About line items

Learn about campaign settings and delivery details

Line items contain information about how specific ad creatives are intended to serve to your website or app along with pricing and other delivery details. Line items are added to orders and contain details like: 

  • The number of times your advertiser or buyer wants an ad creative to serve
  • The cost you negotiated for the campaign
  • Start and end times of the campaign 
  • Targeting that allows your advertiser or buyer to reach its intended audience or demographic

If you're already familiar with order and line item settings, you can go to Add line items for a step-by-step instructional. 

If you're still learning about line items, you can get familiar with their settings in this article. You might consider starting a new line item in Ad Manager to compare the product user interface with the descriptions below.

Good to know about line items

  • Line items are also the place you later add the ad creative the advertiser wants to serve to your website or app.
  • Line items always belong to an order and can only belong to one order. Orders can have multiple line items.
  • Line items are created directly for traditional campaigns under the "Delivery" section of Ad Manager.

    Line items could also have been automatically created based on a proposal line items negotiated under the Programmatic Direct feature. Proposal line items are created under the "Sales" section of Ad Manager.

These details result from a negotiation with the advertiser mentioned in the order or, for Programmatic Direct campaigns, the buyer in the proposal. If you're a trafficker at a larger organization, these details are often negotiated by someone else, and your job is to understand how to input or manage the details of the campaign. 

View related Skillshop training course

Ad type

Ad type describes the kind of creative type you need to upload or associate with the line item later. Ad type ensures line item settings are aligned with the expected creative—either a display creative or a video or audio creative

Work with the advertiser, or the creative agency representing the advertiser, to understand the creative requirements. You need to understand these requirements in order to:

  • Select the right ad type
  • Configure line item settings correctly
  • Choose the appropriate creative type

The creative type is chosen when you later add new creatives.

Ad types are:

  • Display (Standard) 
  • Display (Master/companion) Google Ad Manager 360 only
  • Video and audio

You may notice that these ad types align with the structure of the creative library

Display ad type

The "Display" ad type allows you to create a variety of ad experiences from standard image ads and Campaign Manager URLs to native forms and custom solutions. Under "Display", Google Ad Manager 360 publishers can choose:

  • Standard: for stand-alone creatives 
  • Master/companion: to add multiple creatives that serve together—often desired by advertisers to show more than one ad creative on a page at the same time 

    Only available in Google Ad Manager 360.

Learn more about all the display creative types available in Types of display creatives

Video and audio ad types

Video Solutions may not be enabled for your network.

The "Video and audio" ad type supports a variety of ad experiences, including video ads that appear within a video player during streaming content, video ads appear are shown outside of a video player, rewarded ads, images that show over video content (overlays), and redirects to third‑party hosted ads. It also includes audio ads. 

By default, video and audio creatives can include optional companion creatives to the main or "master" creative. If you don't need a companion, simply don't add one while working with the video or audio creative.

Learn more about all video and creative types available in Types of video and creatives

Name

The name of your line item should be something descriptive about the campaign and ad creative that's associated with the line item. 

If you or your organization doesn't have a naming convention, it might be a good idea to develop one. A good naming convention allows you to quickly see what the campaign is about and may reference or follow some convention for the order name. Some naming conventions also include ad sizes, descriptor of the creatives associated, or the buyer or advertiser included in the parent order.

A good naming convention later allows you to more easily filter for line items or use universal search to find line items and more.

Line item type and priority

Line item type and priority are a starting point to determine how a line item competes with other line items. Not all line items have the same importance. Some line items may be contractually guaranteed to serve or may promise more revenue than others. These can be prioritized higher than other line items.

Line item type and priority also determine how a line item competes with yield groups, a feature that allows you to specify what inventory you want to make available to Ad Exchange, Open Bidding, or mediation for mobile apps. 

Learn more about Line item types and priorities.

Expected creatives

Expected creatives represents the inventory or ad sizes of the creatives you plan to add or associate with the line item. The advertiser or the creative agency working with the advertiser should communicate these sizes to you along with other creative requirements.

  • Sizes depend on where (to which ad units) ads are intended to serve 
  • The ad units creatives serve to should be later added in targeting 
  • Audio ads use the "Audio" creative size

Sizes specified in "Expected creatives" are sometimes placeholders for special creatives rather than actual sizes. Native ad options, for instance, are shown as selections under "Expected creatives" but don't represent actual, specific sizes.

Sizes and ad type determine which creatives types (either display or video and audio) are available when you later add a creatives to line items.

Show creative details

The Show creative details option allows you to add more information for the creatives. These details help forecasting more accurately or allow you to include configuration details that help ads serve in a particular way.

Creative targeting

Creative targeting allows you to add targeting that only applies to the creative in a line item. Whereas line item targeting applies to all creatives in a line item, targeting at the creative level can be configured differently from (but be consistent with) line item targeting.

Creative targeting is a flexible tool and can be useful for a variety of purposes, including serving multiple creatives in a line item to different ad slots (or ad units) or helping your advertiser reach different audiences with different creatives.  Learn more in Creative targeting.

Creative targeting and Programmatic Direct

Creative targeting is only available when more than one size is included in a Sponsorship or Standard proposal line item and the "Creative source" is set to Publisher managed. Click Show creative details to configure additional sizes. Creative-level targeting is configured in the corresponding line item.

Count

Some line items require more than one creative for the same size to help ads serve in a particular way. You can add a count for each creative size to meet this requirement. Adding count also improves the accuracy of forecasting since it accounts for multiple impressions from the same ad request.

Displaying creatives setting: When there are multiple creatives of the same size, Displaying creatives setting should be set to As many as possible or One or more.

One of the main uses of Count are "roadblocks"—multiple creatives to be served together on the same webpage. Entering a value for Count accounts for this ad serving goal.

Count and Programmatic Direct

Work with buyers to see if they wants to serve creatives of the same size. If so, specify Count in the proposal line item. Count ensure that Ad Manager requests the correct number of creatives of the same size from buyers. Learn more about best practices setting up roadblocks in proposal line items in Roadblocks.

AMP-only

About AMP

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open-source code. The AMP Project is an initiative that aims to make webpages faster and more consistent across devices. Learn more in AMP pages and monetization.

The AMP-only setting can be found under Show creative details for line items with the "Display (Standard)" ad type. Line items with the "Display (Master/companion)" ad type or the "Video" ad type do not have the AMP-only option.

Selecting AMP-only helps only with forecasting and does not affect ad serving. Select this option only if the expected creative is you upload later is:

As a trafficker managing a line item, if you're later adding a custom or third-party creative, ensure that this creative contain only AMPHTML code before you select AMP-only.

About custom and a third-party creatives

Custom creatives and a third-party creatives contain code or other assets to ensure an ad creative shows on a website or app as the advertiser desires. These creative types are often created and managed by someone with technical expertise. Learn more about the technical details of these creative types in Develop and manage custom creatives and Develop and manage third-party creatives.

As a trafficker, you likely don't need to understand the code or other details about how these creatives were developed. Your job managing a line item is simply to make sure that line item settings are aligned with the expected creative.

Ad unit frequency capping

Frequency caps limit the number of times a user is served 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 be served the same ad multiple times in a short period of time.

You can add a frequency cap label to a specific creative size in your line item. The creatives associated of that size later abide by the frequency caps settings for that label. Learn more about Labels and frequency caps.

Native media orientation

Sets the orientation of a native ad creative. Learn more about native ads.

Additional settings

Labels

Labels are used to group objects for a variety of purposes. They can prevent ads from advertisers who sell similar products serving on the same page, for instance, or assist you in managing certain types of creatives. Learn more in About labels.

Competitive exclusion

Competitive exclusion settings allow you to control if ads from different brands or advertisers, who compete with similar products or services, should serve at the same time on the same page or within same app. Learn more in Competitive exclusion settings.

Comments

Comments are free-form text and can purposed for any notes shared by people who are working on the same line item.

Custom fields

Custom fields are created by an Ad Manager administrator or other user with similar permissions. Administrator can add fields things like orders, line items, creatives, proposals, and proposal line items. They capture information that isn't available in Ad Manager by default.

As someone who creates or works with line items, you may need to work with a custom field. For example, your organization might want you, as a trafficker, to indicate a custom identifier for campaigns that show which sales team worked on a line item. You or someone at your organization can then later report against the value indicated. 

Learn more about how administrator create custom fields in Custom fields.

Delivery settings

Start and end times

Start and end times indicate how long the campaign should run.

The time and date show typically reflect the network time zone—that is, the time zone set for the entire network as configured by when setting up your Ad Manager network.

However, Ad Manager administrators can enable a feature that lets you change your trafficking time zones. If enabled, you can edit your user settings to update your time zone to match your location. Updating your time zone might be useful if you work for a large network where there are users spread across multiple time zones. 

Blackouts

Blackouts allows you to set time periods when ad requests aren't sent to line items or shared with assignment partners. Blackouts can be used instead of creating multiple line items that must deliver from during different time ranges but are otherwise the same. 

Multiple blackout periods within the same line item are allowed but must fall within the overall start and end times. Time entries are rounded to the nearest hour. Blackout periods more than half of the overall time range may lead to inconsistent pacing.

Quantity, Goal, Limit (volume)

The volume entered may appear as "Quantity", "Goal", or "Limit" (volume) depending on the line item type selected.

  • Goal applies to the Sponsorships, Network, House line item types. The value describes a percentage of impressions line item is intended to serve based on a prediction of overall impressions that specific inventory targeted may serve. Goal doesn't promise a particular number of impressions, and the number delivered often depends on the priority of the line item.
  • Quantity applies to the Standard and Bulk line item types. Quantity could be entered as either impressions or clicks, depending on the line item type, and indicates a specific number that the the line item is intended to achieve. The number delivered depends on the priority of the line item. Bulk, being  lower priority, may underdeliver as other, higher-priority line items use impressions to fulfill their goal or quantity.
  • Limit applies to the Price Priority line item type. The value entered describes either a daily or lifetime caps of impressions or clicks. Price Priority line items can be used to fill your site's unsold inventory with the highest paying line item available. 

Rate

The price negotiated with your advertiser or buyer, which is applied to the number of impressions, clicks, or the goal entered. 

  • CPM: cost-per-thousand impressions
  • CPC: cost-per-click
  • CPD: cost-per-day
  • CPA: cost per action—an action is a conversion, which is an action a user takes on an advertiser's website after viewing or clicking on an ad
  • vCPM: viewable cost-per-thousand impressions. Only applies when "Viewable impressions" are enabled for the line item.

For some line item types, you can also set a value CPM, which sets the value at which non-guaranteed campaigns competes.

Discount

Amount by which the total value of the line item is to be reduced, either as an absolute value or a percentage of the total value. A discount can serve as an additional negotiating point with an advertiser or buyer, a reflection of an ongoing or new relationship with the negotiating party, or representing quid pro quo for services or products traded with the advertiser or buyer.

The value entered is for reference only and doesn't impact revenue reports or affect delivery. 

Total value

Total value is a factor of volume (quantity/goal/limit) times rate, minus discount:

(volume × rate) - discount = total value

The total values in line items sum to the total projected value in their order. Let's review an example. Take the following line item:

  • Line item type: Standard
  • Quantity: 1 million impressions
  • CPM rate: $10 

Total value would be calculated at $10,000 in this case. Total value of each line item belonging to an order sums to the "Total projected value" for that order.

Changes to volume or rate mid-flight

Total value is always a projected value of current line item settings. Previous delivery for a currently delivering line item is not taken into account. Total value is simply recalculated based on new values.

However, changes mid-flight (while delivery is in progress) to the volume (and volume only, not rate) of a line item do affect how "Total projected value" is calculated in orders. Learn more about total projected value.

Adjust delivery

"Adjust delivery" provides a variety of tools that allow you to fine tune delivery.

Deliver impressions

The "Deliver impressions" setting can control ad delivery pacing. The default setting (Evenly) allows Ad Manager to pace ads equally across the start and end dates of a line item. This option is typically the best unless your advertiser requests a different pacing option.

  • Evenly (default): The line item delivers evenly until the end date
  • As fast as possible: Never considered "on schedule" and tries to deliver ads as much as possible
  • Frontloaded: Begins serving as much as 40% higher than a goal tapering off as the line item draws to its end

Learn more in Change the delivery speed of a line item.

Display creatives

When there are multiple active creatives in a single line item, you can use the  settings to control how creatives can be displayed on a single webpage.

  • One or more: When possible, serve multiple creatives in the line item per ad request
  • Only one: Only serve one creative in this line item per ad request
  • As many as possible: Prioritizes creatives associated with this line item
  • All: All creatives must serve to the ad request or not at all

Count: When there are multiple creatives of the same size, a count should be set and "Displaying creatives" should be set to As many as possible or One or more.

There are additional configuration details and best practices in Display creatives.

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