Launching Ad Campaigns With Google: Google Ads VS Display & Video 360

Display & Video 360 is a tool for setting up and launching media advertising, including banners and video ads. It is similar in functionality to Google Ads but has several key differences that make DV360 a tool for large advertisers.

Google Ads is one of the most popular platforms for creating and launching advertising campaigns. However, alongside Google Ads, there is another Google tool called Display & Video 360, which offers significantly more functionality and capabilities for advertising campaigns. In this article, Head of Mediaplaning newage, Dmytro Konovalenko, will compare the functionality of Google Ads and Display & Video 360 and explain, through examples, why the latter is a more advanced tool for marketing professionals.

Display & Video 360 is a tool for setting up and launching media advertising, including banners and video ads. It is similar in functionality to Google Ads but has several key differences that make DV360 a tool for large advertisers.

Inventory: Ad Placements and Methods

Google Ads offers advertisers only the option of purchasing through an open auction and partially through reservations.

DV360 provides more diverse purchasing options, including:

  • Private auctions
  • Preferred deals
  • Programmatic guaranteed deals
  • Tag-based guaranteed deals

Currently, we primarily use open auctions and guaranteed deals. Guaranteed deals are similar to reservations in Ads but with a larger inventory, including not only videos but also banners.

An unguaranteed (open) vauction involves one publisher and multiple advertisers. Unguaranteed auctions give publishers more control over the inventory they sell and allow them to prioritize specific buyers. Depending on the data in the request, the auction can be conducted using first or second-price bidding with a set minimum CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Within an unguaranteed auction, the seller invites buyers to participate and offers a portion of their unguaranteed inventory at agreed-upon prices. The winning buyer is the one who offers the highest bid, provided it surpasses the minimum. If the offered inventory is not purchased, it goes to a regular open auction.

Preferred deal is a more specific arrangement between advertisers and publishers. If a preferred deal exists, the first impression on the inventory is given to the preferred advertiser. If the deal’s conditions are not met (such as price per impression or targeting), the impression is then auctioned in an open auction.

Tag-based guaranteed deals allow organizing guaranteed inventory in DV360. Any publisher can use the tags created by you. This collaboration format is similar to guaranteed sales but allows advertisers to buy traffic from a spectrum of publishers.

Of course, there is an alternative to directly buying advertising from a specific inventory if it offers such an option. However, in that case, to understand and control the quality of the placement (coverage, frequency, viewability, etc.), external auditing would be required. On the other hand, if you reach the same site through guaranteed deals via DV360, you will have access to all placement statistics without additional auditing fees. Additionally, with direct purchases through a website, you cannot control the overall frequency, whereas in DV360, we can limit the total frequency per campaign, including guaranteed deals.

To work with all these collaboration formats, DV360 has a marketplace where you can set targeting parameters and receive automated proposals. Some advertising inventories are not available in Google Ads, meaning you can exclusively access them through DV360 (specific inventories vary by country, industry, and language).

Advertising Formats

Google Ads offers three standard media formats: video, banner, and discovery.

DV360 provides a broader selection of formats, creatives, and direct integration with creative tools, including:

  • Plus Rich media creatives
  • Format Gallery (13 formats)
  • Integration with Creative Studio
  • Integration with Google Web Designer

If we delve into more detail, DV360 offers more opportunities for effective and viewable banner advertising. It also allows for setting up native advertising, specific app advertising, and audio creatives not only for YouTube.

When it comes to video formats, in addition to standard video ads on YouTube, DV360 allows for the use of native video and video promotion with video creatives.

The gallery banner advertising in DV360 includes formats such as:

  • App install banner
  • App install interstitial
  • Native app install
  • Native display
  • Parallax
  • Swirl

These formats stand out from regular banners and help advertisers combat “banner blindness,” significantly increasing the effectiveness of advertising.

In addition, DV360 offers personalized creative options that can be dynamically modified based on data. Advertisers can set any data as a reference, from delivering offers to the viewer’s city to displaying products based on audience interests.

Previously, we described how to create data-driven creatives that change with the weather outside the viewer’s window. To do this, we used DV360 as the placement tool, Google Web Designer to create the creative template, and Google Creative Studio for customization. Learn more in the article “What is Google Studio and How Do Dynamic Creatives Work?

Brand Safety

DV360 offers a more comprehensive approach to brand safety than Google Ads. Advertisers can use digital content labels to restrict ad placement in specific contexts. There are separate tools for managing age restrictions in advertising, as well as working with sensitive topics (alcohol, religion, gambling, etc.).

But the unique feature of DV360 is the presence of “authorized sellers.” These are placements exclusively on platforms that have undergone separate verification and do not have negative connotations for any advertisers.

We provided a more detailed description of this feature in the article Google Marketing Platform Features: Brand Safety in DV360 and CM 

Targeting And Audiences

DV360 offers various targeting options and audiences, including standard audiences available in Google Ads such as in-market and affinity audiences. Additionally, DV360 provides the following additional targeting options for advertisers:

  • 3rd-party data from other suppliers
  • Mixed audiences
  • Audiences with direct integration from Google Analytics 360
  • Remarketing audiences based on floodlight tag
  • Audience based on campaign activity (frequency, number of views).

You may have noticed that Google introduces a new targeting mechanism here. Combined audiences consist of attributes from different audiences, such as demographics and interests. While Google Ads has something similar, in DV360 you can combine your own audiences with those provided by third-party data suppliers.

For example, if your creative features celebrity football players, you can purchase audience data of fans from a specific club in DV360 and combine it with relevant custom affinity for your product. This way, you can show advertisements only to those club fans who are likely to purchase, let’s say, headphones.

DV360 also offers action-based audiences or audience frequency capping.

Action-based audiences are created based on clicks and impressions. You can target further ads to people who have seen your ads and clicked through to your website. Essentially, this is like an extended remarketing audience.

Audience frequency capping is another way to create an audience of those who have seen your ads. For example, you can create an audience with a frequency cap of “5” – it will include users who have seen the ad 5 times. You can then use this collected audience as an exclusion, excluding users whose frequency is higher than our desired frequency, thus reducing ad fatigue. However, it will only gather data in segments that use pure Google audiences, so it is useful when working with cold audiences where you target by age and gender.

Audiences Module

The “Audiences” module in DV360 is similar to the audience section in Google Ads but provides more detailed information for audience analysis. It presents audiences more informatively with matching index, data on how you use these audiences, what they resemble, and more.


Have you ever experienced constantly seeing the same advertisement? You start to dislike the brand because of its intrusiveness and swear never to buy its products, but the annoying jingle keeps appearing over and over again. This is an example of insufficient frequency capping, and it is particularly problematic with mobile apps since, at the time of writing this article, Google Ads does not allow frequency capping for app ads. In video campaigns, you can control frequency at the campaign level, and banner ads in Display & Video 360 (DV360) allow frequency control at the ad and group levels within each campaign.

DV360 enables advertisers to manage frequency for all formats and at every level. This is not just about avoiding audience irritation but also significant budget optimization, as you avoid spending money on showing ads to those who have already seen them enough times.


Google Ads offers various optimization methods such as clicks, conversions, impressions, and traffic. While these are effective and widely available, if you want to outperform competitors in advertising, it’s worth utilizing more specific tools provided by DV360.

In addition to standard strategies, DV360 offers specific optimizations for individual metrics.

  1. Cost per install (CPI) optimization is a strategy to promote app installations, ensuring that the maximum number of users download the app based on the budget or target install price.
  2. Completed view with sound-on in viewable portion (CIVA) optimization is beneficial for video ads outside of YouTube, improving the effectiveness of native advertising.
  3. 10-second on-screen view (TOS10) optimizes for showing ads to the audience where the video is on the screen for at least 10 seconds, particularly relevant to video ads.
  4. Optimization for maximum viewable impressions — the system optimizes for impressions that meet the Active View criteria. This option is useful for cold audiences and very narrow segments where it would be challenging for the system to optimize for anything else.

Bidding Strategies

In Google Ads, there is standard bidding where all advertisers compete in the auction under similar conditions based on the parameters they set when launching a campaign. In DV360, there is Custom Bidding, offering more flexible auction management and control over which impressions your account will or will not compete for.

Imagine the Google auction for impressions as a real auction where people raise their hands and name prices. Everyone sends a junior assistant with one instruction: “buy as much as possible but not above a certain amount.” Meanwhile, the DV360 user sends a senior procurement specialist who understands the company’s needs, has a concept of the value of purchases, and employs a unique bidding strategy for each lot. This auction repeats thousands and millions of times before each display of your ad, and each time your interests are represented either by the metaphorical “junior assistant” of Standard Bidding or the “specialist” of Custom Bidding. The main advantage is the ability to show ads individually tailored (price, timing, placement, etc.).

If we move from the metaphor to the actual tool, in Custom Bidding, you create multiple objectives corresponding to different stages of the sales funnel and assign a value to each objective (ranging from 0.1 to 10). This way, the system receives a prioritized list of what it should achieve from ad impressions. By working with real-time data, the service learns to optimize the ad price to achieve the desired conversions. As a result, the system might pay, for example, 10 dollars for an impression to a “warm” user who is highly likely to make a purchase but won’t offer the same price for a “cold” user who simply visits the landing page.


We extensively utilize the reporting capabilities in DV360 to generate detailed campaign analyses within the framework of comprehensive media advertising analysis. Data is a powerful tool that no one underestimates anymore. Let’s explore the unique data provided by DV360 that is not available in standard tools.

  1. Post-view conversion data: DV360 analyzes the delayed effects of media advertising and accurately attributes user actions from organic sources to a brand query if the user has previously viewed several (dozens of) brand advertisements.
  2. Unique reach measurement at different levels: In DV360, you don’t have to divide the number of impressions by the average frequency to estimate the actual campaign reach. You receive a complete report on how many users have seen specific ads, ad groups, or campaigns.
  3. Inventory availability reports: This section provides forecasts on the number of impressions and the number of unique cookies that will match your criteria. It is somewhat similar to reach forecasting in Google Ads, but in DV360, it is much more detailed. You can dive into analyzing which specific websites, apps, or YouTube channels will have a higher audience for your specified parameters (age, gender, interests, language, browser, etc.). This helps track the campaign progress and plan future activities. You won’t repeatedly target an exhausted audience and won’t overlook tools with great potential.

Flighting capabilities: In DV360, you can use flighting, which is not available in Google Ads.



 In Google Ads, there is only one tool that helps advertisers tell their stories, which is sequential video ad sequencing on YouTube. It is designed for step-by-step ad display based on specific user actions or views.

In DV360, however, Story is a sequence of creatives shown to the user one after another. A Story can include videos, media creatives, or advertising assets of both formats. Typically, a video that enhances brand recognition comes first, followed by a media banner to drive customers to physical or online stores, and so on. Available formats include video and audio creatives, native creatives, data-driven creatives, Rich Media, and HTML5. YouTube ads and publisher server-based creatives are not supported.

Data-Driven Creatives

This tool allows you to quickly and easily find relevant publishers and their inventory based on the goals and settings of your campaigns. The creative can vary depending on the user viewing it. For example, with a single master banner, you can encourage cold audiences to learn more about the product and immediately offer a “Buy” button to hot audiences. You can also showcase different product benefits based on the customer’s interests.


So, we have discussed the difference between two Google advertising tools – Google Ads and Display & Video 360. As you can see, DV360 is a more advanced and feature-rich tool that enables advertising on a larger scale and with greater effectiveness. Unique features such as a wider inventory selection, enhanced brand safety measures, expanded targeting and audience capabilities, and more detailed reporting make DV360 an excellent choice for businesses looking to maximize the efficiency of their advertising campaigns. If you are planning to launch advertising on Google, we recommend considering the possibilities of Display & Video 360. Contact us at gmp@newage.agency for consultation on this tool or leave your contact information on the page https://newage.agency/uk/poslugy/gmp-partner/display-video-360/

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