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Display & Video 360: Another Google Ads or a Cool Alternative?

An important task for every business is to define a set of tools for the digital strategy. Today, we will update this list with a new platform developed by Google.

Anyone who manages search, contextual, media or video advertising campaigns is probably familiar with the Google Ads platform. But it’s not the only media buying product from Google. And if you’ve wondered if there’s a more advanced alternative to Google Ads, then our answer is yes. It’s the Display & Video 360 platform.

What Is Display & Video 360?

This is a platform for media buying through ad exchange in global channels — DSP (Demand Side Platform). It is part of a whole ecosystem of the integrated Google Marketing Platform services, which you can use to plan, design creatives, and measure campaigns — that is, basically, to do whatever you want.

Why Do I Need DV360?

This tool has a number of obvious advantages.

First of all, this GMP (Google Marketing Platform) is conveniently integrated with Campaign Manager, which you can use to manage, track (hell yeah!), and analyze your campaigns. Besides, there are a bunch of other services that you can connect or not connect.

Secondly, the structure of the platform is different from that of Google Ads. It’s like a puff pie. Some might see it as a disadvantage, but it is definitely a strong feature of the service if used correctly.

When setting up your ad campaign, you will find several levels. The number of levels is greater than that offered by Google Ads. At the Advertiser level, you should specify the main root word for your brand name of the product and get to the Campaign level, where users set the basic settings. Then at the Insertion Order level, you will input the frequency caps, flight budget, etc.

Next, you will get to the Line Item level. It is an analog of the Campaign level in Google Ads, where you can allocate budgets, select the campaign type, and set more detailed preferences. The last level is Ad Groups. This is where users can find ads and set targeting preferences.

It might seem a bit confusing, but such a number of levels allows you to allocate budgets more efficiently and target campaigns more granularly.

For example, you can set the cross-platform frequency and the limits for the number of impressions a user can see weekly and daily at different levels.

Inventory and Exchanges

Apart from Google Ad Exchange, whose reach varies depending on the geo and accounts for 20% to 80% of all traffic, Display & Video 360 reaches over new exchanges, which means it can help you attract new users and minimize overlapping with other tools. Of course, the quantity and quality of such traffic are sometimes poor.


DV offers many types of campaigns with different technical requirements and bidding systems. They are all customizable; use the ones that best fit your goals.

Targeting. Audiences

This level also leaves room for customization.

There are, classically, three large groups of audiences.

1st Party Data. Own user lists.

2nd Party Data. Standard Google lists and custom audiences.

Plus one more thing:

3rd Party Data. This group includes audiences based on information from third parties, that is, data providers offer ready-made audience segments. They can be purchased within the user account.

All in all, the platform has enough pluses to be seriously considered for use. Its inventory, structure, and audiences can take your media buying activities to a new level.

Let’s check out some other handy features from the so-called “best practices” section :)

Media Planning

The Plans tab is used for planning campaigns. It enables users to:

  • Keep track of the main campaign settings.
  • Control the targeting, budget, rate, dates, inventory types (formats and creatives).
  • Estimate the buying volume. One can trace the relationship between the budget and target-matching resources.
  • Forecast the metrics. Impressions, Reach (unique cookies), CPM.
  • Track the trends in marketing. Display & Video 360 uses the most recent data for the last period of time (the average values for the period are presented).

You can use these data to calculate the approximate number of conversions, and then — voila!

You can do predictive analysis and see what results can be obtained with certain settings. This way, marketers can decide whether these experimental settings are worth spending money on.

Let’s say right away that such planning doesn’t work or works poorly with some (e.g., custom) settings, but in general, it’s quite a handy thing.

Another cool way to buy traffic the way you want it without competing with giants in a frenzied auction marathon is to buy traffic directly from the website. This can be done via DV360’s private deals.

Private Marketplace Deals

Most platforms for setting up private deals provide:

● customer demographics;

● audience geography;

● verticals and topics that resonate with the specific website and audience;

● inventory (video and banner formats and sizes).

By selecting and making deals with publishers that are close to our subject, we can:

● Purchase the needed impression volume on a particular resource.

● Negotiate special terms and conditions.

● Set up ad placement deals directly on more favorable and/or flexible terms.

Think about it again :)


The platform provides any creative formats you need: banners, videos, or audio ads. And if your own creatives leave much to be desired, opt for the service linked to the platform, which will provide not only such things as templates for both mobile and desktop creatives but even the Audio Mixer.

Apart from your own banners and videos, you can create a masterpiece using templates from the gallery. Give it a try, and maybe you’ll like the result :)

However, there is always some fly in the ointment. Let’s see what rotten apples spoil the DV barrel.

● First of all, the use of the tool might be expensive, since most often there is no direct access or it is hard to get it, and a reseller will charge a commission that will increase your expenses.

● Secondly, the interface of this advanced tool is only available in English.

● And don’t forget that there is not much information about the platform available, and you will have to get most of it from the Help. As a result, it can be described as a somewhat incomprehensible and heavyweight product that in many ways is analogous to Google Ads.

So What Сonclusions Can Be Drawn From This Review?

Conclusion 1

Display & Video 360 is a complex, smart tool that deserves your attention. This sophisticated and multi-layered tool offers tracking options along with other services.

Conclusion 2

Display & Video 360 can be used as an alternative to Google Ads if it meets your needs. You might as well use both buying platforms in parallel and get good opportunities to improve marketing reach and minimize overlap.

Conclusion 3

Every tool has its pros and cons. You have to pay attention to the nuances that will show whether your needs are being met.

Experiment, learn new tools, and expand your arsenal!



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