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Ad Structure

While there are some differences in how ads are structured between the three ad types, there are some basic rules that apply everywhere. Let's review these universal rules and then we can get into the specifics of each ad type.

General Structure


Portfolios are an optional way to organize your Campaigns. They are useful for grouping Campaigns by a common theme, like a product category.

Portfolios have the following characteristics:

  • Portfolios can contain multiple Campaigns
  • Portfolios can contain Campaigns of different ad types (Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, or Sponsored Display)
  • Portfolios can be assigned budgets
  • Portfolios cannot be assigned targets or negative targets
  • Portfolios are optional


Campaigns are a collection of Ad Groups, and all Ad Groups must be associated with a Campaign. Creating a Campaign is the first step in creating an ad.

Campaigns have the following characteristics:

  • All ads within a Campaign must be of the same ad type (SP, SB, SD).
  • Items withing a Campaign can use either Manual Targeting or Auto Targeting (if available), but not both.
  • Campaigns can be assigned budgets and end dates.
  • Campaigns can be assigned Negative Targets
  • Campaigns cannot be assigned Targets

Ad Groups

Ad Groups are a collection of ads within a Campaign.

The key thing to note about Ad Groups is that Targets (keywords, products etc.) are assigned at the Ad Group level.

  • Ad Groups can be assigned Targets
  • Each Ad Group can be assigned one type of target (IE, keywords, products, auto)
  • Each Ad Group can be assigned one ad format (IE, product listing, video, product collection etc.)
  • Ad Groups can be assigned Negative Targets


Ads are what is displayed to shoppers.

There are various formats available for ads (product listing, video, etc...), and the format you choose will depend on the ad type.

We learned about the various ad types in the previous Ad Types section.

Structure By Ad Type

Given what we've learned about the general structure of ads, let's look at some simple examples of what a structure for each ad type might look like.

In this example let's look at a simple Sponsored Products structure advertising a digital camera.

Sponsored Products are the only ad type that can be assigned Auto Targets, and we know that Campaigns can only contain one type of target (Manual or Auto), so if we want to use Manual Targeting and Auto Targeting we need to create two separate Campaigns.

Within the Manual Targeting Campaign we have two Ad Groups, one for keyword targeting and one for product targeting. As we learned above, each Ad Group can only be assigned one type of manual target, so we need to create two Ad Groups to use both keyword and product targeting.

Lastly the Ads themselves are all product listings, as that is the only ad format available in Sponsored Products. Our camera comes in two colors, which means two ASIN's, and therefore two Ads if we want to advertise both colors. In the auto campaign we have chosen to advertise only the black variant.


Note that we can assign Negative Targets to Campaigns as well as Ad Groups.

Sponsored Brand ads have three available ad formats (Video, Product Collection or Store Spotlight) which means there are more potential ad format/targeting combinations for Ad Groups.

Remember that each Ad Group can only be assigned one targeting type and one ad format. Which means you would need six Ad Groups per Campaign to use all possible combinations of targeting and ad format.

Let's look at a simple example of a Sponsored Brands structure advertising camera accessories.

Sponsored Display ads have two available ad formats (image or video) and two available targeting types (Audiences or Contextual).

Therefore you would need four Ad Groups per Campaign to use all possible combinations of targeting and ad format.

Let's look at a simple example of a Sponsored Display structure advertising a digital camera using two of these possible combinations.


Negative Targeting is not available for Sponsored Display ads.