Create a plan for a campaign

As an advertiser, it helps to try different campaign ideas before you spend on inventory. 

With forecasting in Display & Video 360, you can build a plan within a campaign using your given budget and targeting to gain insight into the goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) you can achieve when buying programmatically.

About forecasting while planning in Display & Video 360

In Display & Video 360, you can use unique reach forecasting to estimate how your campaign might perform based on factors that affect reach, such as:

  • Budget
  • What type of inventory you're purchasing 
  • Duration of the campaign
  • Frequency caps
  • Brand safety settings
  • Auction dynamics, including average CPM
  • Demographic targeting
  • Audience list targeting
  • Viewability targeting
  • Geography targeting
  • Creative dimensions (display inventory)

Forecasts use trends in the ad market, including the historical performance of similar campaigns to model performance. Forecasts capture recent trends by basing the most recent data available from a period in time equal to your campaign's date range for up to 92 days.

For example:

If you set your campaign to run for 14 days. Forecasting will draw from the previous 14 days starting from the current day.

Note: You may notice changes to forecasted costs for YouTube in stream and open auction line items. Forecasts now account for country-specific seasonal periods, including holidays.

What's included in forecasts

Forecasts in Display & Video 360  help you explore the relationship between your budget and inventory that matches your targeting using a graph. 

The dotted line that extends from the right side of the forecast curve represents additional inventory that matches your targeting beyond what's in the forecast graph. Reaching this remaining inventory is often expensive and can be an inefficient use of the campaign's budget.

Unique reach curve in Display & Video 360

Display & Video 360’s forecasting and planning tools provide data on additional impressions and reach gained from co-viewing, when multiple people watch ads together on connected TV devices.

Co-viewing metrics in forecasts

Co-viewing reach metrics include:

  • Additional impressions: An estimate of the additional impressions you get from co-viewing, when multiple people watch ads together on connected TV devices.
  • Additional reach: An estimate of the additional reach you get from co-viewing, when multiple people watch ads together on connected TV devices.
  • GRPs (Gross rating points): Estimated percent of population reached x average frequency. Calculated with values impacted by co-viewing, when multiple people watch ads together on connected TV devices. 
  • Frequency (when “Show reach outside of target” is selected): The estimated number of times someone will see your ad (Total impressions divided by total reach). Calculated with values impacted by co-viewing, when multiple people watch ads together on connected TV devices.

Create a plan

What campaign settings automatically apply to plans? 

The following settings entered in campaigns will be used as the default values for plans:

  • Planned dates
  • Inventory source settings, including the Authorized Seller setting
    To edit inventory source settings, make changes to your campaign.
  • Age, gender, and parental status targeting
  • Viewability targeting

Additionally, brand safety settings, such as blocked channels, sensitive categories settings, and digital content label settings, are inherited from your partner and advertiser's settings and can't be changed in your plan.

Note, some YouTube brand safety settings aren't yet inherited from your partner and advertiser's settings.

These steps describe a plan for Digital channels. Digital channels include Display, Video (YouTube, third-party, and connected TV), Audio (YouTube and third-party), guaranteed deals. For planning that includes Linear TV, see Create a digital media plan with TV.

  1. From your advertiser, navigate to Inventory and then Plans in the left menu.

  2. Click New Plan.

  3. Enter a Name for your plan.

  4. Enter a Location to show your ads to people located in, or who show interest in that geographic location. Currency is set automatically based on the currency of your partner or advertiser. 
  5. Select Digital as the channel for the media plan.
    • Digital channels include Display, Video (YouTube, third-party, and connected TV), Audio (YouTube and third-party), guaranteed deals. Linear TV refers to traditional TV powered by Nielsen data.
  6. Enter the dates for the campaign. Digital media plans with TV use the same duration for both the digital forecast and linear TV measurement data, so try to match the duration of your digital campaign to your television campaign.
  7. Select the ideal age and gender Demographics of your target audience, or choose to target all people. The on-target reach of the plan is measured against the target demographic.
  8. (Optional) Add a Sub-location.
  9. Click Next: Add products to continue.

Add products to your plan

After you've completed the steps above, you're ready to add products to your plan, which will increase the reach of your campaign.

  1. From your campaign, navigate to Inventory and then Plans in the left menu.
  2. Click Add Product.

What's a product?

While planning, "products" represent inventory that's purchasable through insertion orders and line items in Display & Video 360. Some examples of products include deal inventory from publishers, YouTube video inventory, or open auction inventory with specific targeting criteria.

You can add one or more products from the following types of inventory:

Publisher & deal inventory

If you're looking to discover premium inventory, start by selecting Publishers. This view of premium inventory is the same as what's available Display & Video 360's Inventory module. Alternatively, you can add an existing deal.

Display & video inventory

To add display and video products to your plan and forecast their reach:

  1. Select Display & video.

  2. To forecast spending on YouTube (and Google video partners), select a YouTube inventory format. To forecast spending on open auction display and video inventory, select an Open Auction inventory format.

  3. Select a location to target.

  4. Select the dates of your flight.

  5. Enter a budget you want to spend.

  6. Click Add Another to add multiple lines for different combinations of settings and budgets.

  7. When you are done, click Done and then Save to plan and close

Filtering forecasts for display inventory by creative dimensions

Once you've added a display product to your plan, you can edit the product so it only includes inventory matching specific creative dimensions. This can make your forecasts more accurate for the inventory you're interested in. 
To filter by creative dimension:
  1. Starting in your plan, select one or more open auction display products, then navigate to Creatives in the menu on the right side of the screen.
  2. Select Specify dimensions, then choose the dimensions you want to include in your forecast.
  3. Click Apply once you're done.

Average CPMs may be initially lower than you expect

While creating a plan, the CPMs forecasted by Display & Video 360 reflect an efficient price for the targeting and settings you've manually specified up to that point, which start out broad. If you add more specific targeting, such as viewability or audience list targeting, the average cost will usually increase. As you change your targeting, your plan's forecast will be automatically updated to show the new efficient average costs (CPMs) and budgets for the new targeting.

However, if you want to explore forecasts at specific CPMs, you can simply overwrite the forecasted costs for individual products in your plan by clicking the edit icon in the "Avg. cost" column for products in the table and entering a new target CPM. Alternatively, you can also enter a "custom CPM" when editing your products in the dialog that opens on the right side of the screen under "General settings and then CPM".

Share your plan

Once you've built a plan you want to share, you can click Download to create a CSV file that contains the details of your plan, including forecasted reach and viewable CPM (where available).

Edit your plan settings

You can edit plan settings directly from your plan. Any changes you make to the plan settings will not affect your campaign. Note that some settings will be pre-populated based on settings from your advertiser.

  1. Start in your plan, then click the Pencil icon / edit icon on the right.
  2. You can edit the following settings:
    • Budget
    • Duration of the campaign
    • Inventory sources
    • Demographic targeting
    • Geography targeting
    • Brand safety settings
    • Viewability targeting
  3. Click Save once you're done adjusting your settings.

Updating plan settings will impact the forecast and reach of the products in the plan. To update the reach forecast, go to each product by navigating to Campaign > Plan > Product.

Frequently asked questions

Why did my budget change?

If you specify a budget that's higher than what’s necessary to efficiently reach your target audience, Display & Video 360 will automatically reduce your plan's budget.


  • The following types of audience lists aren't supported for forecasting and will be automatically removed if applied in a plan:

    • Lists with membership life spans fewer than 30 days
    • Lists with fewer than 10,000 weekly active cookies
    • Lists that were created within the last 29 days
    • Lists with more than 700 million weekly active cookies
    • Customer match lists
  • The following restrictions prevent certain deals from being added to plans: 
    • Programmatic Guaranteed CPD sponsorships deal are not supported
    • Plans are limited to display and video deal formats
    • Plans are limited to deals that are targeting the same country
    • Deals that do no meet the following requirements:
      • Deal must have activity within the last 40 days and did not start in the last 7 days
      • Deal has 4 million or more monthly impression (seen) volume
  • When serving campaigns in Display & Video 360, frequency caps apply per cookie. However, in the context of forecasting and reporting, the "avg. frequency" metric is calculated per unique user. Since each unique user can have multiple devices and browsers, each with its own cookie, "average frequency" in the plan is often higher than the frequency cap that's set in insertion orders and line items. For example, if you have 3 devices and you see ads from the same campaign on all of them, the average frequency shown in your plan will be 3, even if the campaign's (or insertion order's, or line item's) frequency cap was set to 1.

  • Although targeting helps prevent people outside of your chosen audience from seeing your ads, it can't guarantee your ads will never be shown to users outside of your target audience.

  • Reach forecasts are only available for some countries. If you target a country that's not supported for reach forecasts, your plan will show forecasted impressions instead.

  • Due to differences in cookie and device ID settings, advertisers may see fluctuations in delivery and performance when cookies or device ID are unavailable.

    List of supported countries

    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Bahrain
    • Belgium
    • Brazil
    • Bulgaria
    • Canada
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Costa Rica
    • Czechia (Czech Republic)
    • Denmark
    • Dominican Republic
    • Ecuador
    • Egypt
    • El Salvador
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Guatemala
    • Honduras
    • Hong Kong
    • Hungary
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Ireland
    • Israel
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Kuwait
    • Malaysia
    • Mexico
    • Morocco
    • Netherlands
    • New Zealand
    • Nicaragua
    • Norway
    • Oman
    • Pakistan
    • Panama
    • Peru
    • Philippines
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Puerto Rico
    • Qatar
    • Romania
    • Russia
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Singapore
    • South Africa
    • South Korea
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Taiwan
    • Thailand
    • Turkey
    • Ukraine
    • United Arab Emirates
    • United Kingdom
    • United States
    • Uruguay
    • Vietnam

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