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Add a Microsoft Outlook Creative via the API

Microsoft Outlook creatives show up in the right-hand sidebar of the free Outlook.com webmail service after a user securely logs in. This page provides specifications for Outlook creatives and shows you how to add them to the AppNexus system via the Creative Service

Outlook creatives must pass AppNexus' SSL audit and the Microsoft Creative Acceptance Policy audit.

On This Page

Specifications

This section defines the fields of the Creative Service that are required for Outlook creatives. These fields must be passed in the JSON object on POST. See Step 1 below for formatting details.

 

Field

Type

Required?

Description/Requirements

secure_content

string

Yes, if adding a hosted creative

For hosted creatives: The image for the secure Outlook creative. Clicking on the image takes the user to the Landing Page URL.

  • File must be in one of the following formats: JPG, PNG, GIF.
  • File must be base64-encoded.
  • Image must be 100x72 pixels (see width and height below). If the image is any other dimension, it will be scaled proportionally when rendered to fit within 100x72.
  • Must not be flash.
  • Must not include any animation.
  • Initial load size must be less than 40 KB.
contentstringYes, if adding a hosted creative

For hosted creatives: The image for the non-secure Outlook creative. Although only the secure image will get served to Outlook.com inventory, you are required to add a non-secure version as well.

  • File must be in one of the following formats: JPG, PNG, GIF.
  • File must be base64-encoded.
  • Image must be 100x72 pixels (see width and height below). If the image is any other dimension, it will be scaled proportionally when rendered to fit within 100x72.
  • Must not be flash.
  • Must not include any animation.
  • Initial load size must be less than 40 KB.
media_url_securestringYes, if adding a third-party creativeFor third-party creatives: The URL of image for the secure Outlook creative.
  • URL must be secure (https).
  • File must be in one of the following formats: JPG, PNG, GIF.
  • Image must be 100x72 pixels (see width and height below). If the image is any other dimension, it will be scaled proportionally when rendered to fit within 100x72.
  • Must not be flash.
  • Must not include any animation.
media_urlstringYes, if adding a third-party creative

For third-party creatives: The URL of image for the non-secure Outlook creative.

  • File must be in one of the following formats: JPG, PNG, GIF.
  • Image must be 100x72 pixels (see width and height below). If the image is any other dimension, it will be scaled proportionally when rendered to fit within 100x72.
  • Must not be flash.
  • Must not include any animation.

width

int

Yes

The width of the image for the Outlook creative.

  • Width must be 100 pixels. Even if the actual image is not 100x72, you still must set this field to 100 to serve properly.

height

int

Yes

The height of the image for the Outlook creative. 

  • Height must be 72 pixels. Even if the actual image is not 100x72, you still must set this field to 72 to serve properly.

file_name

string

Yes, if adding a hosted creatives

For hosted creatives: The name of the image file and the file extension (.jpg, .png, or .gif).

  • Filename can be a maximum of 1000 characters.
click_url

string

Yes

The URL where users will be redirected when they click the Outlook ad.

  • URL can be a maximum of 1024 characters.
  • URL must begin with "http://" or "https://".
template

object

Yes

The AppNexus rendering template for Outlook creatives.

  • The id field in this object must be set to 3033 (Outlook.com versaTiles One-Tile).
allow_ssl_audit

boolean

Yes

Whether or not the creative will be submitted to AppNexus' secure audit as well as Microsoft Creative Acceptance Policy audit.  

  • This must be set to true because Outlook creatives must pass both AppNexus' SSL and Microsoft Acceptance Policy audits in order to serve on Outlook.com inventory, which is secure.
custom_macros

array of objects

Yes (some parts are optional)

The headline, description, flex tile label, and impression tracking pixels for the Outlook creative. The headline and description are required, whereas the flex tile label and impression tracking pixels are optional.

The HEADLINE macro defines the text that displays above the image. Requirements:

  • Maximum of 25 characters including spaces.
  • Must not contain newline characters.
  • Must not include 2 consecutive punctuation marks. 
  • Must not consist entirely of capital letters.
  • Must not start with punctuation.
  • Must not include double spaces.
  • Must not include more than 2 consecutive 1 character words.
  • Must not include special characters like < > * \ ^ ~ _ = { } [ ] | < >.

The DESCRIPTION macro defines the text that displays under the image. Requirements:

  • Maximum of 90 characters including spaces, with no word having more than 20 characters.
  • Must not include 2 consecutive punctuation marks. 
  • Must not consist entirely of capital letters.
  • Must not start with punctuation.
  • Must not include double spaces.
  • Must not include more than 2 consecutive 1 character words.
  • Must not include special characters like < > * \ ^ ~ _ = { } [ ] | < >

The FLEX_LABEL defines the optional, additional description for the Outlook creative. Requirement:

  • Maximum of 20 characters.

Using PIXEL_URL and PIXEL_URL2 macros, you can add two third-party impression tracking pixels to an Outlook creative for recording impressions in an external system. You must be sure to use these macros instead of the pixels array. Requirements:

  • Final destination URL of each pixel must be secure (https) and contain a valid SSL/TLS certificate.
  • URL of each pixel must not be more than 1024 characters.

Auditing Requirements

SSL Audit

Since Outlook.com consists of secure inventory, Outlook creatives must pass AppNexus' SSL audit in order to serve. When you add an Outlook creative to AppNexus, opt into secure audit by setting allow_ssl_audit to true. For details about checking the state of the secure audit, see Check the Audit Status of an Outlook Creative.

Microsoft Creative Acceptance Policy Audit 

All creatives serving on Outlook.com inventory must pass AppNexus platform audit and the Microsoft Creative Acceptance Policy audit, for which AppNexus charges a standard audit fee. When you submit an Outlook creative to AppNexus' secure audit, the creative is submitted to the Microsoft Creative Acceptance Policy audit by default. There's no additional option to set. For details about checking the state of the Microsoft audit, see Check the Audit Status of an Outlook Creative.

Step 1. Create a JSON file with your creative details

For details about the fields to include in your JSON, see Specifications above. Note that this example is for adding an Outlook creative hosted by a third-party. 

Step 2. POST the JSON file to the Creative Service

Next Steps

Check the Audit Status of the Outlook Creative

Once you've added an Outlook creative to AppNexus, you can check where it is in the AppNexus' Secure Platform and Microsoft Acceptance Policy audits. For more details, see Check the Audit Status of an Outlook Creative.

Create an Outlook Campaign

You can use the Campaign Service and the Profile Service to set up a campaign that targets Outlook.com inventory. For more details, see Create an Outlook Campaign via the API.

Related Topics

Buying Microsoft Outlook.com Inventory
Create an Outlook Campaign via the API