Prebid Universal Creative


The Prebid Universal Creative (PUC) is a collection of rendering routines that can pull a particular ad ID from Prebid’s cache and do the right thing to display it. The scripts are generally entered into the ad server for when a Prebid ad has won the auction. There are a number of use cases:

Use Case PUC file Alternate Approach
web banner: iframe banner.js (or creative.js) Dynamic creatives, Banner and Outstream Video iframes
web banner: safeframe banner.js (or creative.js) Dynamic creatives, Banner Safeframes
web outstream video: iframe video.js (or creative.js) Dynamic creatives, Banner and Outstream Video iframes
web outstream video: safeframe n/a Outstream renderers each choose where to render differently, but none writes to the safeframe.
AMP banner: always safeframe amp.js (or creative.js) n/a
native: iframe native.js (or native-render.js) Dynamic creatives
native: safeframe native.js (or native-render.js) Dynamic creatives

Note that as of PUC v1.15, the recommended way of loading the creative in the ad server involves using the hb_format ad server key-value. Before 1.15, the ad server needed to load creative.js which covered banner and outstream video, or native-render.js for native. 1.15 simplifies this by allowing the ad server creative to load banner.js, video.js, or native.js, which can be done programmatically using ad server macros. e.g.

<script src=""></script>

This loads the PUC from the Prebid-maintained location. Your managed service provider may have a different location.

Features of the PUC

What the PUC does for Web iframe Banners/Outstream

  1. Simply calls the Prebid.js renderAd function

What the PUC does for Web Safeframe Banners

  1. Calls PostMessage to get the winning ad from Prebid.js
  2. Creates an iframe of the appropriate size and displays the winning ad within it

What the PUC does for AMP and Mobile Apps

  1. Updates the size of the iframe to the size of the winning ad.
  2. Retrieves the body of the creative from Prebid Cache based on the UUID
  3. If the ‘burl’ parameter is present, creates a tracking pixel. Includes special support for triggering the viewable billing url for mobile MRAID creatives.
  4. If the ‘nurl’ parameter is present, creates the appropriate HTML to fire the notice URL.
  5. If the ‘wurl’ parameter is present, creates a tracking pixel. This is needed for Programmatic Guaranteed support.
  6. Resolves any ${AUCTION_PRICE} macro in the creative body.

What the PUC does for Native

  1. Retrieves the native attributes from the winning ad.
  2. Coordinates the rendering of the native ad using the template method specified by the publisher.

Alternate Approaches

Some publishers prefer to not load the extra creative.js code at render time due to a tiny but measurable impact on measurement discrepancies.

While Prebid recommends the use of creative.js because we regularly add features and fix bugs, publishers may choose to hardcode the functionality into their ad server creatives.

Prebid.js dynamic creatives

If you only need to display creatives rendered by Prebid.js (as opposed platforms like AMP or mobile SDKs), you can avoid loading the PUC script - and the performance cost that entails - but still keep some of its advantages, such as regular updates, by using Prebid.js dynamic creatives.

Alternate methods for Banner and Outstream Video iframes

If you only ever need to display non-safeframed banner and outstream-video creatives, there are several ways to replace the jsdelivr call in your ad server creative:

  1. Copy the contents of into each creative.
  2. Directly call the Prebid.js renderAd function:
<script> var w = window; for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) { w = w.parent; if (w.pbjs) { try { w.pbjs.renderAd(document, '%%PATTERN:hb_adid%%'); break; } catch (e) { continue; } } } </script>

Alternate Method for Banner Safeframes

If safeframe support is required, some options are:

  1. Copy the contents of into each ad server creative.
  2. Prebid.js dynamic creatives

Further Reading