YouTube masthead

Masthead process overview

From kickoff call to launch, all mastheads follow these seven steps:

Step 1: Kickoff call

The kickoff call usually takes place aroud 1-2 months before launch. The teams review timelines and expectations, and answer each other’s questions.

These parties should be on the campaign kickoff call:

  • DoubleClick Rich Media campaign manager
  • YouTube media manager
  • Google advertiser sales representative
  • DoubleClick Rich Media sales representative
  • Creative agency representative
  • Media agency representative
  • Advertiser (optional)

Sample kickoff call agenda

  1. Confirm all campaign details:
    If the media agency doesn’t have a DFA account, the unit can be served through the YouTube DFA account.
    1. Advertiser
    2. Media agency
    3. Masthead launch date
    4. Production type: Who will package the files into a Rich Media creative in DoubleClick Studio?
    5. Drop-dead date for final assets and review of timelines
    6. Trafficking responsibilities and DFA information
    7. Confirmation of any remarketing pixels or brand study pixels
  2. Review creative concept and/or mock-ups to address any technical issues
  3. Discuss video options and the YouTube player
  4. Discuss any tracking specifications
    1. The media agency reviews any tracking they want added to the creative so both the creative agency and DoubleClick teams can implement it
    2. There are two types of metrics: standard and custom.
      • Standard metrics usually require no additional designer work. Standard metrics don't count toward your event limit. They're automatically enabled, measured, and reported on, where available. For example, the Rich Media Expansions metric is only available for expanding ads.
      • Custom metrics are enabled by a designer in Flash using the components provided by the DoubleClick Studio. Custom metrics can measure up to 100 different user interactions per Rich Media creative.
  5. Review YouTube Ad policies and YouTube specifications at Homepage masthead unit.
  6. Confirm campaign timeline and drop-dead date for asset delivery or QA submission

Step 2: Asset delivery or QA submission

Assets must be delivered at different times, depending on the masthead service option you decide to run. To learn more about these service options, review the following:

Step 3: Production and QA

Post-production on Rich Media units takes 3-4 business days. This process includes building out all the rich media tracking and video metrics and finalizing the unit in DoubleClick Studio.

Once production is complete, the unit goes through two rounds of DoubleClick QA before a preview link is sent to all parties for approval. DoubleClick QA ensures that all functionality is working properly and the unit meets YouTube specs and policy.

For QA-only campaigns, each round of QA takes 24 hours.

Step 4: Revisions and final approval

Once the preview link is sent to the client, each additional client-requested revision to be made by production requires another full round of 2-step QA.

Step 5: Trafficking

All YouTube mastheads must be served through a DFA account. This can be either the client’s account (media agency or advertiser) or YouTube’s in-house DFA account. For more information on serving through YouTube’s in-house DFA account, contact your campaign manager or sales representative.

Depending on the campaign, trafficking is conducted by the client or the DoubleClick campaign manager. Please confirm with your Campaign manager before any trafficking takes place.

For trafficking, see Traffic a YouTube masthead in DFA.

Make sure the trafficking process is completed 48 hours before the live date to comply with the YouTube blackout period.

After tags are with the YouTube media manager 48 hours before launch, no additional revisions can be made.

Step 6: YouTube blackout period

The YouTube blackout period is the two business days before launch, when the YouTube media manager conducts YouTube site testing and final QA, and green-lights the unit for launch.

No additional revisions are accepted during the blackout period!

For any units running on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, the YouTube blackout period starts on Thursday of the week before. All units must be finalized by end of day Friday.

Step 7: Launch!

All YouTube mastheads launch at midnight Eastern Time (US).

Your Rich Media campaign manager and YouTube media manager will confirm that the launch is set.

DFA reporting will be sent one business day after launch.