Creatives for Programmatic Direct

Creatives for Programmatic Direct are managed by the buyer in Display & Video 360 or other demand-side platforms (DSPs). They are not managed in Ad Manager by default.

This article covers supported creative types and formats when the creative is buyer-managed.

Publisher-managed creatives are also possible. Creative types and formats supported for publisher-managed creatives are different than those supported for buyer-managed creatives.

View related Skillshop training course

Understand creative requirements

Determine your buyer's creative requirements before sending a proposal to the buyer. The creative is the central and most important piece of any advertiser's or buyer's campaign, and the proposal line item should be configured to align with those creative requirements.

As the first step of adding a proposal line item, you need to choose either the Display or Video and audio ad type. Ad type in the context of Programmatic Direct indicates what creatives the buyer should upload later to a DSP.

Ad type also filters the inventory types that can be set in the proposal line item. Inventory type tells Ad Manager the kind of inventory or medium in which an ad serves.

Ad type and inventory type

When you send a proposal to the buyer for the first time, ad type and inventory type in the  proposal line item are fixed and can't be changed. If these setting don't reflect the buyer's creative requirements, you can copy the proposal line item and make modifications.

Examples

If your buyer wants to run a campaign with a native ad format, you need to select the Display ad type and the Display inventory type when adding the proposal line item.

If you know your buyer wants to run an in-stream video ad, you should select Video and audio as your ad type and In‑stream video and audio as the inventory type.

Display ad type

For all of the following creatives, you need to select the "Display" ad type when adding a proposal line item. 

Image

Ad type: Display

Inventory type: Display

Buyers can upload standard image creatives to Display & Video 360 or another DSP.

Native format

Ad type: Display

Inventory type: Display and Mobile in-app

Buyers can manage standard native ad formats in Display & Video 360 or through other DSPs.

Custom native ad formats are only supported when you use publisher-managed creatives for Programmatic Guaranteed.
  • When configuring the proposal line item, select one of these standard native ad formats from the "Sizes" dropdown: Native content ad, Native video content ad, Native app install ad, or Native video app install ad.
  • Ensure that the buyer configures two creatives—one square, one rectangle. There's no specific size requirement for either, but the rectangle ratio should be 1.91:1 or within 10% of this ratio.

    Coordinate with the buyer to ensure they understand what native assets are expected and that they have correctly configured them in their DSP.

Learn more about Standard native ad format and how to report on native ads.

Interstitials for mobile apps

Ad type: Display

Inventory type: Mobile in-app

Buyers can manage interstitials for mobile app creatives. Inventory type for interstitial display creatives should be set to "Mobile app" in proposal line items. Coordinate with buyers to ensure you know what kind of interstitial creative they want to run. Based on the kind of interstitial they want to run, you need to set the appropriate inventory sizes for creatives in Ad Manager.

Interstitials for mobile web (out-of-page, 1x1) are only supported when you use publisher-managed creatives for Programmatic Guaranteed.

Video and audio ad type

For all of the following creatives, you need to select Video and audio as the ad type when adding a proposal line item. Creatives for this ad type can include an optional companion creative to the main or "master" creative. If you don't need a companion, simply don't add one while working with the creative.

Creative preview is not currently supported for Programmatic Direct video and audio creatives.

In-stream video and audio

Ad type: Video and audio

Inventory type: In-stream video and audio

Buyers can upload supported video and audio formats for the master creative and an optional companion creative.

Max duration is required for programmatic proposal line items. The value entered is used for forecasting and to enforce the maximum duration of videos buyers can upload when working with optimized pods for video VAST ads. If buyers upload videos that exceed this maximum, video ad serving could fail.

Overlapping deal duration and skippability: If there are different values across the same deal type for the same inventory (for example, two Preferred Deals of 30s and 35s each), the highest value will be set in the bid request. This can lead to the deal with the shorter duration value transacting with creatives up to the duration of the deal with the longer duration value.

This same limitation applies to skippability.

  • If all deals matching a request have the same "Skippable" setting (Disabled/Enabled/Any), this will be reflected in the flattened bid request for that type.
  • If these constraints differ, the Any setting will be applied, and both skippable and non-skippable ads will be allowed.

Report on skippability

You should always use the Skip button shown metric to determine deal-level video ad skippability.

Third-party buyers have the ability to implement skip correction functionality, so you should avoid determining skippability using the Ad review center or deal-level line item creative preview.

Size: Enter the inventory sizes for the creatives you want to use. Select "Audio" for audio ads.

The IMA SDK supports vertical video. To display vertical video ads, you can set the height (or first) value as the larger dimension in the video size. A 4:5 video creative ratio is recommended for vertical video.

Out-stream video

Some video creative formats allow buyers to run video outside of a video stream. Learn more

For these formats, ensure that:

  • Ad units designated to run these creatives are opted into the "Video" ad experience
  • Ad units include the 300x250v (video) size in their configuration
  • Proposal line items target these ad units
  • Proposal line items target include the 300x250v (video) size

Rewarded ads

Ad type: Video and audio

Inventory type: Web and mobile in-app out-stream video

Buyers can run creatives as rewarded ads for apps.  

Interstitial video ads

Ad type: Video and audio

Inventory type: Display out-stream video

In-article and in-feed video ads

Ad type: Video and audio

Inventory type: Display out-stream video

In-article and in-feed video ad implementation requirements and restrictions

All publishers share the same default rendering for in-article and in-feed video ad formats. Click-to-expand ("reflow") functionality, click-to-close functionality, and VPAID are not currently supported.*

Out-stream video ads must comply with video publisher policies.

* Native ads offer custom styles. If your ad requires customization, consider native ads.

Best practices

Ad traffic quality

Publishers should follow the standards and best practices outlined in Google Ad Traffic Quality . This resource includes topics such as:

  • Importance of high quality websites
  • Correct implementation of ads
  • Monitoring traffic regularly
  • Rules on disabling accounts

Creatives uploaded by the buyer are approved by Google before Programmatic Direct campaigns run. Ensure that the buyer's creatives have been approved or delivery will not start. Google filters invalid or blocked traffic that violates the Google Ad Manager Partner Guidelines.

Programmatic Direct campaigns can be affected when these best practices are not followed and could result in lower than expected delivery.

Roadblocks

Some campaigns might need to target inventory of the same sizes on a single page. A common case are roadblock campaigns, where your buyer wants to serve multiple creatives on the same page.

In Ad Manager:

  • Specify a count for each size in proposal line items. Adding a count ensures that Ad Manager adds the correct number of sizes of creative placeholders in the corresponding line item. This means that Ad Manager can request the correct number of creatives and sizes from the buyer's DSP and ad serving.
  • Set "Display creatives" to All or As many as possible. Learn more

To specify count:

  1. In the "Expected creatives" section, add each size that appears on the page to your proposal line item.
  2. Click Show creative details under the "Size" field.
  3. In the "Count" field, enter the number of each size.

For Programmatic Guaranteed sponsorships with advertiser-hosted creatives, you only need one creative for each unique size. That creative can serve to multiple slots of that size on the page.

Creative targeting

Some line items result from proposals and proposal line items negotiated though Programmatic Direct.

Creative targeting can be applied to these line items only if:

  • The originating proposal line item was configured with at least one size with >1 count. Click "provide some creative details" under the "Sizes" section of a proposal line item to configure additional sizes.
  • The "Creative source" setting in the originating proposal line item was set to Publisher managedLearn more

If only one size is included in the originating proposal line item, the corresponding line item won't be enabled for creative targeting. If the "Creative source" is set to Advertiser provided, creative targeting can't be applied.

Creative targeting can be applied to these line items only if:

  • The originating proposal line item was configured with at least one size with >1 count. Click "provide some creative details" under the "Sizes" section of a proposal line item to configure additional sizes.
  • The "Creative source" setting in the originating proposal line item was set to Publisher managedLearn more

If only one size is included in the originating proposal line item, the corresponding line item won't be enabled for creative targeting. If the "Creative source" is set to Advertiser provided, creative targeting can't be applied.

Programmatic Guaranteed and creative targeting

Line items that originated from Programmatic Guaranteed proposal line items can also use creative targeting, as long as the creative source for the proposal line items is set to Publisher managed.

Configuring creative targeting

Proposal line items specify a creative count for each size. For example, the size 728x90 can be added to the proposal line item along with a creative count of three (3). When Ad Manager creates the corresponding line item, the "Inventory size" section of a line item shows 728x90 along with the creative count of three (3).

Traffickers can apply creative targeting for all ad sizes in the line item. Alternatively, traffickers can break out sizes as separate entries and add unique targeting for each size. For instance, in the example above with three 728x90 sizes, the trafficker can configure creative targeting into three separate entries of 728x90 sizes, each entry with a count of one (1). The trafficker can then apply unique targeting to each size entry.

The creative count configured in line items must be the same as the count set in their originating proposal line items—either as the number specified in a single entry for an ad size or as the sum of all numbers entered for separate entries. Similarly, the ad sizes specified in originating proposal line items must be represented in the corresponding line items.

For example, again using the scenario above with three 728x90 sizes, you would not be able to set the creative count in the corresponding line item to four (4) or two (2) 728x90 sizes (whether as a single entry or separate entries). The creative count must be three (3) since this value was specified in the originating proposal line item. This value must therefore be reflected either as a single entry or as the sum of separate entries. Similarly, you wouldn't be able to include the ad size 120x600 in the corresponding line item since this size wasn't mentioned in the originating proposal line item.

When applying targeting to sizes, ensure that unique targeting presets are used for sizes of the same dimension. You cannot apply, for example, the same targeting preset to two (2) 728x90 sizes in the same line item. You could, however, apply the same targeting preset to one (1) 728x90 and one (1) 120x600 size in the same line item.

Ad unit frequency capping is not supported for corresponding line items resulting from programmatic proposal line items.

Overbooking when there's creative targeting

If the originating proposal line item did not overbook at the time Ad Manager reserved inventory, Ad Manager allows you to apply creative targeting as long as this targeting does not cause the line item to overbook.

If the originating proposal line item did overbook at the time Ad Manager reserved inventory, Ad Manager does not impose any restrictions on creative targeting. Ad Manager allows you to apply creative targeting even if it causes the line item to overbook.

 

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?