Manage creatives

Manage creative rotation

Creative rotation is for ads with multiple creatives. Each time your ad serves, the creative rotation settings determine which creative Campaign Manager delivers with your ad.

For example, you might rotate your creatives in order. Or you might make sure one creative serves twice as often as the others. Or you might set your rotation so that the creatives that get the best results are delivered more often than the others.

Campaign Manager rotates your creatives with weights. You can enter weights manually or set Campaign Manager to adjust weights based on performance and other factors.

If you have an ad with creatives of different dimensions, creatives are rotated within the same dimension.

How weights work

Weights determine how often a creative is chosen to serve with your ad. Creatives with higher weights are served more often than creatives with lower weights.

You can set manual weights or let Campaign Manager adjust weights based on performance, giving a higher weight to the creatives that perform best.

Weighting is proportional: if a creative has twice the weight of the other creatives in your rotation, it will serve twice as often.

Next to each weight in the Weights column, you can see the approximate percentage of times a creative will serve with your ad. (This is the percentage of the creative's weight compared with the weights of all your creatives.)

For example, if a creative's weight is 20%, it will serve about 20% of the time. The rest of the creatives will serve the other 80% of the time.

Weighting is not an exact division of impressions across your creatives. Instead, it affects the probability that one creative will be chosen to serve over the others. Campaign Manager picks your creative at random each time, but a creative with a higher weight has a better chance of being picked.

It's like reaching into a jar of pebbles. If 80% of the the pebbles in a jar are black and 20% are white, you're going to get a black pebble about 80% of the time. Over time, weighting percentages should be very close to the actual portion of impressions given to each creative.

Set creative rotation for your ad

  1. Open your ad properties. View the "Creative assignments" section.

  2. Make sure your creatives are set to serve with your ad.

    • For each creative you wish to serve, check (a) the start/end date columns and (b) the "Include in rotation" column.

    • Campaign Manager will only deliver your creatives if they are within their run dates and set to be included in rotation.

  3. Click the menu next to "Creative rotation" and choose a rotation option. See below for guidance on your rotation options.

Creative rotation options

Sequential

In a sequential rotation, the creatives are served to a user in the order you specify.

Set the order in the Order column. You can enter values or use the arrow keys (up and down).

Example

  1. Your ad has three creatives: A, B, and C. You set the rotation to Sequential.

  2. In the Order column, you enter 2 for creative A, 1 for creative B, and 3 for creative C.

  3. That means creative B serves first, creative A serves second, and creative C serves third. The order from top to bottom doesn't matter. All that matters is the order of the numbers you enter in the Order column.

  4. The first time a user sees your ad, the user sees creative B. Campaign Manager selects that creative to serve first because it's number 1.

  5. The second time a user sees our ad, the user sees creative A. Campaign Manager selects that creative because it's number 2.

  6. The third time a user sees your ad, the user sees creative C. Campaign Manager selects that creative because it's number 3.

  7. The fourth time a user sees your ad, Campaign Manager starts over and shows creative B again.

Sequential rotation requires that either a DoubleClick cookie is present on the user's browser (web) or a device ID is passed into the placement tag (app). The cookie and device IDs are used to determine which ads and creatives a given user has previously seen.

Note that in ads with sequential rotations, the first creative is served most often, because not all users see an ad more than once. Each subsequent creative is served less often than the creatives that came before it, because it becomes less and less likely that the same user will see the ad again. More users see the ad twice than three times, and so on.

Important:

  • If the publisher implements standard tags, any creatives that are not image creatives will be skipped in a sequential rotation.
  • All assigned creatives must be the same size if you want to use sequential rotation.
Even

In an even rotation, your creatives rotate evenly. Each time your ad is served, Campaign Manager selects a creative at random. Because each creative has the same weight as the others, they should all be served about the same number of times.

This is the default rotation.

A random rotation tends to serve each creative with roughly equal frequency. However, image creatives may serve more often than other creatives in your rotation if your sites use standard tags. Standard tags only work with image creatives.
Custom

In a custom rotation, you set your own weights for each creative. If a creative has a higher weight than the others, it gets served more often.

Set custom weights in the Weight column.

Example

  1. You have two creatives, creative A and creative B.

  2. Creative A has a weight of 8. Creative B has a weight of 2. That's a total of 10 for both creatives.

    • Creative A serves about 80% of the time. That's because its weight is 80% of all the weights: 8 is 80% of 10.

    • Creative B serves about 20% of the time. That's because its weight is 20% of all the weights: 2 is 20% of 10.

Click-through rate

In a rotation based on click-through rate, the creative with the highest click-through rate is served much more often than the other creatives.

Campaign Manager delivers the winning creative at least 75% of the time, plus a portion of the remaining impressions: the last 25% is divided evenly between the all the creatives, including the winner.

These numbers are reflected in the weights for your creative.

Methodology

A high click-through rate means that a high percentage of impressions result in a click. That doesn't necessarily mean the highest number of clicks, just the best performance.

For example, consider two creatives:

  • Creative A is delivered 100 times. People click it 25 times out of 100. That's a 25% click-through rate.

  • Creative B is delivered 900 times. People click it 54 times out of 900. That's a 6% click-through rate.

Creative A is the winner. Creative B got more clicks than creative A, but it had a much lower click-through rate.

In this case, 75% of the impressions automatically go to Creative A. The remaining 25% is divided evenly between Creative A and Creative B. Each gets half of the 25%, or 12.5%. The result is 87.5% for Creative A and 12.5% for Creative B.

Campaign Manager checks which creative has the best click-through rate every few hours. If a different creative has a better click-through rate based on the last few hours of impressions, it's the new winner, and gets at least 75% of the impressions (plus a portion of the remaining 25%). However, the rate must be at least 10% better than the current winner in order for Campaign Manager to make the switch.

 

Optimized

In an optimized rotation, Campaign Manager weights your creatives based on a metric you choose. Add optimization metrics in your campaign properties. The metrics you add will be available in every ad, in the ad properties. For each ad, you can choose one optimization metric for creative rotation.

  1. Add one or more optimization metrics in your campaign properties, under "Creative optimization."

    • Choose a metric type from the menu and enter a name that helps you identify it. Otherwise, Campaign Manager will name it based on the metric type.

    • For conversions, you must choose one or more Floodlight activities.

  2. Click Add another metric to add multiple metrics. Click Remove to remove metrics you don't need.

    • Why add multiple metrics: Add multiple metrics if you want to optimize rotation in different ads based on different metrics.

      For example, you might optimize on ad's rotation based on clicks and another based on click-through conversions. Or you might want to optimize based on click-through conversions for every ad but use different Floodlight activities depending on the ad.

  3. If you have multiple optimization metrics, choose one of them as the default optimization metric. This should be the one you plan to use most often, because you can change the default across many ads at once: If you change the default optimization metric, it affects every ad that is currently using it.

    For example, if you choose a new default metric in your campaign properties, then every ad that is using your default metric will switch to the new default metric you choose.

    This sounds tricky, but it's simple. Here's an example: Say your campaign has two optimization metrics, "clicks" and "click-through conversions." You choose "clicks" as the default in your campaign. Then you choose the default as the optimization metric for twenty of your ads. If you switch the default in your campaign, all twenty ads will change their rotation to the new default as well. So if you change the default metric from "clicks" to "click-through conversions," all twenty ads will optimize their rotation based on "click-through conversions."

  4. Open an ad to choose an optimized rotation. You can find your metric options under "Optimized," in the creative rotation menu. These correspond to the metrics you added in your campaign properties.

    For example, say you choose clicks as your optimization metric in your campaign. That means your ads will offer optimization by clicks as a creative rotation option.

Learn more about your optimization options below.

Clicks: Campaign Manager weights creatives in your ads based on the number of clicks.

Let's consider an ad with two creatives that are optimized by clicks. Creative A gets 8 clicks. Creative B gets 12 clicks. That's a total of 20 clicks (8 + 12). Creative A got 40% of the clicks (8 out of 20), so it gets 40% of the weighting. Creative B got 60% of the clicks (12 out of 20), so it gets 60% of the weighting. This means Creative A will be delivered about 40% of the time and Creative B will be delivered about 60% of the time.

Click-through, view-through, or click-through / view-through: Campaign Manager weights creatives in your ads based on the number of conversions (click-through, view-through, or both).

After you select a conversion option, click Add Floodlight activity to add the Floodlight activities that determine conversions. In the Weight column, you can set weights to determine how important each Floodlight activity is to the ranking of your creatives. If you give one activity a higher weight than the others, it will be a bigger factor in how conversions affect your creative weight. 

For example, say you add two Floodlight activities. Activity A gets a weight of 10% and Activity B gets a weight of 90%. Activity B is now 9 times as important to creative weighting as Activity A. 

Video completions: Campaign Manager weights creatives in your ads based on the video that is most frequently watched to completion. You can optimize based on video completions for in-stream video ads (in-stream video, in-stream video redirect, and VPAID creatives); it is not available for other video formats, such as rich media creatives built in Studio. This optimization method does not require Floodlight implementation.

Note: You cannot set video completions as the default optimization method for campaigns that contain both in-stream video placements and other types of placements (display, display interstitial). For these mixed campaigns, you’ll need to set two optimization types in your campaign properties and set the other method as your default. For example, if you were using clicks and video completions, you’d set clicks as the default method in your campaign properties, and then you can set video completions as the optimization method for your in-stream only ads.

Optimization methodology

Campaign Manager optimizes your creative rotation based on the last 14 days of performance data. Here's the timeline:

  1. You activate your ad. For the first eight hours your ad is active, Campaign Manager weights the assigned creatives evenly. This period starts as soon as your ad is active, even if it is not scheduled to serve yet.

  2. After eight hours, Campaign Manager optimizes your creative weights based on all available performance data over the last 8 hours.

  3. From now on, Campaign Manager re-weights your creatives every 8 hours. Each time, Campaign Manager looks at all available performance data up the present. However, Campaign Manager never looks back farther than 14 days. Once your ad has been active for 14 days, Campaign Manager only looks at the most recent period of 14 days. These are 14 periods of 24 hours (336 hours total), not 14 calendar days.

0 - 8 hours 8 hours - 14 days 14 days and later
Creatives weighted evenly Campaign Manager re-weights your creatives every 8 hours, based on all available performance data up to the present. Campaign Manager continutes to re-weight your creatives every 8 hours, based on the last 14 days of data.
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