Rotate a sequence of creatives in a line item

Sometimes advertisers want to display a set of creatives to the user in sequence in the same ad unit. This is called storyboarding and it allows the advertiser to control a user’s experience of an ad campaign across multiple views. To create a storyboard and control creative sequencing, use the sequential creative rotation feature.

Line items that use sequential rotation can only be served to users who accept DoubleClick cookies because the DoubleClick ad server uses cookies to determine which line items and creatives a given user has previously seen. Users who do not accept DoubleClick cookies are not served line items that use sequential rotations.

To create a sequential rotation of creatives:

  1. In the line item's 'Settings' tab, select Only one in the 'Display creatives' list.

  2. Select Sequential in the 'Rotate creatives' list.

  3. Upload the creatives you want to display in the rotation. Alternatively, you can associate creatives that were already uploaded for the advertiser's other line items.

    A rotation can contain up to 80 creatives over its lifespan. This includes creatives that have been removed from the line item.

  4. In the line item's 'Creatives' tab, click each sequence number to change the creative's order in the rotation (Optional).

  5. Apply a frequency cap to the rotation (Optional).

Adding or removing creatives may change the sequence numbers of the other creatives in a rotation. When you add a creative to or remove one from a sequence, always review the sequence numbers to ensure the creatives are in the order you want.

Frequency capped creatives and sequential rotation

If one of the creatives in the rotation has a frequency cap label applied to it and it hits its cap, the line item will stop serving until the next time period starts. This is because creatives in a sequential rotation must serve exactly in the order specified. For example, if you have four creatives and the first one hits its frequency cap, the line item will continue on to creatives 2, 3, and 4. When it attempts to serve creative 1 again, the line item will stop delivering because creative 1 is no longer available. (Learn more about applying frequency caps to creatives)

How sequential rotation affects the serving of creatives and line items

In line items with sequential rotations, the first creative is served most often, because not all users see a line item more than once. Each subsequent creative is served less often than the creatives that came before it, because more users see the line item twice than three times, and so on.

Sequential rotations don’t limit the number of times that the line item can be served to each user. Once the sequence is complete, it simply begins again. For example, if your line item has three creatives, and it’s served to a user five times, the user will see Creative 1, Creative 2, Creative 3, then Creative 1 and Creative 2 as the sequence repeats.