Create an ad unit

There are two ways to create ad units:

  • Define ad units first in DoubleClick for Publishers and then add them to the ad tags on your website or mobile app. This is the typical method of creating an ad unit.

  • Include new ad units in your ad tags first. Once the ad server receives 10 requests for the ad unit, DoubleClick for Publishers will suggest you define the ad unit on the Inventory tab.

New ad units must be on a site or in an app for seven days to collect a sufficient amount of data for inventory availability queries. However, DFP uses 28 days of prior traffic for forecasting. As a result, forecasting accuracy will increase over the first four weeks.

To add a new ad unit size to your network, simply create a new ad unit and give it the new size, or set the new size for an existing ad unit.

Define ad units in DoubleClick for Publishers before adding them to ad tags

  1. Click the Inventory tab.

  2. Click New ad unit.

  3. Enter a Code, which is used to identify the ad unit in the associated ad tag.

    Often publishers choose to use codes that identify the ad unit's location and size. For example, you might use the format SiteName_Section_SubSection_Location_PagePosition_WxH, and a specific ad unit code might be ABCPublisher_News_International_RightSidebarTop_120x600.

    • Only letters, numbers, underscores, hyphens, periods, asterisks, forward slashes, backslashes, exclamations, left angle brackets, colons and parentheses are allowed.

    • Ad unit codes can be up to 100 characters in length.

    • Once you've created the ad unit, you can't change the code.

    • Each code must be unique; you can't reuse codes you've used before.

  4. Enter a Name for the ad unit, which is used in targeting and reports. You can change the name at any time. As with the code, publishers typically use naming conventions that give information about the ad unit's location and size.

  5. Set the Sizes for the ad unit.

    • Select Fixed size and then enter the size of the creatives the ad unit can host. You can enter multiple sizes if you want to use the same ad unit for multiple ad slots or across different platforms with different sizes, such as mobile and desktop.

    • Select Smart Banner if the ad unit is for a mobile app and you want the ad unit to fill the width of the screen and have a fixed height. The Google Mobile Ads SDK has native support for Smart Banners and will add pillarboxing (black bars to the left and right of the banner) to the creative as necessary to fill the entire current width of the banner view.

  6. Define a target window, which identifies the browser window where an ad's landing page will open. This value is set as the target attribute of the ad link.

    • _top: The target URL will load in the full body of the window, breaking out of any potential framesets. This value is selected by default.

    • _blank: The target URL will open in a new, unnamed window.

    If the ad unit is in an application, the target window is ignored. On webpages on Android devices, an external browser window opens; on webpages on iOS devices, an in-app web view opens.

  7. Add optional features and settings to the ad unit as needed.

    • Associate the ad unit with one or more placements by clicking Add next to the appropriate placements.

    • If you want to require traffickers to explicitly target the ad unit in order for line items to serve to it, select Special ad unit.

    • Click Add a labeling rule under Ad unit frequency caps to choose the number of impressions to be shown to each user per time period for the creatives that share the label. Learn more about using labels to set frequency caps for creatives.

    • Add labels to the ad unit so that creative wrappers can be applied when creatives are served to the ad unit. Learn more about adding creative wrappers to inventory.

    • Add the ad unit to teams.

  8. Click Save.

Use ad units suggested from your tags

To use this feature, click the Inventory tab, click Network settings, and select Get suggestions for new ad units.

You might want to add a new ad unit to an ad tag before defining it in DoubleClick for Publishers if you want to accrue seven day’s worth of impressions and run forecasts for it before traffickers can start targeting line items to it.

How does it work?

If the ad server receives at least 10 requests for an undefined ad unit within a seven-day period, DoubleClick for Publishers will suggest that you define it on the Inventory tab. The list of suggested ad units is updated once a day, so when you include an ad unit in an ad tag, it will show up on the list of suggested ad units no more than 24 hours later. Suggested ad units will remain on the list as long as there have been more than 10 impressions in the past seven days.

Only ad units that you approve will be added to the Inventory tab. You can ignore a suggestion if, for example, the ad unit was included in the ad tag by mistake because of a typo. Once you approve the auto-suggested ad unit, traffickers will be able to target line items specifically to it.

You can only approve suggested ad units; you cannot delete or archive them.

Which line items will be served to a suggested ad unit that is not yet approved?

If you have already defined a first-level ad unit on the Inventory tab and you add a second-level ad unit to the tag before you approve it, line items targeted to the first-level ad unit and run-of-network line items will be served to the unapproved ad unit. If you add a brand new first-level ad unit to an ad tag, run-of-network ads will serve to it.

For the target window (for example, _blank, which opens in a new window or tab), suggested ad units use the same target as the parent ad unit. First-level ad units inherit the target window from the network settings on the Inventory tab.

To approve ad units suggested by DoubleClick for Publishers:

  1. Click the Inventory tab.

  2. Click Suggested ad units on the left-hand panel.

  3. Select the ad units you want to approve.

  4. Click Approve.

Please carefully review all suggested ad units in case the suggestions were created from misspellings or typos of existing ad units.

Report on auto-suggested ad units

Auto-suggested ad units won’t show up in reports until you approve them. Instead, their impressions will be counted in with the ad unit above them. Impressions for top-level ad units are included in the network level and attributed to the default ad unit.

Training: Check out the DFP Inventory Fundamentals training module.