Let’s Decompress Your Google Heavy Ads Confusion

Over the past year, we’ve received questions about Chrome’s Heavy Ad Interventions. In particular, the confusion tends to be around what types of ads are deemed heavy, and what to do when your own ad is flagged as heavy. So, let’s start with the basics. 

What exactly are “Chrome Heavy Ads”?

While Chrome announced Heavy Ads back in May 2020, many of you may just be learning about it now. In an effort to provide a more user-friendly experience on the Chrome web browser, Google now measures and automatically blocks any creatives that they deem as “heavy.” 

Chrome considers an ad heavy if the user has not interacted with it (ie: tapped or clicked on it) and meets the following criteria: 

  • Uses more than 4 megabytes of network bandwidth 
  • Uses the main thread for more than 15 seconds in any 30 second window
  • Uses the main thread for more than 60 seconds in total

Does ViralGains Alert Me If My Ad Is Heavy?

Yes! ViralGains Odyssey™ measures the size of all advertisements in our platform and will automatically add a warning if an ad exceeds the 4MB size limit set by Chrome. For video ads, we recommend using a video file no larger than 3MB to save about 1MB for ViralGains’ engagement elements. 

When working in our Creative Studio, we’ll break down the size of your ad so it’s easy to determine which elements are adding weight. The breakdown will look like the examples below:

Heavy Ad Warning
ViralGains Heavy Ad Passed

*Categories including Logo Images, Overlays, and Other are attributed to ViralGains’ engagement elements.

This feedback is a significant time saver for users, as we notify them if their ads will be blocked by Chrome ahead of time. 

Also, ViralGains Odyssey™ will convert certain media types to Click-to-Play whenever possible to avoid the ad being blocked by Chrome but we highly recommend reducing your file size to not trigger Chrome Heavy Ads. 

The Key Benefits of ViralGains Odyssey Heavy Ads Warning: 

  1. Time Saver: ViralGains Odyssey™ helps save time! We alert users if their ads will be blocked on Chrome ahead of time. Without a Heavy Ads Warning, users would have to test live campaigns to see if they meet Chrome’s guidelines, losing valuable time.
  1. Real-Time Feedback: ViralGains Odyssey™ provides specific feedback so you can get to the root of the issue in record time. If your creative is flagged in ViralGains Odyssey™, hover over the flag warning to see a size breakdown of each part of the creative. Then, see if you can condense certain elements of the video to reduce the size. We’ve found that it’s a best practice to keep the video file size 3MB or less.
  1. Customer Service: ViralGains customers get an additional layer of service. Not only are we warning our clients when their ads are too heavy for Chrome, but we also help them resize ads to pass Chrome guidelines and test ads to ensure they don’t get flagged. This takes the burden of resizing and testing off our clients’ own creative teams.

Tips and Tricks to Avoid Being Flagged

Since this is a Google Chrome limitation, not a ViralGains one, we’ve compiled some helpful tips to avoid your ad being flagged as heavy. 

  1. Longer creatives are typically heavy, so try and keep videos under 30 seconds. 15 seconds is even recommended as the optimal maximum size according to the IAB.
  2. If you’re using the same creative for online video as you utilized for CTV, you’ll likely be flagged since CTV has different video size requirements. Make sure your video is resized (3MB or less) for ads on smaller screens. 

Have any additional questions about heavy ads you don’t see answered here? Email us at marketing@viralgains.com and we’ll direct you to a strategist that can chat with you about your concerns. 

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