Create and manage Creative Sets

Expand your ad variations in Apple Search Ads Advanced search results campaigns

You can add Creative Sets ad variations when you start a new campaign or anytime after that in the Creative Sets dashboard within your ad group.

Choose screenshots and app previews — up to ten screenshots and three app previews — per display size. The list you see in your account will include all available assets on your App Store product page, and you’ll need to select the following to make a new set:

  • For each iPhone display size, select at least one landscape or three portraits. Two of the portraits must be screenshots.

  • For each iPad display size, select at least one landscape or two portraits. One portrait must be a screenshot.

Selections are available only for displays that meet the minimum number of localized screenshots and app previews. Possible options include the iPhone 6.5” display, iPhone 5.8” display, iPhone 5.5” display, iPhone 4.7” display, iPhone 4” display, iPad 12.9” display, iPad 10.5” display, and iPad 9.7” display.

You can choose to not select assets for a certain display size. The Apple SearchAds default ad will appear instead.

Note that once you’ve added images and app previews to a set and you’ve saved it, you can’t make any changes to your selections. But you can change the name of your set, choose to pause it in the Creative Sets dashboard, or create a new one.

Understand default ads

A default image and text ad is automatically created for you using the first few screenshots and app previews on your App Store product page. To ensure best results, default ads will always run in addition to Creative Sets ad variations and can’t be paused or removed. Default assets are displayed in the order they were uploaded to the App Store.

Default ad images

Assets selected for the default image ad vary depending on the type of assets available in landscape and portrait orientation. For example:

  • iPhone: Default image ads are created using the first one to three screenshots and app previews.
  • iPad: Default image ads are created using the first one to two screenshots and app previews.

Determine device display sizes

Only display sizes that meet the minimum number of required localized screenshots and app previews are available for Creative Sets. They include the iPhone 6.5” display, iPhone5.8” display, iPhone5.5” display, iPhone4.7” display, iPhone4” display, iPad12.9” display, iPad10.5” display, and iPad9.7” display.

If you don’t want to select assets for a certain device display size, the default ad will always appear for it.

How to make a new Creative Sets ad variation

  1. From the Ad Groups dashboard, click an ad group to access the Creative Sets dashboard.
  2. From the Creative Sets dashboard, click the Add New Creative Set button.
  3. Name your new Creative Sets ad variation.
  4. From the Localization Language menu, choose your preferred language.
  5. Select the assets you’d like to add for each device type and display size.
  6. Click Save.

Creative Sets best practices

Align to ad group keyword themes.

For example, if you have a travel app that covers flights, hotels, and car rentals, you could use Creative Sets to focus on a specific offering. Here’s how:

  • A set using flight-related screenshots may be used to align to an ad group with keywords focused on flight booking.

  • A set using hotel-related screenshots may be used to align to an ad group with keywords focused on hotel bookings.

Align to audience types.

For example, if you have a shopping app, you could show a screenshot or app preview featuring women’s fashion to a female audience, and men’s fashion to a male audience.

Use the same assets across display sizes.

This will help provide greater clarity around performance.

  1. Upload assets for iPhone 6.5” and 5.5” displays.
  2. Upload the optional iPhone 5.8” display assets.
  3. Upload assets for iPad 12.9” display.

You may also want to create separate ad groups for iPhone and iPad, as ad formats and performance on the devices can vary.

Carefully choose assets for your Creative Sets.

  • Avoid selecting only assets denoted as “default.” Default ads are already created for you by Apple Search Ads. Add at least one new set, or you won’t see ad variations. Default ads can run against any set for best results.

  • For the best control over ads and cleanest reporting, consider selecting a maximum of three portrait or one landscape for each display size on iPhone, or a maximum of two portraits or one landscape for iPad. Under this setup, you can view the performance data for each ad variation.

For example, if you had a travel app and wanted to see if a Caribbean hotel image performed better than a Hawaiian hotel image, you’d:

  • Add one set with three Caribbean hotel images

  • Add one set with three Hawaiian hotel images

Both ad variations would run against the default ad image. Because you consistently used the same number of assets for each theme, it will be easy to see which ad variation performed best in your reporting.

View Creative Sets and results

Each of your sets can be found under its associated ad group in the Creative Sets dashboard. The dashboard is available regardless of whether you’re using Creative Sets. You can activate, pause, remove, or add more sets there.

Performance data for Creative Sets and default ads is available at the ad group level, also in the Creative Sets dashboard. Key metrics, along with a breakout of text and image default ads, will be available.