What is a Roadblock?
Roadblock is the situation in which all the ad slots in a page are served by a single line item. So basically its “like” a complete takeover of the page for ads from a particular line item and generally involves all ads regarding the same product/service. You might have seen airline ads filling up your page, one showing the service and the others showing offers. Check this page for a sample. Below I’ve given a screen grab of a Lincoln MKC car’s ad roadblock in Washington post website.
How is it useful?
From an advertiser’s perspective roadblocks ensure that his ads are seen and gets undivided attention of the visitor as all slots are showing similar ad. But it doesn’t always mean that all slots are filled up. Imagine a case where there are 5 ad slots on page but the advertiser provided only 3 creatives. A roadblock in this case will serve 3 out of 5 ad slots with ads from a single line item but other ads might fill in the remaining slots.
Lets start setting up roadblocks
We will be focusing on setting up guaranteed roadblocks. Check if you have the feature enabled by going to your line item and checking in “Display Creatives” under “Adjust Delivery” if you have the option “All“. If you don’t find that then you need to go ahead and enable it from “Features” under the “Admin” tab.
Okay, as you have Guaranteed Roadblocks enabled, we can move on to setting up one of our own.
- Create a line item/use an existing one
- Set Display Creatives to “All” under “Delivery Settings”
- Set the creative sizes (lets take 3 sizes)
- Set it to a sponsorship if you are testing on a test network (be careful here)
- Load creatives on it matching to sizes set in step3
- Create an ad unit
- Generate GPT ad tag(not DART) and ensure that SRA(Single Request Mode) is ticked
- Place the ad tags on your test page and ensure that there are three Define slots and three display calls with matching ids.
- Enjoy your roadblock. Note: DFP takes near half an hour to push new line items so be patient and have a beer.
- For syntax verification you can use our test page serving a roadblock using three ad slots.
There is another concept of non-guaranteed roadblock in DFP which you can set up using the option “As Many As Possible“(AMAP) instead of “All” and as the name says, is not guaranteed. Our guaranteed line item will serve only if there are three ad slots in the page. You can try copy pasting the code and removing one ad slot to see that the line item is not serving. What happens is that the number of ad slots get sent in the ad request and the line item becomes eligible only if the number of creatives in it matches the number of ad slots.
Lets dig in to whats happening here. Take up your Charles and start recording a session for the calls from the roadblock test page. See the single ad request going to DFP with the three sizes and same line item returned for all the three ad sizes. Guaranteed roadblock is a feature available only while using GPT and cannot be setup using DART ad tags.
Ad sizes in request