Traffic in-stream video creatives

Add video assets and set up serving files

To add assets for your in-stream video creative, upload video files to Campaign Manager or add URLs that point to publisher-hosted videos.

You can prevent setting up duplicate creatives per placement by using In-stream video settings at the placement level to control companions creatives, skip button enablement, and transcode settings.

Step 1: Create an in-stream video creative

To get started, create a new in-stream video creative in your campaign or advertiser-level "Creatives" tab.

  1. Open your campaign or advertiser.
  2. Click New > In-stream video.
  3. Name your creative in the Creative name field. Or leave it blank, and Campaign Manager will name your creative based on the video file you upload.

Optional

  • Universal Ad ID: Include a registered industry-wide identifier for your video creative that will be included in VAST tags. You can add IDs from Ad-ID, Clearcast, another provider, or use a Campaign Manager-generated ID. In VAST 2.0 and 3.0 tags, this ID will appear in the <adID> node. In VAST 4.0 tags, this ID will appear in the <UniversalAdID> node. 
  • Description: Enter any notes you have on your creative.

About default video ads

Is this the first video creative in your campaign?

  • If your campaign includes in-stream video placements, Campaign Manager will automatically create a default ad for your first video creative in each available orientation and assign it to all your in-stream placements. For example, if the first video creative you make for a campaign has both portrait and landscape assets, you’ll get a portrait default ad and a landscape default ad. If the first video creative you make for a campaign is a square asset, you’ll get a portrait default ad and a landscape default ad.
  • The default ad has no targeting and will serve if no other ads on your placement are available. Learn more when you set up ads and placements for in-stream videos.
You can also use batch upload (New > Batch upload) to upload multiple videos at once. You will need to add companion creatives or publisher-hosted URLs separately.

Step 2: Add video assets

Follow the steps below to traffic a creative with a single video asset. If you have multiple assets with the same creative message that you’d like to traffic as one in-stream video creative, use dynamic asset selection.

  1. Under Creative assets in your in-stream video creative, click Add asset and select your video file.
    • The maximum size allowed is 1 GB.
    • Always upload a source file with the highest possible specifications you have available so that Campaign Manager can transcode the asset into as many serving files as possible. We recommend you use a high-definition video that meets the following requirements:

      • Video
        • File format: .mov or .mp4
        • Dimensions:
          • Landscape/horizontal: 1280 × 720, 1920 × 1080, or 1440 × 1080
          • Portrait/vertical: 720 × 1280, 1080 × 1920, or 1080 × 1440 
          • Square: 720 × 720, 1080 × 1080, 1920 × 1920
        • Aspect ratio:
          • Landscape/horizontal: 16:9 or 4:3
          • Portrait/vertical: 9:16 or 3:4
        • Codec: H.264
        • Frame Rate: 23.98 or 29.97
        • Bitrate: At least 20 Mbps
        • Length: 15 or 30 seconds
        • File size: Up to 1GB (per the Campaign Manager file size limit)
        • Black bars: No black bars
        • Letterboxing: No letterboxing
      • Audio
        • Codec: PCM (preferred) or AAC
        • Bitrate: At least 192 Kbps
        • Bit: 16 or 24 bit only
        • Sample rate: 48 kHz
        • Audio settings: Required
    • If you do not have video assets and will only use a URL for a publisher-hosted video, skip to the end of these steps below.
    • In VAST 4.0 tags, your uploaded source asset will be included as the mezzanine file. 
    • For videos serving on connected TV devices, we recommend 1920 × 1080 as the creative's dimensions. 
  2. Save your creative so that Campaign Manager can process your asset. Campaign Manager will not begin processing it until you save.
  3. Wait for Campaign Manager to process your asset. Campaign Manager will now validate the asset and transcode it into a set of serving files. If you want, you can leave the page and work on other things while you wait. Nothing you do will interrupt the processing.
    • You can continue when the "Progress" column shows that transcoding is complete for the serving files you need.
    • If you have issues, see the FAQ below.
  4. Choose which serving files to include with your video. Make this choice in the Serving files section: select ON under Include in serving to include a file.
  5. Add additional assets if needed. Campaign Manager will use all of the assets you add to generate serving files.

    Notes on duration in your files:

    • If you add more assets, make sure they are all about the same duration. No asset you add can be more than a second longer or shorter than the others. In other words, if the duration varies, it must vary by less than a second.
    • Campaign Manager rounds duration up to the nearest second in the UI and your VAST tags. For example, if you upload a video asset of 15.7 seconds, Campaign Manager will round that up to 16 seconds in the UI and in your VAST tags.
    • When you sync creatives over from Campaign Manager to Display & Video 360, Display & Video 360 checks the actual files for the duration. Display & Video 360 does not use the rounded-up number in the Campaign Manager UI or your VAST tags. For example, if you upload a video asset of 15.7 seconds to Campaign Manager and then import it into Display & Video 360, the duration in Display & Video 360 will be 15.7 seconds.

Add URLs for publisher-hosted videos (optional)

If your account is enabled for publisher-hosted videos, you can also add URLs for this type of asset in the "Publisher-hosted videos" section of your video properties. Talk to your account manager if you need to be enabled for publisher-hosted URLs.

Use the special YouTube steps below for any YouTube URLs you want to add. You can use YouTube URLs if you want to run ads on YouTube mobile inventory or other sites that support the IMA SDK.

Add regular publisher-hosted URLs
  1. Click Add URL and enter the full URL of your publisher-hosted video.

  2. Check the columns next to your URL for duration, width, height, etc. You may need to edit or confirm this information. It depends on the number of assets in your video.

    Does your video have multiple assets?

    • No. My video has only one URL and no other assets. If your video has no other URLs or serving files, these columns are for informational purposes only.

    • Yes. My video has multiple URLs or serving files. It's important that you enter the exact width, height, and bit rate for each publisher-hosted video. Campaign Manager does not validate this information, so you should verify it with your creative team.

      Here's why the information should be correct: The publisher's system will use dimensions and bit rate to decide which serving file is best for each particular impression—based on factors like internet connection speed and the site video player. Enter correct information to ensure the publisher chooses the right serving file.

    Note that for the first URL you add, Campaign Manager enters sample values for width, height, and bit rate. These are not based on your video, so you should replace them with correct information if your video has multiple assets.

Add YouTube URLs

Before you get started, make sure you meet these requirements:

  • Account settings: Make sure your account is enabled for publisher-hosted videos. Open any in-stream video creative in Campaign Manager and check for a "Publisher-hosted URLs" section. If you don't see this section, talk to your account manager.

  • Publisher support: If you plan to use YouTube URLs outside YouTube.com, make sure the publisher uses IMA SDK and supports YouTube URLs in a VAST tag. YouTube URLs will only work on sites that use the IMA SDK (such as YouTube.com).

Steps

  1. Get your YouTube URL ready. Use standard form and use SSL (https://). For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABC1234de567f

    Do not use abbreviations (such as youtu.be).

  2. Open your in-stream video in Campaign Manager and add your URL two times to the "Publisher-hosted videos" section (click Add URL). You should see the same YouTube URL in two rows.

  3. Enter the duration, width, height, and bit rate of your video in all two rows. Note that Campaign Manager shows sample values in the first row. You can remove these and enter the correct values. They are not based on your YouTube URL.

  4. Set the file types to MP4 and WebM in the "File type" column. You need one row set to each file type: one row to MP4 and one to WebM.

When you're done, your two YouTube rows should look like this:

URL Preview Include in serving Duration File type Width Height Bit rate Delivery
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABC1234de567f Yes 15 MP4 640 480 400 Progressive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABC1234de567f Yes 15 WEBM 640 480 400 Progressive

Step 3: Edit video settings

Edit "Video settings" for your video if needed. These settings are only for VAST 3.0 and VAST 4.0 compliant publishers with skippable inventory:

  • Skip button: Check the Include skip button box to insert additional skip tracking into the tags for your creative if you're using a skip button in the video. Skip buttons are overlays on your video that users can click to skip your ad content. It will only display for videos that are longer than 7 seconds. The publisher's video player is responsible for overlaying the button. You can also choose the following skip settings:
    • Skip offset: The amount of time to play the video before the skip button appears. Select and enter either a specific number of seconds or a percentage of the total video duration. This value is only used when "Include skip button" is enabled.
    • Progress offset: The amount of time before a video view will be charged, based on your agreement with the publisher. Select and either use the default value of 30 seconds, enter a specific number of seconds, or enter a percentage of the total video duration.
  • OBA icon: If you're participating in an OBA (Online Behavioral Advertising) self-regulatory program, check this box to include the OBA icon, also known as the Advertising Option Icon. Please note that whether or not the OBA icon serves is dependent on the publisher’s video player.

    • Resource: Enter a link to the OBA icon file. Campaign Manager only supports image and JavaScript icons. 
    • Program: Enter the name of the industry initiative that the icon supports. For example, AdChoices.
    • Position: Use the drop-down to select where to position the icon over the creative. If you need to set a custom position, select "X, Y coordinates", and enter the precise X and Y pixel values to position the icon. 
    • Clickthrough URL: Enter the URL for your OBA program's informational page.
    • Click tracking URL: Enter a click tracker tag URL to record clicks to your OBA icon.
    • View tracking URL: Enter an impression pixel URL to record views of your OBA icon.

Step 4: Preview your video

  1. Click the preview button at the top of your creative properties. The Campaign Manager video player selects a compatible serving file and displays your video. You can check events and try out different resolutions and dimensions.
  2. To preview a specific serving file, click the preview button next to it in the Serving files section. You can cycle through every serving file in this window, but you can't check events or try different properties.
  3. If you want to preview a specific serving file in the main preview (i.e., check events, try different properties, etc.), here are your steps: First, set the serving file to ON under Include in serving in your creative properties. Next, set every other serving file to OFF. This way, you can be sure the Campaign Manager video player uses that specific serving file. Finally, click the preview button at the top of your creative properties.

For more details, see our guide to creative preview.

Next steps

Save your creative. After you finish uploading your assets, set up companion creatives, third-party URLs, assign ads and placements, and test your tags.

FAQs

Which serving files should I include with my creative?

You can choose to include any or all of them. If you include multiple serving files and/or URLs, the publisher's system can choose the best version of your asset for each impression, based on factors such as device type, connection speed, and the video player on the site. Including multiple serving files can also allow users to select different resolution settings when viewing your video.

You should also check with your publisher to make sure you include the right serving files. Some publishers will not accept pre-fetch tags with transcodes they don’t support, so you’ll need to disable those transcodes.

How will I know when transcoding is complete?

The creative pane will update as soon as Campaign Manager finishes validating and transcoding your asset into serving files. This should only take a few minutes. If it takes more than an hour, try uploading your asset again. You may need to contact support.

Why does Campaign Manager validate and transcode my asset?

When you upload a file, Campaign Manager processes it in two ways:

  • Campaign Manager validates the asset to make sure it works, and may generate a more efficient version.
  • Campaign Manager transcodes the asset into a number of alternative versions that use different formats or have different properties, each designed for specific players or bandwidths. These versions give your publisher's system more options to choose from for each impression and ensures that the appropriate file serves based on the viewer’s connection and screen size.

You can find all these files in the Serving files section.

Why is my creative non-compliant?

Your creative may be flagged as non-compliant because:

  • Third-party URLs aren't secure.
  • A companion creative includes URLs that aren't secure.

Solution: Check for any URLs that begin with http. Ask your developer or vendor for a secure version of these URLs. Remember that the secure URL may be totally different; often you can't just add an 's' to http. Remember that landing pages do not affect compliance and can start with http.

Learn more about SSL compliance.

Progress is "Failed" or "N/A" for a serving file

Failed

If Campaign Manager can't process an asset or generate a particular kind of serving file, you'll see "Failed" in the Progress column.

  • Failure to process an original file means Campaign Manager could not validate or finish preparing the file. There may be an issue with the asset, so make sure you have a valid file and try uploading again.

  • Failure for any other serving file means Campaign Manager could not transcode your original asset into that particular version. If you want this alternative version to be available when your creative serves, transcode it yourself and upload the version manually (click Add asset above).

N/A

"N/A" in the Progress column means the resolution for this row is too high. The file you uploaded is already at its highest resolution, and cannot be transcoded into versions with a higher resolution. If you need a serving file at this resolution, you'll need to get it from your developer.

What formats does Campaign Manager transcode my file into?

Google Marketing Platform uses Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) specifications to format video creatives.

Note: Google Marketing Platform will transcode video assets to into files with the same aspect ratios/orientation and at a lower specification. For example, if you upload a horizontal source file with a 4:3 aspect ratio, Campaign Manager will transcode the file into horizontal sizes with lower specifications that also have a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Horizontal transcodes 

File type Resolution Video bit rate (kbps) Audio bit rate (kbps)
3GPP 176 × 144 56 24
3GPP 320 × 240 192 32
MP4 480 × 270 400 64
MP4 640 × 360 400 96
MP4 640 × 360 1000 64
MP4 640 × 360 1500 128
MP4 640 × 480 400 96
MP4 720 × 600 720 96
MP4 854 × 480 720 128
MP4 1024 × 576 1500 96
MP4 1280 × 720 2000 128
MP4 1920 × 1080 4000 128
MP4 Matches source video 20000 192
WEBM 640 × 360 360 128
WEBM 854 × 480 720 128
WEBM 1280 × 720 2048 128
WEBM 1920 × 1080 4096 128
M3U8 Varies with
connection speed
Varies with
connection speed
Varies with
connection speed

Vertical transcodes 

File type Resolution Video bit rate (kbps) Audio bit rate (kbps)
3GPP 144 × 176 56 24
3GPP 240 × 320 192 32
MP4 270 × 480 400 64
MP4 360 × 640 400 96
MP4 360 × 640 1000 64
MP4 360 × 640 1500 128
MP4 480 × 640 400 96
MP4 600 × 720 720 96
MP4 480 × 854 720 128
MP4 576 × 1024 1500 96
MP4 720 × 1280 2000 128
MP4 1080 × 1920 4000 128
MP4 Matches source video 20000 192
WEBM 360 × 640 360 128
WEBM 480 × 854 720 128
WEBM 720 × 1280 2048 128
WEBM 1080 × 1920 4096 128
M3U8 Varies with
connection speed
Varies with
connection speed
Varies with
connection speed

Square transcodes 

File type Resolution Video bit rate (kbps) Audio bit rate (kbps)
3GPP 176 × 176 42 24
3GPP 240 × 240 144 32
MP4 480 × 480 383 64
MP4 640 × 640 386 96
MP4 640 × 640 619 96
MP4 640 × 640 948 64
MP4 640 × 640 1459 128
MP4 720 × 720 695 96
MP4 854 × 854 1170 128
MP4 1024 × 1024 1470 96
MP4 1080 × 1080 3076 128
MP4 1080 × 1080 19299 128
MP4 1920 × 1920 4096 128
WEBM 640 × 640 1346 128
WEBM 854 × 854 1452 128
WEBM 1080 × 1080 4393 128
WEBM 1920 × 1920 4096 128
M3U8 Varies with
connection speed
Varies with
connection speed
Varies with
connection speed

 

What is the M3U8 format?

M3U8 offers the publisher a range of resolution and bit rate options for each chunk of data in the video. This way, the publisher's system can adjust resolution and bit rate based on the user's internet connection speed.

If the user's connection slows down while the video is playing, the publisher's system can load the next chunk of the video at a lower bit rate and resolution. Likewise, if the connection speeds up, the publisher can load a higher-quality chunk of video.

How can I turn transcodes on and off?

You can turn transcodes on and off by:

  1. Opening your creative and scrolling down to the Serving files section
  2. Toggle each transcode ON or OFF under Include in serving.
How can I add additional transcodes?

If Campaign Manager does not generate a file format you need, you’ll have to transcode your asset into the format yourself. You can then add the transcode by uploading it as a source file in your creative by clicking Add asset.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?