Manage event tags

Set up event tags

Use event tags to work with non-Campaign Manager tracking URLs

Set up event tags to track your ads with non-Campaign Manager tracking URLs: impression pixels, click tracking URLs, and survey URLs. These URLs allow parties outside Campaign Manager to log information about impressions and clicks on your ads, and to launch surveys.

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Guidelines

How it works
  • Create one event tag for each tracking URL you need to use. You can apply your event tags to many ads at once, and quickly manage them across your campaigns. When you apply an event tag to an ad, it uses your third-party tracking URL each time it serves. By default, every creative in the ad will use the tracking URL.

  • In each tracking URL, you can add add additional keywords, key-value pairs, and macros that capture the exact creative involved in each impression, click, or survey—as well as other useful information about ad activity.

FAQ

What are some use cases for event tags?

The simplest use of an event tag is to allow vendors to log the number of impressions or clicks on your ads. Or you can add a survey URL to an event tag (an impression event tag) to launch surveys for your vendor when your ad serves.

Event tags log clicks and impressions for ads, not their creatives, but you can add additional parameters to specify the creative involved, as well as other information.

  • You can hard-code keywords and other information into the tag URL so that it’s included each time the event is counted.

  • You can also add macros that expand dynamically: the publisher’s system replaces macros with specific information that can change with each event. For example, you might add a macro that captures the keyword a user searched before seeing the ad, or the particular site the creative appeared on, or which Campaign Manager campaign served the ad.

Technically, the vendor collecting this information is a fourth party: The advertiser, publisher, and Campaign Manager are the first three parties and the event tag sends information to a fourth party (such as Coremetrics, Dynamic Logic, or comScore).

What are the advantages of event tags over manual tracking URLs?

Event tags are a much faster, more efficient way to manage tracking URLs than manual options would be.

  • You can apply event tags in bulk, without manually editing each and every creative.

  • You can update all your ads at once when you edit your tag.

  • You can set rules for how your tags are applied: apply them to all ads in all campaigns, or just to one campaign, or just to a few ads. You can also define site rules to whitelist/blacklist your tags for a list of up to 500 sites.

Can you give me an example of how event tags are "applied" to ads in Campaign Manager?

You might apply a tag to all the ads in your advertiser, or just to a few ads in a few campaigns, and even to just one ad. Campaign Manager gives you options to manage your tags in bulk, but you can also add or remove the tag manually.

Let's look at what happens when you apply an impression event tag to one ad but not the other.

Example

Say you have two ads in Campaign Manager: Ad 1 and Ad 2. Both ads have the same Soda Creative.

  1. You apply an impression event tag to Ad 1. Now any creative assigned to Ad 1 will be tracked with the impression event tag when Ad 1 serves.

  2. You don't apply the impression event tag to Ad 2.

  3. When Ad 1 serves, it includes the impression event tag with your Soda Creative. The tag fires and the vendor logs an impression on Ad 1. If the tag includes macros that capture other information (such as the creative ID), the vendor logs this as well.

  4. When Ad 2 serves, it doesn't include the impression event tag with your Soda Creative. Campaign Manager might log impressions, but your impression event tag won't send any data to your vendor.

Can you walk me through steps to set up event tags for a common goal?

You can find some common vendor goals in the setup manual. Or try our interactive guide to find steps for your needs.

Supported uses and limits

Supported ads, creatives, placement tags, environments, and browsers
  • Ad and creative types: All ad and creative types are supported except for click tracker ads. Note that backup images are fully supported for event tags.

  • Placement tag types: Event tags are supported for iframe, JavaScript, and pre-fetch placement tags.

    • For non-video inventory, we recommend you send both iframe and JS tags to your publisher so your publisher can choose which to use. For tracking ads, include the JS and iframe versions in the tracking creative section of the tag.

  • Environment: Event tags work in all environments. For mobile apps that support MRAID, impression event tags are fired once an ad is partially on screen

  • Browser: The user's browser must support the event tag tracking URL and placement tag type you use. Event tags may not be able to capture information if the user's browser does not support iframes, JavaScript, or the site VPAID player. See the table below for more information.

How browser capabilities affect event tag support

Placement tag type on site/app Browser support
for JS/iframes

Impression
event tag -
image URL

Impression
event tag -
JS URL
Click event
tag
JS JS and iframes
JS JS only
JS Iframes only
JS Neither
Iframes JS and iframes
Iframes JS only
Iframes Iframes only
Iframes Neither
Standard JS and iframes
Standard JS only
Standard Iframes only
Standard Neither
Prefetch Browser support for event tags depends on whether the browser can support the VPAID player on the site. Different event tags may or may not work depending on browser support.

Special notes on HTML5, rich media, in-stream, and VPAID creatives

  • HTML5 or rich media: Event tags do not distinguish which asset serves or which exit receives a click.There are workarounds available if you need to capture this information. Learn more in the extra steps section below.

  • In-stream audio, in-stream video, and VPAID: Event tags are included in pre-fetch tags by Campaign Manager, but it is up to the publisher serving the ad to fire the URL at the relevant time. If you want to use event tags for in-stream and VPAID creatives, note that survey URLs cannot use parentheses. Also, the total character count for all survey URLs applied to any given ad cannot exceed 2048 characters. For event tags to work on your creative, you must also remove any survey URLs you applied manually. Learn more in the extra steps section below.

How many event tags can I create and apply?

You can create:

  • Max of 20 impression event tags at the advertiser level.

  • Max of 20 click event tags at the advertiser level.

  • Max of 20 impression event tags at the campaign level.

  • Max of 20 click event tags at the campaign level.

You can apply:

  • Max of 40 impression event tags for any given ad. If you create 20 impression event tags at the advertiser level and 20 more at the campaign level, you will have 40 to apply for any given ad in a campaign.

  • Max of 1 click event tag for any given ad. You can only apply one click event tag per ad. If you create 20 click event tags at the advertiser level and 20 more at the campaign level, you will have 40 to choose from for any given ad.

What are the character limits in event tags?

Maximum characters per event tag URL: Each event tag can use a URL of up to 500 characters.

Maximum characters for survey URLs in in-stream and VPAID creatives: If you combine all the survey URLs applied to your in-stream/VPAID creative, the character count must be under 2048. If you exceed this limit, the survey URLs will not work for the creative. This limit does not affect other creative types.

Setup

Create an event tag

Your steps depend on what kind of tracking you need to do. Choose an option below.

Impression event tag - track impressions or launch surveys

You need to use an impression event tag to do this. Impression event tags fire impression pixels or survey URLs. You can use them to track impressions or launch surveys.

  • Option A. Use in multiple campaigns

    Follow these steps if you need to use your tracking URL in multiple campaigns. The campaigns must all be under the same advertiser.

    1. Open your advertiser properties.

    2. Open the "Event tags" section.

    3. Look under "Impression event tags." Choose the Advertiser tags view.

    4. Click New impression event tag.

    5. Move on to tag setup below.

  • Option B. Use in only one campaign

    Follow these steps if you need to use your tracking URL in only one campaign.

    1. Open your campaign properties.

    2. Open the "Event tags" section.

    3. Look under "Impression event tags." Choose the Campaign tags view.

    4. Click New impression event tag.

    5. Move on to tag setup below.

Click event tag - track clicks

You need to create a click event tag to track clicks. Click event tags fire click tracking URLs.

  • Option A. Use in multiple campaigns

    Follow these steps if you need to use your tracking URL in multiple campaigns. The campaigns must all be under the same advertiser.

    1. Open your advertiser properties.

    2. Open the "Event tags" section.

    3. Look under "Click event tags." Select the Advertiser tags view.

    4. Click New click event tag.

    5. Move on to tag setup below.

  • Option B. Use in only one campaign

    Follow these steps if you need to use your tracking URL in only one campaign.

    1. Open your campaign properties.

    2. Open the "Event tags" section.

    3. Look under "Click event tags." Select the Campaign tags view.

    4. Click New click event tag.

    5. Move on to tag setup below.

Common vendor goals
Need some help deciding which kind of event tags to create? Here are some common vendor goals and the kinds of event tags you might need for them.
  • Validate campaign delivery and performance

    Ask your vendor or publisher for impression pixel and click tracking URLs. Create both an impression event tag for your impression pixel and a click event tag for your click tracking URL. Then apply the tags to your ads. See above for steps to craete each type of event tag.

  • Collect audience analytics

    Ask your vendor for an impression pixel URL. Create an impression event tag in Campaign Manager for your impression pixel. Then apply the tag to your ads. If you want to track audience analytics for all the ads on a particular site, apply your impression event tag to all the ads in every placement on that site. See above for steps to create an impression event tag.

  • Study brand advertising through a survey

    Ask your survey vendor for a survey URL. Create an impression event tag in Campaign Manager for your survey URL. Then apply the tag to every ad in your campaign (typically, you'll want the survey to launch for every ad in your campaign). See above for steps to create an impression event tag.

Set event tag properties and add your tracking URL

To set event tag properties, you must have an event tag open. If you have not created one yet, follow the steps above to create one. If you already created your event tag and want to make changes, find it in your campaign or advertiser.

I can't find my event tag!

You can find event tags in your campaign properties and your advertiser properties.

  1. Open the Event tags section of your advertiser properties.

  2. Check the Advertiser tags view for your impression event tags and click event tags. You can open each event tag to check the tag URL.

  3. If you don't see your event tag in your advertiser, that means it is in the campaign where you created it. To check a campaign, open the Event tags section of the campaign properties.

  4. Check the Campaign tags view for your impression event tags and click event tags. You can open each event tag to check the tag URL.

Name

This part is easy. Name your event tag. It may help to name the event tag based on the vendor that provided your with a tracking URL.

Application

This section is only included for impression event tags. You don't need to choose an application setting in your click event tag properties.

Application determines whether you use the event tag in all your ads automatically. Your options depend on what tag you created and where. Where did you open your event tag?

A. I opened an impression event tag in my advertiser.

This is an advertiser-level tag.

  • Automatic: Applies the tag to all the ads in all your campaigns, unless you set an override in a particular ad or campaign.

  • Manual: Does not apply your tag anywhere. The event tag will only be used in a campaign or ad if you apply it manually. You can apply event tags manually with an override in the ad or campaign properties.

B. I opened an impression event tag in my campaign.

This is a campaign-level tag.

  • Automatic: Applies the tag to all the ads in your campaign, unless you set an override for an ad in the ad properties.

  • Manual: Does not apply the tag to any ads in your campagin. Instead, you'll have to apply it manually. The only way to apply a tag manually is to set an override in the ad properties.

Enabled

Leave the tag set to Yes in the Enabled menu.

Never disable your tag unless there’s an emergency and you need to immediately stop using it for all creatives in your advertiser.

Tag type

This section is only included for impression event tags. You don't need to choose a tag type for click event tags.

The tag type menu has two options: Image and Script.

  • Choose Image if your URL starts with <img src=

  • Choose Script if your URL starts with <script>

Image means you have an image tracking URL. An image tag returns an image, usually a 1x1 impression pixel to track impressions.

Script means you have a standard tracking URL, such as a JavaScript survey URL. A script tag returns a JavaScript for the browser to execute, typically to provide more information about the impression.

If you're still not sure which tag type to choose, ask your vendor.

Tag URL
  1. In the Tag URL field, paste in the tracking URL provided by your vendor.

    • Impression event tags: Make sure your URL is an impression pixel or survey URL. Do not enter a click tracking URL. Only click event tags support click tracking URLs.

      Also, if you plan to apply this event tag to ads that have in-stream or VPAID creatives, check our guidelines for event tags and in-stream/VPAID creatives to be sure you use the proper URL.

    • Click event tags: Enter the click tracking URL provided by your vendor. Do not enter an impression pixel or survey URL. Only impression event tags support impression pixels and survey URLs.

  2. Once you enter your tracking URL, Campaign Manager identifies any key-value pairs in your URL and allows you to edit them below. If you have no key-value pairs in your URL, you can skip this part.

    Add or edit key-values

    1. Edit the key or value of each key-value pair Campaign Manager detects.

    2. If you wish to add your own key-value pairs, click Add key-value pair.

      The first pair is an empty key field that will correspond to the landing page. Enter the key that your vendor wishes to associate with your landing page. Campaign Manager will automatically add your landing page URL after this key. That way, when there is a click, the browser first goes to the fourth-party URL and then redirects to the landing page.

      The landing page URL is either the URL in your ad properties or (if you override the ad properties), the URL in the creative.

    3. Click Add pair to continue adding pairs. You can select macros from the macro menu or enter a custom string.

      For example, if you select Geographic data macro (%g), the value field populates with %g and the key field remains blank. Enter the value your vendor wants to associate with geographic information. Learn about macros

SSL

This section is only included for impression event tags. Campaign Manager does not check the SSL status of click event tags.

The SSL field should say "Compliant" if you have an impression event tag and the event tag will be used to track creatives on secure sites (https).

  • Note that from June 16 to July 7, 2015, Campaign Manager will roll out new SSL requirements that require the use of HTTPS in impression event tags. From July 7 onward, you will not be able to apply impression event tags to additional ads if they use a non-HTTPS tracking URL. However, if you have already applied non-HTTPS impression event tags to ads, they can remain applied and will still capture information.

  • Ask your vendor for secure versions of your impression pixels or survey URLs. Do not simply change http to https in your dynamic tag, because many tracking URLs have completely different secure URLs.

About SSL and event tags

SSL tells you whether your tracking URL is secure. Secure tracking URLs start with https. Non-secure tracking URLs do not start with https, and typically start with http.

IMPORTANT: If you want to track creatives on secure sites with an impression event tag, your impression pixel / survey URL must be secure. That means if you have placements on site URLs that start with https, your tracking URL must also start with https.

If Campaign Manager detects that some of your sites are secure and that your tracking URL is not secure, Campaign Manager will not let you apply your impression event tag to ads on those sites.

Does your impression event tag URL start with http? Ask your vendor for a secure version. Do not simply add an 's' to the end of http. The secure version of your tracking URL may be totally different.

Learn more

Escaping

This section is only included for click event tags. Impression event tag URLs do not require escaping.

Use escaping if your tag URL has characters that may be hard for fourth-party systems to process. Escaping replaces these characters with alternative characters or phrases that the systems can translate into the right characters.

You can control how many levels of additional escaping you can add to your URL. Your URL will be escaped once by default.

  • None applies no additional levels of escaping. Your landing page URL and suffix will be escaped once by default.

  • First-level escaping adds one additional level of escaping and is for landing page URLs (and suffixes) that go to two fourth parties. Some URLs start with the first fourth party and then redirect to a second fourth party before they redirect to your campaign's landing page. 

  • Second-level escaping adds two additional levels of escaping and is for landing page URLs (and suffixes) that go to three fourth parties. 

Site filter

You have the option to whitelist or blacklist up to 500 sites for your tag. That means you can pick a group of sites that this tag will either only track or never track.

Whitelist/blacklist steps

  1. Select an option.

    • No filter: Your event tag will be included for all sites.

    • Whitelist: Your event tag will only be included with creatives that serve to whitelisted sites.

    • Blacklist: Your event tag will be excluded whenever your creatives serve to blacklisted sites.

  2. Click Select sites link below the site filter menu. The link will say Select sites to whitelist or Select sites to blacklist.

  3. Select up to 500 sites. You can select any site that is already in the Site Directory. Use the search bar or the "Context" menu to narrow your options.
  4. Click Properties in the upper left of the site filter menu.

    Do not save or cancel unless you wish to save or discard changes for the entire tag and exit the event tag properties.

  5. Now you can see the list of sites you’ve whitelisted or blacklisted for this event tag.

    To add or remove sites, click Select sites. You can also remove sites by clicking the small x next to them.

Extra steps for HTML5, rich media, in-stream, and VPAID

HTML5 and rich media: Extra steps for information about assets and exit events

Event tags do not capture these types of information:

  • Whether the primary or backup asset receives an impression.

  • Which exit receives a click.

Here are some alternative ways to log this information.

  • Rich Media impressions: If you want to differentiate impressions on the Rich Media and backup assets, use the tracking URL fields in the Rich Media creative properties, under Creative parameters: enter different URLs for the Rich Media impressions and Backup image impressions URL fields, so that each asset is tracked with a different URL.

  • Rich Media clicks: To log clicks on different exit events for non-Campaign Manager parties, add third-party tracking parameters to the exit landing pages in the creative properties, under Creative events.

  • You can also add these parameters to the backup image landing page in your creative properties, under Backup image.

Audio and video: Extra steps to log information about in-stream and VPAID creatives

Take some extra steps to ensure event tags work on your in-stream audio, in-stream video, and VPAID creatives.

  1. Do not use parentheses in survey URLs. Survey URLs with parentheses — i.e., ) or ( — will not work for these creatives. This does not affect other creative types.

    What you need to do: If your campaign uses these creatives and you wish to use non-Campaign Manager surveys, create an impression event tag that does not have parentheses in its survey URL. Apply this event tag to ads that have your VPAID/in-stream creatives.

  2. Do not exceed 2048 characters total for all the survey URLs in your impression event tags that you apply to any given in-stream or VPAID creative. VPAID and in-stream creatives cannot handle more than 2048 characters in all your JavaScript survey URLs put together. This only affects VPAID and in-stream. Impression pixel URLs have no character limit.

    What you need to do: First, let's go over how you apply survey URLs in Campaign Manager. To apply a survey URL to a creative, you create an impression event tag and enter a JavaScript survey URL in the event tag properties. Then you apply the impression event tag to ads with your creative.

    You can apply multiple survey URLs if you use multiple impression event tags. Each survey URL has a certain number of characters. Multiple survey URLs have a combined number of characters. For these creatives, that number should not exceed 2048. If you’re not sure about your character count, paste all the survey URLs into a text editor and try a word/character count. One way is to paste them into a Google Doc and click Tools > Word count.

    Remember that you don't need to count the characters in impression pixel URLs. They have no character limit.

    How it works: Upon serving, Campaign Manager combines all the survey URLs in your applied impression event tags. If the combination exceeds 2048 characters, none of your surveys will serve.

    For example, say you apply 10 survey URLs with event tags. Each survey URL is 400 characters long. The combined number of characters would be 4000 (10 x 400), which exceeds the limit. In this case, none of the survey URLs would work for in-stream or VPAID creatives.

  3. If your creative already has a survey URL entered in the creative properties, this URL is now uneditable. The URL will still fire, but you cannot edit it. Event tags will not apply to this creative.

    What you need to do: Copy the creative. The copy will not have your survey URL. Assign the copy to your ads in place of the original. Unassign the original. Now event tags can apply survey URLs to your creative.

    Now that event tags are available for in-stream and VPAID creatives, you can no longer edit survey URLs in the creative properties.

Manage tag application

How it works

For impression event tags, you can open the properties and choose a general setting for which ads and creatives your tag tracks:

  • Automatic - apply to campaigns or ads by default

  • Manual - only apply to specific campaigns or ads you choose

For click event tags, you can apply the tag in your advertiser properties, campaign properties, or ad properties, under "Event tags."

  • You can only apply one click event tag to each ad. Campaign Manager applies the click event tag based on your advertiser, campaign, and ad settings.

  • If you apply a click event tag at the advertiser level, it applies to all campaigns and ads underneath. But you can open a campaign and change the click event tag setting for just that campaign.

  • Likewise, you can open a particular ad and change which click event tag is applied to that ad.

See below to learn where to check settings.

Where to check settings

Open the "Event tags" section in your advertiser, campaign, or ad, depending on what you want to check. Or try this interactive guide to find the exact settings you need.

Advertiser settings

Impression event tags

Select the Advertiser tags view to check settings. This is a list of all the event tags created in your advertiser.

  • Apply automatically: This setting means your event tag is applied to all the ads in all the campaigns under this advertiser by default.

  • Manual: This setting means your event tag is not applied to any campaigns by default. It will only be used in a campaign or ad if you manually apply it in the campaign or ad properties.

You can override either of these settings in any particular campaign or ad if you want. Just open that campaign or ad and check the event tags section.

You can also open the tag properties and click Overrides on the upper left to check which overrides are currently set.

Click event tags

Select the Applied tags view. The tag that is set to Applied tag is used in all ads in all campaigns by default. Your Advertiser tags view shows all the click event tags in your advertiser (as opposed to any you created at the campaign level).

If you want to apply a different click event tag to ads in a campaign, or make an exception for just one ad, open the ad or campaign properties and make your selection there.

You can also open the tag properties and click Overrides on the upper left to check which overrides are currently set.

Campaign settings

Impression event tags

Select the Campaign tags view to check settings. This is a list of all the event tags created in your campaign.

  • Apply automatically: This setting means your event tag is applied to all the ads in this particular campaign by default.

  • Manual: This setting means your event tag is not applied to any ads in your campaign by default. It will only be used in an ad if you apply it in the ad properties.

You can override either of these settings in any particular ad Just open that ad and check the event tags section.

You can also open the tag properties and click Overrides on the upper left to check which overrides are currently set.

Click event tags

Select the Applied tags view. The tag that is set to Applied tag is used in all ads in this campaign by default.

If you want to apply a different click event tag to ads in this campaign by default, change the setting here.

Keep in mind that any particular ad might have its own override. To check which overrides are currently set for your ads, click Campaign tags, open the tag properties and click Overrides on the upper left.

Ad settings

Impression event tags

Select the Applied tags view. These are the tags that are applied to your ad.

  • To remove tags from this ad:

    Select the Advertiser/Campaign tags view. Find the tag you want to remove, select its checkbox, and click Never apply.  

    The tag will never be applied to this ad, no matter what settings you change at the advertiser or campaign level. You can only change this setting in the ad.

  • To apply tags to this ad:

    Select the Advertiser/Campaign tags view. Find the tag you want to apply, select its checkbox, and click Always apply.  

    The tag will always be applied to this ad, no matter what settings you change at the advertiser or campaign level. You can only change this setting in the ad.

Click event tags

Your ad's click event tag is based on settings in the advertiser or campaign above it. The applied tag is set to Applied tag in this section.

  • To apply a different tag:

    Click the Inherit parent click event tag button to unlock your settings. It should now say Override parent click event tag.

    You can now choose a different click event tag from your list. If you don't see the one you need, create it in your campaign or advertiser.

  • To use the tag set in your campaign or advertiser:

    First, make sure the button above your list of tags indicates Inherit parent click event tag. If the button says Override parent click event tag, click the button. This will "lock" the ad's click tag settings to the campaign (which may be set to use a campaign-level click tag or to inherit one from the advertiser).

Creative settings

You cannot control event tags in the creative properties. However, you can disable event tags for a creative in any given ad.

Open the "Creative assignments" section of the assigned ad. For any given creative row, you can switch event tags ON or OFF.

  • ON means event tags applied to the assigned ad can track your creative.

  • OFF means event tags applied to the assigned ad cannot track your creative. This does not disable event tags for your creative in other ads.

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