More Powerful Frequency & Recency Capping

Frequency and recency caps have always been a staple method to optimize and get the maximum return for your ads. Frequency refers to the number of times a creative can be shown to a given user. Recency refers to how recently, or the pace at which, the user is shown the creative. Buyers use these in conjunction to ensure their ads get the optimal exposure with users. Furthermore, campaigns often have complex frequency and recency requirements that need to be adhered to as a prerequisite for launching the campaign. A trader who gets a brief from an agency with a mandate for certain types of capping to put in place may have difficulty meeting the requirements if the options aren’t available. For example, Uniqlo advertising a new sweater might want their targeted users to see their ad 3 times per week, while ensuring at least 12 hours pass between exposures.

We’re solving this problem by providing more frequency and recency cap functionality than we've historically offered (three new kinds of frequency caps and a new type of recency cap), and also making it clearer how all the caps interact.

Previously, we supported the ability to frequency cap X imps per lifetime and X imps per day. Now we also support X imps per hour, X imps per week, and X imps per month. Additionally, we also added recency cap support for 1 imp per Y weeks to add to our already supported 1 imp per Y minutes, 1 imp per Y hours, and 1 imp per Y days. Other options like Include users without cookies are still maintained with this release.

This explicit separation of frequency and recency gives buyers more powerful controls to hit an advertiser’s sweet spot and not waste impressions in driving results. For example, an advertiser’s data may show that peak return on ad spend occurs when user’s see an ad 10 times a week and those exposures are at least 2 hours apart. That’s now all attainable with the new frequency & recency capping.

So how do these caps all interact? The most restrictive setting will always apply. Here's a couple examples to illustrate:

Scenario 1 - you need to serve 100 imps per lifetime (frequency), 3 imps per week (frequency), and 1 imp per 1 day (recency). All settings will apply and none conflict. In a single week you could serve max 3 imps and no more than 1 per day, but the distribution among the days of the week may vary (one week could be Mon/Weds/Fri, another could be Mon/Tues/Weds) until you reach 100 lifetime imps.

Scenario 2 - you need to serve 100 imps per lifetime (frequency), 10 imps per day (frequency), and 1 imp per 1 day (recency). All settings will apply, but the more restrictive 1 imp per 1 day will stop you from serving a full 10 imps per day. You'll serve max 1 imp per 1 day until you reach 100 lifetime imps.

To make this easier to understand, as part of this effort we’ve also redesigned the options in the Frequency & Recency cap section of our UI, found on the Advertiser, Line Item (Standard, Guaranteed, and Augmented) and Campaign pages, so that we make it clearer what type of capping is being set.

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Release Timeline

We will be releasing this to all clients in early September. Watch our Console Release Notes page for the specific release date.

Kate Barnett

Senior Product Manager

San Francisco

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