Rotate a sequence of creatives in a line item

Sometimes advertisers want to display a set of creatives to the user in sequence in the same ad unit. This is called storyboarding and it allows the advertiser to control a user’s experience of an ad campaign across multiple views. To create a storyboard and control creative sequencing, use the sequential creative rotation feature.

Sequential rotation eligibility

Line items that use sequential rotation can only be served to users who accept identifiers (DoubleClick cookies or advertising IDs (Apple IDFA / Android AdID)). This is because the ad server uses identifiers to determine which line items and creatives a given user has previously seen. Users who do not accept identifiers are not served line items that use sequential rotations.

In addition, sequential rotation cannot be used with non-personalized ads.

Get started

To create a sequential rotation of creatives:

  1. In the line item's 'Settings' tab, select Only one in the 'Display creatives' list.

  2. Select Sequential in the 'Rotate creatives' list.

  3. Upload the creatives you want to display in the rotation. Alternatively, you can associate creatives that were already uploaded for the advertiser's other line items.

    A rotation can contain up to 80 creatives over its lifespan. This includes creatives that have been removed from the line item.

  4. In the line item's 'Creatives' tab, click each sequence number to change the creative's order in the rotation (Optional).

  5. Apply a frequency cap to the rotation (Optional).

Adding or removing creatives may change the sequence numbers of the other creatives in a rotation. When you add a creative to or remove one from a sequence, always review the sequence numbers to ensure the creatives are in the order you want.

Troubleshooting sequential rotation

Sequential rotation stops working correctly if any creative set to rotate cannot serve to the impression. When a creative in the sequence is unable to fill an ad slot, the line item stops serving until the next time period begins. This is because creatives in a sequential rotation must serve exactly in the order specified. Some of the more common issues are listed below.

Frequency cap labels: If one of the creatives in the rotation has a frequency cap label applied to it and it hits its cap, the line item stops serving until the next time period starts. For example, if you have four creatives and the first one hits its frequency cap, the line item will continue on to creatives 2, 3, and 4. When it attempts to serve creative 1 again, the line item will stop delivering because creative 1 is no longer available.

Different sized creatives: If a creative in the sequence is not eligible to serve to the ad slot because of size, the line item stops serving until the next time period begins.

Creatives with different date ranges: Creative rotation only works during a time period when all the creatives in the series are eligible to serve.

Creative level targeting: If creative level targeting is used in a line item, rotation won't work unless all creatives in a series are eligible to serve to the sequence of impressions.

How sequential rotation affects the serving of creatives and line items

In line items with sequential rotations, the first creative is served most often, because not all users see a line item more than once. Each subsequent creative is served less often than the creatives that came before it, because more users see the line item twice than three times, and so on.

Sequential rotations don’t limit the number of times that the line item can be served to each user. Once the sequence is complete, it simply begins again. For example, if your line item has three creatives, and it’s served to a user five times, the user will see Creative 1, Creative 2, Creative 3, then Creative 1 and Creative 2 as the sequence repeats.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center