Manage labels

Labels and frequency caps

Learn how to apply frequency caps to creatives

Frequency caps limit the number of times a user sees an ad creative in a given span of time. Using frequency caps improves the experience of people visiting your website or app as they won't see the same ad multiple times in a short period of time.

Labels can be used to apply frequency caps to creatives. You can either set frequency caps for creatives across your entire ad network, or you can apply labels to ad units to set creative-level frequency caps across specific inventory.

Example
On your homepage, you may want to serve no more than one pop-up per day per user or cap the number of impressions served by a certain advertiser. You set this type of frequency cap by applying labels to creatives, and then setting rules for your ad units about how often creatives with each label can be shown to a given user.

This article walks you through the multi-step process of applying frequency caps to creatives.

  1. Add frequency cap labels
  2. Update forecasting with creative details
  3. Apply labels to creatives

You can also set frequency caps for line items, which limits the number of times a line item can be served to a user within a given time period across all ad units. If you've set both types of frequency caps, the more restrictive rule is always used.

Ad unit frequency capping does not work for AdSense or Ad Exchange.

Add frequency cap labels

The first step is to create frequency cap labels for the different types of creatives you want to limit. For example, if you want to limit how frequently pop-ups display in certain ad units, you can create a label named pop-up that you would apply to all pop-up creatives. Refer to Apply labels for procedures on how to apply labels.

Frequency cap maximum values

These are the maximum values you can set for frequency caps.

  • Impressions: 511
  • Minutes: 120
  • Hours: 48
  • Days: 14
  • Weeks: 26
  • Months: 6

Update forecasting with creative details

Frequency capping has an effect on how many impressions are available to a line item. In order to get a more accurate forecast, you must tell the forecasting engine how many creatives and what sized creatives you’re going to be uploading for this line item, along with any frequency cap labels that may apply.

To supply the creative information to Ad Manager:

  1. On the line item's "Settings" tab, next to "Expected creatives," select an inventory size if one hasn't already been selected.
  2. Click the Show creative details button that appears.
    A new set of fields appears.
  3. Update the following:
    1. Select size of the creatives you expect to receive.
    2. Enter the amount of creatives for each size.
    3. Target the creative to its own set of criteria.
    4. Select AMP-only if you're expected to later associate a custom creative and third-party creative with the line item.
    5. Enter the ad unit frequency capping labels that you'll apply to the creatives, if any.
  4. Click Add size and repeat step 2 for each creative size.
  5. Finish trafficking the line item and save it.

Apply labels to creatives

Now that you've protected your ad units from showing a type of creatives too many times by applying frequency caps to them, you'll need to apply the labels to the creatives you want to limit.

Line item frequency caps vs. ad unit frequency caps

If a line item with a frequency cap has creatives that are also frequency capped at the ad unit level or across the ad network, the most restrictive cap will apply. For example, you have a line item that's set to deliver five times a day. One of the creatives is labeled pop-up. An ad unit that the line item targets has a cap on the label pop-up, which is set to deliver only once a day. The ad unit frequency cap is more restrictive, so in this example, the creative for that line item will only serve once a day.

Creatives that have more than one label

If a creative has more than one label and they all have frequency caps, then the most restrictive cap will apply.

For example, if you have a creative that's labeled pop-up (1 per day) and airline (5 per day), the creative will only deliver once per day.

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