Display & Video 360: An Alternative to Google Ads Platform with Full-Cycle Advertising Promotion

Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024

Many webmasters, who actively use Google Ads may not be aware that the corporation has an alternative advertising network called Display & Video 360 or DV360.

This article explains what Display & Video 360 is and how to work with it.

What is Display & Video 360?

Display & Video 360 is a programmatic advertising tool from the Google Marketing Platform, which allows you to purchase advertising, automate and optimize campaigns, test creatives and hypotheses, segment and manage target audiences for different promotion tasks.

The term “programmatic” in the description of DV360 is not accidental. It refers to a model of full automation of ad buying, selling, and optimization through precise adjustment of promotion algorithms.

The programmatic system includes:

  • DMP or Data Management Platform. These are data management technologies used by marketers to collect, analyze, and store various types of data in separate platform systems. Popular DMP platforms include LiveRamp, Lotame, Weborama, and others.
  • SSP or Supply Side Platform. These are platforms through which ad networks and webmasters sell their own advertising inventory. Advertising inventory sales in SSP usually occur through RTB auctions, but some also offer direct sales. Major SSPs include Google Ad Manager, Appnexus, PubMatic, Between, and Rubicon.
Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024
  • DSP or Demand Side Platform. Technology for purchasing traffic with highly precise targeting based on configured parameters. Among the well-known DSPs are Yandex Direct, MyTarget, and Soloway. DV360 falls into this category as well.

Thus, Display & Video 360 is a programmatic platform where advertising agencies and media buyers purchase ad impressions at rates with automated pricing. The bidding process is controlled by the DSP itself.

Difference between DV360 and Google Ads

With Google Ads, advertising can only be promoted through Google’s contextual media network and the corporation’s services, such as YouTube, Google Play, or Gmail.

The Display & Video 360 platform offers more possibilities, as it allows purchase ads with an extended set of settings and formats across various media sites and platforms.

Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024

In Google Ads, promotion occurs through an open auction for selecting the price per ad click. Whereas the DV360 system is a closed programmatic auction with an extended internal inventory.

Advantages of DV360:

  • Wide audience coverage. The system has a greater audience reach capabilities compared to Google Ads because it has access not only to Google AdSense’s network but also to other exchanges. According to the platform’s internal statistics, DV360 is connected to over 80 major exchanges, promoting products and services to 80% of users worldwide. The total number of web resources with which the DSP platform operates exceeds one billion pages.
  • Third-party data. Display & Video 360 has access to third-party data, which allows for detailed audience targeting beyond Google’s targeting. In the service, it’s possible to combine audiences collected from various partner sources.
  • Types of creatives. Unlike Google Ads, the DV360 system does not support text ads. Instead, it allows for promotion through a wide range of graphic, multimedia, video, audio ads on YouTube and major streaming services. DV360 is the only DSP platform in the world that allows the direct purchase and launch of advertising video ads on YouTube. Among other media tools in the service, we can mention Live Stream Ads – for creating ads during live YouTube broadcasts. Additionally, there’s the capability to showcase products in the 3D format using Swirl creatives. Ads can also be created using built-in services like Format Gallery based on Google Web Designer templates. The Ad Canvas tool allows for creating custom graphic ads with real-time previews.
Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024
  • Direct access to traffic sources. DV360 connects buyers directly with inventory suppliers without intermediaries.
  • Targeting precision. Collecting a large amount of data through DMP technologies allows for targeting relevant audience segments. Among the DV360 tools are algorithms for automatic optimization based on CPM, CPA, CPC, CPI, etc. Target audience can also be optimized within the visible area of specific pages, in video inventory tools – based on total video views, seconds viewed, and so on. Combining proprietary data with data from other Google platforms and third-party services allows for displaying ads to audiences at the moment when the probability of conversion is highest.
Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024
  • Accuracy and timeliness of statistics. Display & Video 360 provides real-time statistics for effective management of advertising campaigns without budget wastage.
  • Service integration capability. The platform works with many Google tools – Google Ads, Search Ads, Data Studio, Tag Manager, Analytics, Optimize – and integrates with third-party CRM services, which increases campaign efficiency.

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How to Set Up a Campaign in DV360?

On the platform’s website, there is an option for authorization using a Google account, but access to the platform is only granted to serious media buyers with medium and large budgets. To do this, you will need to fill out a form, providing information about your company and selecting the products of the service to which you need access.

The partner account dashboard looks like this:

Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024

After determining the budget, target audience, and placement period, you need to select channels and promotion formats. Target audience research can be conducted while setting up direct and indirect targeting, and planned values can be calculated based on impressions, reach, cost, and other parameters.

To create a new campaign, go to the advertiser tab and click on the “Campaigns” button in the menu. When filling out the form, you need to specify the name, goal, and KPI type.

In the system, there are several options for selecting goals:

  • Increasing product or brand awareness;
  • Increasing user visits;
  • Increasing sales;
  • Increasing the number of app installs or interactions with them.

When choosing KPI, you can specify:

  • Cost per conversion;
  • Cost per click;
  • Cost per viewed impression;
  • Cost per thousand impressions;
  • Percentage of visible impressions;
  • CTR.
Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024

Next, we choose the creative format. During the stage of determining the planned budget, its boundaries are set for expense tracking. However, this parameter itself does not affect expenses; budget constraints are set in the following steps.

After determining the budget, set the start and end dates of the campaign, and also define the limit on the overall frequency of its conduct.

Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024

When selecting ad inventory in DV360, you can decide to target public inventory, private/grouped deals, or auction package deals. You can also select inventory sources based on quality, including targeting specific audiences within mobile apps.

The inventory possibilities allow you to:

  • Access television video streams;
  • Enable Brand safety – an anti-scam tool;
  • Set up YouTube Reserve agreements, as well as use any inventory from popular video platforms;
  • Automate purchases using real-time target audience data with the Guaranteed deals tool.

In the targeting settings for each campaign, parameters are set for geo, demographics, platforms, browsers, ad visibility, etc.

The Customer Match Audience tool allows you to upload a file with contact data from the landing page or online store’s customer base. To show ads to such customers, only a phone number or email is required.

Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024

The YouTube Remarketing Audience tool helps create a list of users who have viewed a video. This option can only be used in creatives that have viewing metrics. In other words, such a database cannot be collected from videos that cannot be skipped, only impressions are counted in them.

Targeting by content category in DV360 allows advertising on specific thematic resources. For example, selecting “news” in targeting will make the ad appear on sites with news content.

Creatives in DV360

The platform allows promotion in several creative formats:


  • TrueView In-Stream. These are videos of 6 seconds or longer with the option to skip. They can be used when considering views rather than just impressions.
  • Bumper Ads. Videos up to 6 seconds long without the option to skip.
Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024
  • TrueView for Reach. Videos of 6 seconds with the option to skip.
  • TrueView Reach MIX. This is a hybrid option of Bumper Ads and TrueView for Reach. When choosing this placement, you can simultaneously run both videos up to 6 seconds without skipping and videos of 6 seconds with the option to skip.
  • TrueView Non-Skip. Videos up to 20 seconds without the option to skip.
  • Ad Sequence. This is a format known as “video storytelling”. It displays a series of videos in a specific sequence, setting display parameters for each of them.
  • TrueView for Action. A format for displaying creative with optimization for further conversions on the website. In this case, the purchase model is not chosen, but the goal, for example, “maximum conversions” – system algorithms are optimized accordingly.

By the way, we have an interesting article about YouTube copyright and how to bypass it. Check it out.


For banner ad format in DV360, there are several placement algorithms based on the CPM model:

  • Standard auction purchase with a fixed bid;
  • Purchase with optimization for clicks.

The algorithm uses the best click-through rates without the ability to set bids but with the possibility of determining the upper price threshold.

Example: Purchase with optimization for conversions.

The algorithm optimization is based on the conversions set by the system. In this case, the system focuses on maximizing the number of conversions within the set budget.

App Install

This promotion format in DV360 allows advertising apps while paying for their installation. Algorithms work based on maximizing installations within the allocated budget.


Placing videos on pages with embedded players except for YouTube.

Ads in Mobile Apps

This format displays banner ads and videos in mobile applications.

In the creative settings, you can choose non-standard presentation: panorama, parallax, blank state, flipbook, cue card, or audio mixer. Native banners and videos that adapt to different ad placements on websites are also available.

The Display & Video 360 creative format has its own algorithm for Data Driven creatives. It allows for specific changes to be made to the creatives. For example, having access to weather server data, you can automatically change the background of creatives based on weather conditions in a specified location – rain, snow, or sunshine. The creatives can be created using third-party services.

Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024

To save and launch a campaign, you need to click the “Save” button. Any campaign can be copied into a template: to do this, in the menu of a specific campaign, click on the “Actions” button and then “Copy”.

To test multiple campaign variations, in the “Inventory” menu, click on “Plans”. Here, you can determine forecasted performance indicators based on targeting settings and the allocated budget. The forecast takes into account available data for a period of no more than 92 days.

Line Items Position

The Line Items tools in DV360 determine which ads will be shown to specific target audiences and when they will be shown. Line Items include budget parameters, bids, selection of creatives, and a set of targeting criteria. Additional parameters include information about partner service costs and commission rates.

There are several positions in the placement format options:

  1. Display: banners, including graphical creatives, HTML5, native, or RichMedia ads;
  2. Video;
  3. Audio;
  4. Mobile;
  5. TrueView: for YouTube and partner sites.

To create Line Items, click on the “Campaign” button, then select the desired one or create a new one. Next, select an existing placement order or create a new one. In the “Mixed” tab, find the settings for the specific campaign and click on “Create”, then click on “Position” and specify the order to add it.

After setting up the campaign, it’s important to check the correctness of the set parameters. Common mistakes include:

  • Setting a daily budget limit at the Campaign level instead of the Line Items level. In this case, the DV360 system will ignore the limit;
  • Setting up geotargeting for a YouTube campaign only at the Insertion Order position. Without specifying targeting settings, ads will be shown to users worldwide;
  • Adding different videos to the same AdGroup. In this case, the system will display the video with the highest VTR attractiveness score.
Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024

When setting up Line Items targeting, you need to set the start and end date of the campaign. In the settings, also specify the budget, set the impression scheduling, and set a frequency cap.

Insights Analytics Module

All platform analytics are concentrated in a separate section called Insights. Active View technologies allow tracking the visibility of creatives for users in real time. Using the service’s tools, you can build pivot tables and charts directly in the Display & Video 360 interface.

Display Video 360 An Alternative to Google Ads Platform 2024

Statistics on television advertising allow evaluation of the effectiveness of campaigns based on broadcasts, genres, user demographics, viewing time, etc.

DV360 also allows the integration of third-party analytics services.

Data Security and Privacy

With the phasing out of third-party cookies, user privacy is a major concern in online advertising. DV360 offers several features to address this:

  • Contextual targeting.Targets users based on the content they’re viewing, rather than individual browsing history.
  • Data clean rooms. Secure environments for collaborating with data partners without revealing user identities.
  • First-party audience targeting. Uses your customer data for ad targeting, putting you in control of the data used.


We have described in detail all the advantages and possibilities of the DV360 above. However, there are some drawbacks that we want to mention:

  • High minimum spends. Some platforms using DV360 might have minimum spend requirements, making it less suitable for smaller budgets
  • Limited customer support. DV360 is focused on larger agencies and media buyers and may have limited customer support options for beginners.
  • Data integration challenges. Integrating data from various sources (CRM, DMPs) can be complex and require technical expertise.
  • Limited reporting flexibility. While DV30 offers reporting features, customization options might be limited compared to more specialized analytics platforms.


Display & Video 360 is a universal tool in the Google Marketing Platform that enables conducting the entire advertising cycle with placements.

Trying promotion through the service is more beneficial for buyers accustomed to working with large traffic volumes without wasting budget on non-liquid assets. The advantage of working with DV360, besides automation, is that the service provides full control over expenses with precise parameter adjustments in advertising campaigns.

Additionally, DV360 allows finding a similar audience on other placements. For example, by gathering the target audience on Facebook, you can use the platform for retargeting on other platforms and reach a similar audience on YouTube or third-party websites.

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