TrueView campaigns

Targeting for TrueView line items

The types of targeting available for TrueView line items are slightly different than Display & Video 360's standard set of targeting controls. Additionally, unlike other types of line items, targeting for TrueView line items is set at three levels: the advertiser, line item level, and the ad group level. Targeting set at the insertion order level doesn't apply to TrueView.

Advertiser-level targeting

There are several options at the advertiser level that you can use to help set a base level of brand suitable targeting. 

Targeting set at the advertiser level will apply to all current and future TrueView line items contained within the advertiser.

The following options are available across line item types:

For TrueView only, you can also exclude YouTube placements at the advertiser level:

  1. Navigate to your advertiser's Settings and then Targeting in the left menu.
  2. Find Channels & URLs and click Edit Edit
  3. Click on the TrueView URLs section.
  4. Enter up to 65,000 YouTube URLs to exclude. Accepted formats include:
    • YouTube channels ("")
    • YouTube Watch pages ("")
    • YouTube videos (“”)
  5. Select Exclude.
  6. Click Apply

If you exclude a placement at the advertiser level, you cannot include it at the ad group level. You can exclude additional placements at the ad group level.

Line item-level targeting

Targeting set at the line item level will apply to all ad groups contained within the line item and can't be overwritten by ad group targeting. Usually people use line item targeting to apply general targeting to their TrueView ads.

The following types of targeting are available in TrueView line items:


  • Inventory sources:
    • "YouTube Search" is the search results page on YouTube. All targeting settings apply for YouTube search inventory, except for placements. 
    • "YouTube Videos" consists of channels and videos on YouTube and YouTube videos embedded on other sites. 
      • "Include video partners" is a collection of partner sites and apps that follow the same brand safety standards as YouTube. Learn more about Google video partners.
  • Category exclusions: Category exclusion settings - content categories, digital content labels, and other content types - help you exclude types of content that, while in compliance with our policies, may not fit your brand or business. Regardless of the settings you select, your ads will be excluded from showing on content that isn’t appropriate for any advertiser. Learn more
  • Languages: Show your ads based on the languages a user speaks. This is determined based on the language preference a given user sets on the YouTube homepage, as well as various other signals such as the user’s browser language, location, and viewing history.


  • Geography

  • Day and time


  • Devices

Ad group-level targeting

Targeting set at the ad group-level is used to target your TrueView ads more granularly.

The following types of targeting are available in TrueView ad groups:


  • Keywords: Depending on your video ad format, you can show video ads based on words or phrases--keywords--related to a YouTube video, YouTube channel, or type of website that your audience is interested in. You can use the following keyword matches to control which searches will trigger your ad:
    Option Description Symbol Example keyword Example search
    Broad match (default) Ads may show on searches that contain misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations.  none women's hat buy ladies' hats
    Phrase match Ads may show on searches that are a phrase, and close variations of that phrase.  "keyword" "women's hats" buy women's hats
    Exact match Ads may show on searches that are an exact term and close variations of that exact term. [keyword] [women's hats] women's hats
  • Categories: Target your video ads to specific topics on YouTube and from video partners. Category targeting lets you reach a broad range of videos, channels, and websites related to the topics you select. For example, if you target the "Automotive" topic, your ad will show on YouTube to people watching videos about cars.
  • Placements: Target unique channels, websites, or placements within them. For example, you can target an entire blog or just the homepage of a news site. Keep in mind that when you add YouTube placements, your ads may still run in eligible locations across video partners. Similarly, when adding video partner placements, your ads may still run in eligible locations on YouTube. If you'd like to target only one specific placement, make sure that your line item's inventory source targeting excludes all other content. For example, if you want to only target a specific YouTube placement, exclude video partner placements from the line item targeting. Placements that you can target at the ad group level include:
    • Domains ("")
    • URLs ("")
    • YouTube users ("" or "")
    • YouTube channels ("")
    • YouTube Watch pages ("")
    • Apps from the Google Play or Apple App Store
    • Collections of related apps based on genre or chart position

If you exclude a placement at the advertiser level as described above, you cannot override that setting by including the placement at the ad group level.


  • Demographics: Reach an audience by age, gender, household income, or parental status. Learn more about demographics targeting.
  • Audience Lists: Includes the following options:
    • First party: Reach viewers that are important to your business with first-party audiences. You can target YouTube users who have interacted with your videos or YouTube channel, or upload Customer Match lists that contain phone numbers, street addresses, or email addresses of users. Learn more about TrueView audiences.
    • Affinity and in-market audiences: Select from several types of audience lists, including:
      • Affinity: Raise brand awareness and drive consideration with your TrueView video ads by reaching people who already have a strong interest in relevant topics. Learn more about affinity segment targeting.
      • In-market: Select from these audiences to find customers who are researching products and actively considering buying a service or product like those you offer. Learn more about in-market audience targeting.
      • Consumer patterns: Reach audiences based on their shopping and lifestyle habits, such as where they shop or how often they go out to eat. 
    • Life events: Reach audiences when purchase behavior shifts and brand preferences change during key life milestones like moving, graduating from college, or getting married.
    • Custom Affinity segments: Advertisers using Custom Affinity targeting can add segments based on interests an audience is likely to have. Learn more about Custom Affinity targeting.
    • Detailed demographics: Reach audiences based on their long term status such as parenting stages, marital status, homeownership status, education, or employment. 

More information about consumer patterns and life events audience lists

Consumer pattern and life event audience lists can help you reach your most relevant users based on their regular behavior patterns or during key milestones. These audience lists take into account a variety of Google signals to determine these patterns, including Google Search. While affinity audiences identify users who have a strong interest in a product, these audiences include users based on their current habits.
These audience lists are tuned for reach, including across devices. They are updated on every impression, ensuring that you target the most relevant audiences. 
Third-party tracking pixels requirements

The following vendors are certified for measurement on YouTube:

  • comScore
  • DoubleVerify
  • IAS
  • Kantar
  • MOAT
  • Nielsen
  • Research Now
  • Google (including Google Marketing Platform)

Display & Video 360 does not accept third-party ad tracking pixels that are not from one of these vendors or that make unapproved fourth-party calls to other vendors.


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