizer script shows how to setup parameterized ads in
 *     your account. This script generates ads for a hypothetical flower shop
 *     whose inventory data is stored in Google Spreadsheets. In real
 *     advertising campaigns, you'll need to substitute it with your own
 *     datasources. See
 *     https://developers.google.com/adwords/scripts/docs/solutions/customizer
 *     for more details.
 *
 * @author AdWords Scripts Team [adwords-scripts@googlegroups.com]
 *
 * @version 1.0.2
 *
 * @changelog
 * - version 1.0.2
 *   - Added validation for external spreadsheet setup.
 * - version 1.0.1
 *   - Updated to use expanded text ads.
 * - version 1.0
 *   - Released initial version.
 */

// Replace this with the URL of the spreadsheet containing your data.
var SPREADSHEET_URL = 'YOUR_SPREADSHEET_URL';
// Replace this with the name of the campaign you want to use.
var CAMPAIGN = 'Campaign name';
// Replace this with the name of the ad group you want to use.
var ADGROUP = 'Flowers';

/**
 * Retrieves an ad group given a campaign and ad group name.
 *
 * @param {string} campaignName The campaign name.
 * @param {string} adGroupName The ad group name.
 * @return {!AdGroup} The ad group.
 * @throws if the specified campaign and ad group does not exist.
 */
function getAdGroup(campaignName, adGroupName) {
  return AdWordsApp.adGroups()
      .withCondition('Name = "' + adGroupName + '"')
      .withCondition('CampaignName = "' + campaignName + '"')
      .get()
      .next();
}

/**
 * Creates customized ads if they haven't already been created.
 *
 * @param {!AdGroup} adGroup The ad group within which to create the ads.
 */
function maybeCreateAds(adGroup) {
  var ads = adGroup.ads().get();
  while (ads.hasNext()) {
    var ad = ads.next();
    if (ad.isType().expandedTextAd()) {
      var expandedTextAd = ad.asType().expandedTextAd();
      if (expandedTextAd.getHeadlinePart1() == 'Flowers For Sale') {
        // The ads have already been created; no need to do more
        return;
      }
    }
  }

  // Reference the 'Flowers' data source here; text will be inserted when the
  // ad is served.
  adGroup.newAd().expandedTextAdBuilder()
      .withHeadlinePart1('{=Flowers.name} For Sale')
      .withHeadlinePart2('Fresh cut {=Flowers.name_lowercase}')
      .withDescription('starting at {=Flowers.price}')
      .withFinalUrl('http://example.com')
      .build();
  // All ad groups also need to have an ad without ad customizers to fall back
  // on, in case no ad customizers are able to serve.
  adGroup.newAd().expandedTextAdBuilder()
      .withHeadlinePart1('Flowers For Sale')
      .withHeadlinePart2('Fresh cut flowers')
      .withDescription('delivered for cheap')
      .withFinalUrl('http://www.example.com')
      .build();
}

/**
 * Retrieves or creates the Flowers data source.
 *
 * @return {!AdCustomizerSource}
 */
function getOrCreateDataSource() {
  var sources = AdWordsApp.adCustomizerSources().get();
  while (sources.hasNext()) {
    var source = sources.next();
    if (source.getName() == 'Flowers') {
      return source;
    }
  }
  return AdWordsApp.newAdCustomizerSourceBuilder()
      .withName('Flowers')
      .addAttribute('name', 'text')
      .addAttribute('name_lowercase', 'text')
      .addAttribute('price', 'price')
      // Attributes named 'Custom ID' are special: the system will make sure
      // that all values in the data source have unique custom IDs.
      .addAttribute('Custom ID', 'text')
      .build()
      .getResult();
}

/**
 * Reads flower / quantity / price data from a spreadsheet. In a real
 * advertising campaign, you would have your own data source to read from.
 *
 * @param {string} url The URL of the spreadsheet to read from.
 * @return {!Object} A lookup of flower details, by name.
 */
function readFlowers(url) {
  var flowersByName = {};

  Logger.log('Using spreadsheet - %s.', url);
  var spreadsheet = validateAndGetSpreadsheet(url);

  var sheet = spreadsheet.getSheets()[0];
  var data = sheet.getRange(2, 1, sheet.getMaxRows() - 1, 3).getValues();
  for (var i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
    if (data[i][0]) {
      var flower = {
        name: data[i][0],
        quantity: parseFloat(data[i][1]),
        price: data[i][2]
      };
      if (typeof flower.price != 'string') {
        // Spreadsheets will sometimes coerce "$4.99" into just the number 4.99.
        // In that case, add the dollar sign back.
        flower.price = '$' + flower.price.toFixed(2);
      }
      flowersByName[flower.name] = flower;
    }
  }
  return flowersByName;
}

/**
 * Obtains a mapping from Customizer ID to Customizer object.
 *
 * @param {!AdCustomizerSource} source
 * @return {!Object.<!AdCustomizerItem>} A mapping from custom ID to item.
 */
function getCustomizersById(source) {
  var customizers = source.items().get();
  var customizersById = {};
  while (customizers.hasNext()) {
    var customizer = customizers.next();
    customizersById[customizer.getAttributeValue('Custom ID')] = customizer;
  }
  return customizersById;
}

/**
 * Sets the price value of existing customizers, or creates new customizers
 * where none exists.
 *
 * @param {!AdCustomizerSource} source
 * @param {!Object} flowersInStock A mapping of flower names to objects
 *     objects containing flower details, including price.
 * @param {!Object.<!AdCustomizerItem>} customizersById A mapping from custom ID
 *     to ad customizer.
 * @return {!Object} The object representing the flower with most in stock.
 */
function setCustomizerValues(source, flowersInStock, customizersById) {
  var mostInStock;
  var highestStock = 0;
  for (var flowerName in flowersInStock) {
    var flower = flowersInStock[flowerName];
    if (flower.quantity > highestStock) {
      highestStock = flower.quantity;
      mostInStock = flower;
    }
    var customizer = customizersById[flower.name.toLowerCase()];
    if (customizer) {
      customizer.setAttributeValue('price', flower.price);
    } else {
      source.adCustomizerItemBuilder()
          .withAttributeValue('Custom ID', flower.name.toLowerCase())
          .withAttributeValue('name', flower.name)
          .withAttributeValue('name_lowercase', flower.name.toLowerCase())
          .withAttributeValue('price', flower.price)
          .withTargetKeyword(flower.name)
          .build();
    }
  }
  return mostInStock;
}

/**
 * Main entry point.
 */
function main() {
  var adGroup = getAdGroup(CAMPAIGN, ADGROUP);
  var source = getOrCreateDataSource();
  maybeCreateAds(adGroup);

  // Get all customizer items in the 'Flowers' data source, and create a map
  // from item ID to item.
  var customizersById = getCustomizersById(source);

  // For each flower in inventory, update the matching ad customizer item's
  // 'price' attribute. Also find the flower with the highest quantity in stock.
  var flowersInStock = readFlowers(SPREADSHEET_URL);
  var mostInStock =
      setCustomizerValues(source, flowersInStock, customizersById);

  // Point the 'default' customizer item to the flower that has the largest
  // quantity in stock. The default customizer item has no target keyword, so
  // it'll be triggered for generic search terms like 'flowers'.
  var defaultCustomizer = customizersById['Default'];
  if (defaultCustomizer) {
    defaultCustomizer.setAttributeValues({
      name: mostInStock.name,
      name_lowercase: mostInStock.name.toLowerCase(),
      price: mostInStock.price
    });
  } else {
    source.adCustomizerItemBuilder()
        .withAttributeValue('Custom ID', 'Default')
        .withAttributeValue('name', mostInStock.name)
        .withAttributeValue('name_lowercase', mostInStock.name.toLowerCase())
        .withAttributeValue('price', mostInStock.price)
        .build();
  }
}

/**
 * DO NOT EDIT ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE.
 * Please modify your spreadsheet URL and email addresses at the top of the file
 * only.
 */

/**
 * Validates the provided spreadsheet URL and email address
 * to make sure that they're set up properly. Throws a descriptive error message
 * if validation fails.
 *
 * @param {string} spreadsheeturl The URL of the spreadsheet to open.
 * @return {Spreadsheet} The spreadsheet object itself, fetched from the URL.
 * @throws {Error} If the spreadsheet URL or email hasn't been set
 */
function validateAndGetSpreadsheet(spreadsheeturl) {
  if (spreadsheeturl == 'YOUR_SPREADSHEET_URL') {
    throw new Error('Please specify a valid Spreadsheet URL. You can find' +
        ' a link to a template in the associated guide for this script.');
  }
  var spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.openByUrl(spreadsheeturl);
  return spreadsheet;
}

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