Amazon Sponsored Brands: The Definitive Guide to Getting Started in 2021

This is the ultimate guide to getting started with Amazon Sponsored Brands ad campaigns.

If you want to:

  • Understand how Sponsored Brands compliment your existing ad campaigns
  • Select the best ad type for your advertising goals
  • Learn about the different ad creatives you can use
  • Discover tips for successful Sponsored Brands campaigns

Then read on. You are in the right place.

Let’s get started.

Similarities and Differences Between Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands

While our recommended approach for advertisers looking to explore Sponsored Brands is almost entirely different than running a Sponsored Product campaign, there are many underlying similarities that can make these campaigns more approachable.

The differences are just as important.

In this section, we will cover both the key differences and similarities.


  • Ad targeting is the same: You can build Sponsored Brands campaigns using both keywords and ASINs, just like with your Sponsored Product campaigns.
  • Managed in Advertised Console: Thankfully both campaign types can be managed directly in the Advertising Console, so you won’t have to jump around like you do with something like Amazon Attribution.
  • Reporting is very similar: While Amazon does track which shoppers are new to your brand in the Sponsored Brands campaigns, every other metric that you are familiar with on the Sponsored Product side should be familiar.


  • Advertiser eligibility: Unlike with Sponsored Product campaigns, where Amazon allows any seller who wins the Buy Box to advertise, Sponsored brands are only available to brands that are Amazon Brand Registered or vendors.
  • Ad types and destinations: This is the largest difference between the two types of campaigns. With Sponsored Brands, you have the choice between ad types, destinations, headlines, etc. When compared to Sponsored Products — where the only choice you have for your ad is which ASIN should be advertised — this can provide a strong competitive advantage to the brands that can get creative with Sponsored Brands campaigns.

So while there are some major visual and functional differences between the two types of ad campaigns, leveraging the insights from your Sponsored Product campaigns and research can and should be used when building your Sponsored Brand campaign strategy.

Using Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products Together

Sponsored Brands is more brand focused and with the addition of the new video ad type, that focus is starting to widen.

In fact, with video campaigns specifically, we have seen excellent performance that rivals our Sponsored Product campaigns.

Amazon Sponsored Brands and Products Example
Amazon Sponsored Brands and Products Example

Here are some basic rules to help you out:

  • Sponsored Products: We typically reserve these campaigns for our top performing products OR products that are newly launched, on special, etc.
  • Sponsored Brands: Outside of video ads, we typically reserve these ads when we want to highlight a line of related products (i.e. different sizes, styles, colors, etc.) for the same keyword. With video ads, we usually follow the same guidelines as we use for our Sponsored Product campaigns.

There are certainly many exceptions to the two rules mentioned above, but by sticking to these simple guidelines, you should have a solid mix of products being advertised.

Now you just have to decide how aggressively you want to advertise on Amazon. Between the two campaign types, you could take up a lot of real estate on the search results page.

The campaign mix you decide to use is determined by your goals, which leads us straight into the next section.

Choosing Your Advertising Goals for the Sponsored Brand Campaigns

Whenever we take on a new client, we establish goals for both the overall brand and products themselves.

Not quite sure what your goals are? Read on! 

Are you focused on building your brand, selling products, or both?

While you might think that this step is unnecessary, we have clients who are more focused on selling a wide variety of trendy products (i.e. fidget spinners, popular health supplements, etc.) and don’t really care about their brand. We have other clients who want to build a recognizable brand name. There are benefits to both approaches. Take some time and decide what’s most important to you.

Brand Focused:

Amazon Sponsored Brands - Product Collection Example
Amazon Sponsored Brands – Product Collection Example
  • Ad Formats Suggested: Product collection, store spotlight, and video
  • Landing Page: Store homepage
  • Targeting: Keyword, categories, individual products

Product Focused:

Amazon Sponsored Brands - Video Example
Amazon Sponsored Brands – Video Example
  • Ad Formats: Product collection, video
  • Landing Page: New landing page per product grouping
  • Targeting: Keyword, categories, individual products

Somewhere in the middle:

If you land somewhere in the middle, then we suggest you look at your immediate goals and see what mix of the above recommendations makes sense.

Establish Goals for Product Lines

After we have established the goal for the brand, we focus on the goals of the product lines. In some cases you might have higher margin products that you want to emphasize. In other cases, you might have several products that you would be equally happy selling.

Single Product Focused:

  • Ad Formats: Video and/or product collection
  • Landing Page: Product detail page and/or new landing page
  • Targeting: Keyword and/or individual products

Group of Related Products Focused:

  • Ad Formats: Store spotlight, product collection, video
  • Landing Page: Product collection and/or store subpages
  • Targeting: Keyword, categories, individual products

Make an Advertising Plan

After we have completed the 3 steps above with our clients, we map out the campaigns. This step will usually uncover some additional areas that we might need to shore up.

For example, when video campaigns were first launched, some of our clients wanted us to start testing them immediately. However, as we started planning the campaigns, we found that their videos didn’t meet Amazon video requirements. For some, this added list of requirements became an issue that adjusted timelines and required additional video editing. Postponing advertising can result in huge losses especially if you sell products that are time-line specific. Christmas decorations don’t sell super well in January.

And while this is a simple example, taking the time to plan out what is needed for each type of ad, and making sure that each piece is dialed in, makes a big difference on the effectiveness of the campaigns.

Because there are a LOT more moving parts when it comes to building a Sponsored Brands campaign compared to a Sponsored Products campaign, planning is a necessity.

Amazon Sponsored Brands - Planner Example
Amazon Sponsored Brands – Planner Example

We recommend building a simple spreadsheet or document that identifies the following:

  • Campaign Name
  • Start and End Date
  • Goal of Campaign
  • Product(s) Advertised
  • Budget
  • Ad Format
  • Landing Page (if needed)
  • Type of Targeting
  • Targeting
  • Headline

While you may have some additional fields, such as a “Notes” section, the items listed above will usually uncover anything that you might need to get dialed in before you launch the campaign.

The 6 Main Elements of a Sponsored Brand Campaign

Unlike Sponsored Product campaigns, Sponsored Brands have more choices that need to be made when launching a new campaign.

The relevance of the elements listed below will be more or less important depending on the goal of the campaign, so we wanted to cover some of the highlights and suggestions for each element.

Start and End Dates

Amazon Sponsored Brands - Start and End Dates
Amazon Sponsored Brands – Start and End Dates

While you might have campaigns that you would like to run indefinitely, tailoring your messaging to a particular season and/or special you might be running can make a big difference in performance. This is especially true when you have competitors that haven’t touched their Sponsored Brands campaigns since they launched them.

We definitely recommend playing around with a few seasonal headlines and setting start and end dates for the campaigns around those dates.

Pro Tip: Remember to launch another campaign to take the place of the seasonal campaign, because Amazon will end the campaign on the date you selected.

Bids and Budgets

Bidding and budgeting is highly dependent on the goals that you initially selected for the campaigns.

  • Branding: Run with a lower budget and don’t necessarily look for a high return on your ad spend.
  • Sales: Increase the budget and bid more aggressively.

Ad Formats

Currently Amazon gives you the choice between three different ad formats.

Amazon Sponsored Brands - Ad Format Selection
Amazon Sponsored Brands – Ad Format Selection

And while your goals will ultimately determine which format will work best for you, we wanted to give you a brief overview of each format.

Product Collection

Amazon Sponsored Brands - Product Collection Example
Amazon Sponsored Brands – Product Collection

Style of Ad: Promotes 3 Products

Best Used For: Variations and Branding

Landing Pages Choices: Amazon store (recommended for branding), new landing page (recommended for promoting specific product line), custom URL (recommended for product launches and pre-orders)

Placements: Top and Footer of Search Results

Targeting: Keywords or Products

Store Spotlight

Amazon Sponsored Brands - Store Spotlight
Amazon Sponsored Brands – Store Spotlight

Style of Ad: Promotes 3 Products

Best Used For: Branding

Landing Pages Choices: Amazon store (recommended for branding) only

Placements: Top and Footer of Search Results

Targeting: Keywords or Products


Amazon Sponsored Brands - Video Example
Amazon Sponsored Brands – Video

Style of Ad: Video + 1 Featured Product

Best Used For: Promoting Top Seller

Landing Pages Choices: None. All traffic is sent to the product detail page, just like Sponsored Product ads.

Placements: Product Search Results Page

Targeting: Keywords only

Tips for Successful Sponsored Brands Campaigns

Regardless of your goals for your Sponsored Brands campaigns, the tips listed below will help ensure that your odds for a successful campaign are as high as possible.

Is your Amazon store updated and looking good?

Because the majority of the Sponsored Brands ad formats incorporate the links to the store in one way or another, we highly recommend auditing your Amazon store before running any Sponsored Brands campaigns.

Just like with optimizing your listings, the more effort you put towards optimizing your store, the better your sales and advertising results will be.

So spend a few minutes browsing your Amazon store and make sure that everything looks good.

Select Your Best Performing Keywords and ASINs from Your Sponsored Product Campaigns

Because both Sponsored Product and Brands campaigns share the same targeting choices, we have found that there is a high correlation between the performance of using the same targeting between both campaign types. So when in doubt, start with your best performing targeting from your Sponsored Product campaigns and build up from there.

Give the Campaigns a Few Days Before Making Any Changes

Just as with any newly launched campaigns on Amazon, you need to give your newly launched Sponsored Brands campaigns a few days to start accumulating data. We have seen campaigns with zero impressions during the first few days start to take off a few days later, with zero changes outside of the campaign age.

Regularly Test New Ad Variations Every 2 Weeks

Because Sponsored Brands campaigns have so many variables that can be adjusted, we always recommend that you plan on testing new ad variations every 2 weeks.

We have seen single changes — such as changing the headline — result in dramatically better performance. Because of this, we never stop testing our client’s Sponsored Brands campaigns, and recommend you do the same.

Pro Tip: Only change one element for each test. If you change more than one element at a time, it is nearly impossible to tell which change produced the positive or negative performance change.

Wrapping Up

That’s it. Our beginner guide to getting started with Sponsored Brands campaigns on Amazon has reached its conclusion.

Now we want to turn it over to you: Did you learn something new? What do you think we missed?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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