Use real-time triggers to instantly activate line items

Real-time triggers allow you to instantly reach and engage with customers in the moments that matter by syncing your digital campaign with real-world signals such as sports events. These signals instantly trigger the launch of your campaign and accelerate delivery so you only spend when the signal is relevant to your brand and customers. Triggers can help you increase brand awareness with high impact, scaled blast campaigns.

There are several unique features in the delivery of campaigns that use real-time triggers:

  • Instant activation and accelerated delivery: For standard line items, it can take several minutes for the line item to become active and several days for spend to ramp up fully based on bidding and pacing behavior. Line items using real-time triggers, on the other hand, are instantly activated and begin spending at their full potential within minutes.

  • Short bursts of spend focused around specific moments: Triggers will cause a line item to spend for anywhere from 15 minutes to 6 hours after an event occurs in real-time.

Types of triggers

Trigger Details Sample use cases
Manual Trigger line items to spend based on a manual signal. You’ll need to manually turn the trigger on for line items to begin spending.
  • Amplify the impact of a sponsored TV show by triggering a line item to spend when the show begins.
  • Align your brand with a tentpole event by triggering a line item to spend when a certain category is presented at an awards show.
  • Drive mass awareness by triggering a line item to spend as soon as your brand makes a major announcement.
Sports

Trigger line items to spend based on sporting events. Line items will automatically begin to spend when in-game events occur in real-time.

Sports triggers are available for soccer (English Premier League, La Liga, and UEFA Champions League), American football (NFL), and American basketball (NBA).

Trigger a line item to spend when:

  • A team wins a game
  • A player scores in a game
  • A team scores 100+ points in any game over a 3-month period
  • A player scores 30+ points in any game over a 1-month period

Setup overview

Here’s an overview of how to set up a campaign with real-time triggers:

  1. Create a new trigger in your advertiser.

  2. Assign the trigger to at least one active line item.

  3. Activate the trigger. Display & Video 360 will ensure that line items using the trigger will begin spending within seconds of when you turn the trigger on for manual triggers or when in-game events happen in real-time for sports triggers.

Create and activate triggers

Step 1: Create a new trigger in your advertiser

Create a manual trigger

  1. From your advertiser, expand Resources in the left menu and click Triggers.

  2. Click New trigger.

  3. Select Manual from the list of triggers.

  4. On the page that opens, enter the following details:

    • Name for the trigger.

    • How long each activation of the trigger should last. The duration can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 6 hours.

  5. Click Create

Create a sports trigger

  1. From your advertiser, expand Resources in the left menu and click Triggers.

  2. Click New trigger.

  3. Select Sports from the list of triggers.

  4. On the page that opens, enter the following details:

    • Name for the trigger.

    • Select whether you’d like to set the trigger based on league-, team-, or player-related events:

      • League lets you set a trigger based on the start or end of a game, halftime, or if a game ends in a draw.

      • Team lets you set a trigger when a specific team wins, loses, or scores.

      • Player lets you set a trigger when a player scores in a game.

    • Click Add event to select what in-game events should activate the trigger. The available options are based on whether you’ve selected league, team, or player.

    • Enter how long each activation of the trigger should last. The duration can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 6 hours.

    • Choose specific games on the schedule. The trigger will activate when any of the events you selected occurs in one of these games.

  5. Click Create.

You’ll see a summary of estimated activations as you create a sports trigger. You can use this data to help gauge how often and for how long your trigger will cause associated line items to spend.

  • Games included shows the number of games that could cause associated line items to start spending based on how many games you’re including in the trigger.

  • Events included shows the number of in-game events that could cause associated line items to start spending based on how many events you’re including in the trigger.

  • Estimated activations gives you a minimum and maximum number of times your trigger could cause associated line items to start spending. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of selected games by the possible number of in-game events to see the maximum number of activations.

  • Estimated activation time gives you a range for how many hours your trigger could cause each individual associated line item to spend based on the trigger’s activation duration.

Step 2: Assign the trigger to line items

Once you’ve created a trigger, you need to assign it to at least one active line item. You can associate the same trigger to multiple line items.

  1. Open an existing line item or create a new one.

  2. Navigate to the Flight dates section.

  3. Select Use a trigger.

  4. Click Select trigger.

  5. Search from the list of triggers set up in your advertiser.

  6. Save the line item once you’ve finished setting it up.

Both the insertion order and line item need to be active in order for the trigger to start spending once it's activated. 
 
If the trigger associated with a line item isn't turned on, the line item will show as active but won't actually spend. 

Step 3: Activate the trigger to start spending

Follow these steps to activate the trigger:

  1. From your advertiser, expand Resources in the left menu and click Triggers.

  2. Select the triggers you want to activate.

  3. Click Action > Start.

Once you turn the trigger on, all line items associated with the trigger will start spending based on the type of trigger:

  • Manual triggers: Line items associated with manual triggers begin spending as soon as you turn the trigger on, and will spend for the duration you set the trigger should last.

  • Sports triggers: Line items associated with sports triggers begin spending when the in-game events included in the trigger occur.

For sports triggers associated with multiple in-game events over a period of time, you don’t need to continuously turn the trigger on and off each time the event is scheduled to occur. Display & Video 360 will start and stop spend whenever the conditions of the trigger are met. For example, if you want to run a congratulatory ad for 30 minutes after a specific NBA team wins a game, you can set up a trigger for that event with a duration of 30 minutes, associate it to a line item, and keep the trigger turned on for the entire NBA season. Display & Video 360 will automatically activate line item spend for 30 minutes each time that team wins.

Triggers will turn off automatically once the duration of each activation is over. Once a trigger is off, all line items associated with the trigger will stop spending. The line items will still show as active, but won’t spend.

(Optional) Manually turn a trigger off

If you need to stop a trigger from activating associated line items before the duration of the trigger is finished, you can manually turn off a trigger by following these steps:

  1. From your advertiser, expand Resources in the left menu and click Triggers.

  2. Select the triggers you want to turn off.

  3. Click Action > Stop.

Best practices for using triggers

There are several best practices you should follow to ensure the best performance for campaigns using real-time triggers:

  • Insertion order settings

    • The flight dates need to cover the length of the trigger.

    • Insertion orders should be fully set up, set to active, and have assigned line items at least 24 hours before activating the trigger.

    • We recommend having a separate insertion order for each line item using a trigger.

    • Use ASAP pacing for insertion orders with line items that will use triggers to ensure that associated line items can spend at an accelerated pace. You can use either the flight or daily setting based on the needs of your campaign.

    • We recommend using real-time triggers with budgets of at least $10,000. This ensures that there’s enough budget available to take advantage of the rapid spend of real-time triggers.

  • Line item settings

    • The flight dates need to cover the length of the trigger.

    • Line items should be fully set up and set to active with assigned triggers at least 24 hours before activating the trigger.

  • Creatives

    • Make sure that creatives are fully approved and assigned to line items at least 24 hours before activating the trigger.

    • Customize your creatives per event per trigger to show the most contextual, relevant message to your users.

  • Targeting

    • Triggers work in addition to existing targeting options. Targeting determines what impressions you want to buy, and triggers define when serving can begin.

    • Combine geography targeting with as wide an audience as is relevant to your campaign to balance reach and spend. We recommend using geography targeting that matches the trigger (targeting the state where an NFL team is based, for example) with broad audience targeting.

Reporting for triggers

All standard reporting available in Display & Video 360 is available for line items that use real-time triggers.

You can view a real-time performance snapshot for specific triggers from the Triggers page, including revenue, impressions, clicks, and activations for each trigger. Performance data is available for the current calendar day and is refreshed every minute.

Limitations

  • Triggers are available for display and video line items only.

  • Changes made to triggers once they’re active will go into effect within 10 seconds.

  • Changes to line items assigned to a trigger can take up to 24 hours to go into effect.

  • You can only have one trigger per line item.

  • Automated bid strategies are not supported for line items using real-time triggers.

  • Line item reach forecasting is not available for line items using real-time triggers.

  • Triggers cannot be used with Programmatic Guaranteed deals since these deals use pre-determined flight dates that are set during negotiation. All other deal types are supported. 

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