Comprehensive Guide to the "Flights" Feature & Analytics
Nexd's Flights feature is a great addition designed to revamp your advertising campaign management experience. At its core, Flights is a simplified DCO system that facilitates better management, execution, and analysis of your advertising campaigns.
Scroll down to read on:
using the Import feature
using and understanding Flight Analytics
Flights is a way to ORGANIZE creatives into logical groups and display a SPECIFIC group of ads based on preset Rules to serve a SINGLE TAG.
The key to success when creating more complex flights is to think ahead and map out your rules - this way, you can compose them in a more logical way.
Flights is an advanced campaign management solution that enables the user to group sets of different creatives (e.g. based on language, location, time, creative content, DSP, etc.) and generates just one tag per set that automatically displays the different creatives in rotation-based on the rules you set.
You can set rules for each group (e.g. if the user’s language is English, the location is London, and the date is between June 1-30th, show these creatives).
TIP: First, add rules and add creatives last for less work!
You can also set the priority for each creative to indicate how many impressions each of the creative should get proportionally. This will help save a substantial amount of campaign management and set-up time, especially for big campaigns with lots of variables.
How to set up Flights?
Here’s an overview of the process:
Setting up a Flight
When setting up a Flight, the user can choose to export tags for multiple platforms.
Rules can be set up based on
geolocation (country/city/zip code)
Users can choose creatives from the list on the right-hand side and assign respective creatives to each group of rules.
There can be conditions to the rules (IF/AND/OR/ELSE), nested rules (Inner rule group) and multiple rule groups within a Flight.
For each creative that is selected, the user can set the priority as a percentage. The platform will automatically calculate the other fields, so it adds up to 100%. Priority will determine how many impressions each creative gets proportionally.
Flight analytics - this version does not include analytics that would detail the specifics in Flights. Standard analytics can be used in the meantime. Flight Analytics will be released in the future.
Preview site - standard preview is usable for Flight creatives as well. Previews for creatives with flight rules can be expected in the next release.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I create rules?
First, you must select the rule type you would like to set - location, language, postal code, time range or date range.
Next, you have to select whether you would like the condition included or excluded; choose "is" or "is not".
Next, you have to specify the rule based on the type you selected in Step 1. You can specify multiple values for the location, language, and postal code. For example, “Language is Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Hong Kong)". For time range and date range, you have to specify the timezone, start and end of time or date.
The last step would be choosing whether you would like to add more rules to this group and what relation they should have with each other. If you would like to add two rules where both must be matched, click the button labelled “AND”, and if you would like to add two rules where one is true, click the button labelled “OR”.
When the rules are specified, and you would like to review them, then you also have to drag creatives to condition groups and then on top of the page, there is a blue link labelled “Quick overview”, which leads to a modal with descriptions for all possible matches based on conditions.
How do I set group rules?
The first thing to think about is which conditions overwrite other conditions.
The second thing would be how I can make my life easier by choosing the same condition once and doing only the minimum work going forward.
Example scenario: let’s say you would like to target certain locations within a certain time frame and people who speak certain languages, then the first step would be thinking about which of those conditions apply most of the time. For this example, we have two restaurants in Los Angeles with different postal codes. Each restaurant has customers who primarily speak a different language. For both restaurants, we have the same time frame we would like to show our ad. In this case, the common conditions would be location and time range. We can group them together since the location and time range must match. The next group can be postal code and language since, for each restaurant, we target a different language. Our flight would have two groups which are nested together; it would look something like this:
Location: Los Angeles AND Time range: 17.00 - 21.00 UTC
Postal code: 90001 AND Language: English
Postal code 90024 AND Language: Spanish
How do AND, OR conditions and the logic work?
AND - It means that conditions which are bound by it both need to be true. If AND is between two conditions, then both conditions must be true in order for the creative to be shown. For example, the creative will be shown if the location is the US and the language is English. If the AND is between the two condition groups, then it means two condition groups are nested, and both must be true for the creativity in the nested group to be shown. For example, if the location is the US, and it has a nested group with the language being English or the language is Spanish, then creativity will be shown if the location is the US and the language is English or if the location is the US and the language is Spanish.
OR - It means that conditions which are bound by the condition, one of them is true. If OR is between two conditions, then one must be true for the creative to be shown. For example, if the location is Los Angeles or the location is San Francisco, then the creative will be shown.
How to test the rules?
There’s no easy way to test rules in this beta version yet. You can see a quick Flight preview while creating a flight - this will give a hint about what conditions have to match to show, e.g. creative A. In the following release, there’ll be a preview site where you are able to test rule sets.
When and which creatives can be added?
Only creatives from the same campaign can be added to a flight. You’ll need to build the creatives BEFORE to be able to add them to a Flight.
Each flight can contain only EITHER instream or outstream (standard display) creatives, not two types at once.
Currently there’s no “flight type” selection - it’ll be determined by the creatives user is adding into flight. E.g. user has added outstreams - they can’t add instream type of creatives unless removing all added creatives from the Flight.
How can I add creatives?
Creatives can be selected from the right panel titled “Creative Library”. Multiple creatives can be selected (ticked) and then dragged into a "Drop" area slot. The Creative Library supports Folders as well.
TIP: Group your creatives into folders - then it’s easier to drag-drop them later info flight condition sets.
When is a fallback used, and how can I set it?
Fallback will be used in case when were not able to match users under any of the rules. If a fallback is set by the client - we will have at least something to show.
What will be displayed if a fallback isn’t set?
If the fallback is not set and the user does not match any conditions, then we show random creative.
How to export a flight?
Note: exporting Flights and Creatives is different
Once you’re done with the Flight setup, click the Export button at the top of the Flights page. You’ll get a single tag per each DSP you’ve chosen containing all creatives and rules you’ve added to your flight.
Note that you can export a Flight but also can export single creatives separately too. If you export tags from the Flight page, you’ll get a tag with Flight rules built in. If you export tags from the Creative list, you’ll get single tags for each creative, and the flight rules will not be applied.
Why can’t I see trackers and ad sizes in the tag?
Trackers and sizes aren’t visible in the tag as there are multiple different creatives grouped into one tag.
How do I update a flight when it has already been exported? What to do when I need to update something?
If creative changes (new asset or tracker), then you can update creative in creative view by clicking the button “Update live” on the bottom of the page.
If the creative is updated, then you don’t need to update the flight itself; make the edits in the creative.
If you change flight platforms or conditions, then you need to update the flight itself.
If you need to change something in the flight, you do not need to download a new tag; the edits are made on the background.
There is an exception: if the Flight contains instream ads, then you need to export a new tag.
Are there any limitations?
You can only add creatives to the Flight that are in the campaign you are building the Flight in
Instream and outstream creatives can't be added to the same tag/Flight
No limit to the depth of rules
No limit to platform selection
In one condition group, all creatives priorities must be a total of 100%
Can flights have targeting, in the same way as ads do?
Currently not (can be done on the DSP, though). This is more related to future DCO solutions. You can do it by using macros, but it requires additional setup.
Can flights contain flights?
One flight per campaign, but the rules can be nested.
Can the ads be delivered equally but in random order?
If priority is the same for all, ads deliver at random. Priority is based on impressions served.
Do I have to schedule ads for the full 24 hours in a day?
No, but in that case, it’s good to have a fallback, or otherwise, we display the closest match if an impression is called out.
How can I view Flight analytics?
Scroll to the end of the article to read the instructions.
How can I add zip codes?
You have to insert them manually and insert a comma or hit enter after each zip, or copy rows from Excel or “newline” - the postal code, input, then splits those into the correct format.
Can I add multiple ad sizes to a Flight?
Currently, we recommend creating your Flight so that all creatives are in the same size. We are working on a solution that would enable adding various sizes into the same Flight or Rule set and serving the correct size into the correct placement automatically based on the DSP’s size macros.
Example use cases
We’ll guide you through setting up a Flight using a few examples with different complexity levels.
1 EASY (a simple one-rule setup)
2 MEDIUM (a bit more complex setup with one deep nested rule and fallback description)
3 COMPLEX (three or more rules combinations)
In Los Angeles, local grocery store would like to reach their customers during prime hours. They have new products with fantastic discounts to advertise. To achieve this, the campaign should run in the evening between 5 pm and 7 pm and match the origin language (English, Spanish).
The first step would be understanding which creatives this flight requires. If we have the creatives, it would be clearer to see how to set up the rules (conditions). So, in this case, we need two creatives with discounted products. One creative’s copy must be in English and the other in Spanish. Both creatives are served in the same location and time range.
The next step would be creating a structure for our Flight based on the conditions we have been given and the creatives we have created. Helping questions are: "How can we group these conditions together", "Which condition is used the most", so we could set that first and "How can we make the Flight as needed with as little effort as possible". In the current example, the two most obvious and common conditions are location and time range; therefore, we should group them together in the beginning.
To ensure the correct showing order for each creative, we need to add nested condition groups within our first condition group. Each creative requires three conditions to be met: location, time range, and language. Therefore, we will create a nested condition group specifically for language.
Since we cannot group languages together, as we need to add different creatives for each language, we must create a separate condition group for each language. After adding the first language as a condition, we will create another condition group at the same level as the first language. This process will result in a structure consisting of three condition groups.
The main condition group will focus on location and time range, while the other two condition groups will be nested within it and dedicated to specific languages.
Location: Los Angeles AND Time range: 17.00 - 19.00 UTC-7
The last step is to drag/drop the right creatives into the right language and set up our flight.
Or view the process from this instructional video:
A Car insurance company reaching a California-based audience uses images that match the origin of the language (Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Russian, English) and show all text in the language. In order to resonate with the audience, local images and city names are used in the imagery. To achieve this, residents are targeted in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. The campaign runs throughout April.
The first step would be understanding which creatives this flight requires. If we have the creatives, then it becomes clear how to set up the rules (conditions). In this case, we need five creatives for each given language. All creatives are served at the same locations and date range.
The next step would be creating a structure for our Flight based on the conditions we have been given and the creatives we have created. Helping questions are: "How can we group these conditions together", "Which condition is used the most", so we could set that first and "How can we make the Flight as needed with as little effort as possible". In the current example, the two most obvious and common conditions are locations and date range. Therefore, we should group them together in the beginning. In the group, we have two conditions, date range and location, where we can add all three locations.
Next, we would have to add nested condition groups to our first condition group because each creative needs three conditions to match in order to be shown - location, date range and language. Therefore, our nested condition group is for language. Since we need to add different creative for each language, we can’t group languages together, so after adding the first language as a condition, we must add another condition group on the same level as the first language and repeat it three more times. We will end up with a structure with seven condition groups. The main group is location and date range, and it has five nested condition groups with one language.
Location: Los Angeles or San Francisco or San Diego AND Date range: April 1st - April 30th, UTC-7
The last step is to drag-drop the right creatives into the right language group and set up our flight.
A US national restaurant chain with meal time messaging that shows up to 5 different menu items per meal time. The five menu items can be shown in random order. Each of the three meal times must only show menu items from the current mealtime menu.
Time zones to support accurate mealtime messaging are: Eastern Time (EST/EDT), Central Time (CST/CDT), Mountain Time (MST/MDT), Pacific Time (PST/PDT)
Mealtimes to support: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner. Some regions support a Brunch menu, while others do not. Regions are organized by DMA.
Languages to support: English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese
The first step would be understanding which creatives this flight requires. If we have creatives, seeing how to set up the rules (conditions) would be clearer. So, in this case, we need a creative which has a carousel layout with five slots (menu items). Each creative must be done in 4 different languages, and each language must-have content for each meal time. For example, we need four creatives with copies in English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese for breakfast. Most likely, each creative will have slightly different food options as well.
The next step would be creating a structure for our flight based on the conditions we have been given and the creatives we have created. Helping questions are: "How can we group these conditions together", "Which condition is used the most", so we could set that first and "How can we make the Flight as needed with as little effort as possible". So probably the first condition always present is location; although it is not written as a rule, we can assume that the target is the US since the restaurants are located there.
The second condition group, which is nested with location, should probably be mealtime because this way, we can define all our mealtimes only once, and we do not have to rewrite them multiple times.
In one group (breakfast), we can specify the time range to be 6 am to 10 am (EST/EDT) or 6 am to 10 am (CST/CDT) or 6 am to 10 am (PST, PDT) etc. So in the condition group which has location, click on the button labelled “Nested condition”, then from the first selection column, choose “Time range”; from the third selection column, choose the correct times (06.00 - 10.00) and timezone (e.g. EST/EDT), then apply. After the first breakfast time range with timezone is chosen, then click the button labelled “OR” and do the steps once more until all four time zones are described with the correct times. This condition will be matched if the time range is correct in either four time zones. Use duplication to make this step easier.
We can now do this three more times and specify brunch, lunch and dinner. All those time ranges are nested in regard to location but not in regard to each other. So when starting with brunch after breakfast, click the “New condition group” button, which is after the breakfast group.
Also, be aware that some regions do not support brunch; for the sake of the exercise, let's say EST/EDT timezone does not, then brunch will have three time zones.
The third level will be languages, where you can add all languages as a condition group to each meal time, meaning that at each mealtime, click the button labelled “Nested condition”, then from the first selection column, choose “Language” and from the last selection column choose the correct language. Since it is nested in Location and Mealtime, when adding creative to language condition, it will be shown when “Location is US, mealtime is, e.g. breakfast and language is English”, which can also be seen from the Quick overview. If we would like to add another language, click the button labelled “New condition group”, after the language group, and select the new language, e.g. Spanish. Now you have set up two creatives:
Breakfast (EST/EDT) or Breakfast (CST/CDT) or Breakfast (MST/MDT) or Breakfast (PST, PDT)
In this way, you should add all four languages to each mealtime, so you can add different creatives which have patterns for location, mealtime and language. In the end, the structure of the flight should look like this:
Breakfast (EST/EDT) or Breakfast (CST/CDT) or Breakfast (MST/MDT) or Breakfast (PST, PDT)
Brunch (CST/CDT) or Brunch (MST/MDT) or Brunch (PST, PDT)
Lunch (EST/EDT) or Lunch (CST/CDT) or Lunch (MST/MDT) or Lunch (PST, PDT)
Dinner (EST/EDT) or Breakfast (CST/CDT) or Breakfast (MST/MDT) or Breakfast (PST, PDT)
The last step is to drag-drop the right creatives into the right language and set up our flight.
How to use the Import feature?
Flight's template to collate data for setting it up and importing rules in bulk.
As Flights was created to ease the work of advertisers whose campaigns have a lot of variables, adding an Excel template to the mix allows it to smooth the process even more.
To make your work easier, we suggest you use this template to collate all data necessary for your campaign, such as rules, addresses, locations, time-zones etc. Once you have that file, you can easily import all settings to the Campaign Manager and convert those into rules that will then be attached to your creatives.
Below you can find a list of Flight import rules:
A creative name is required
A priority percentage is required
If a city or region is filled, then the country is required
If one of three date-related fields has data, then all three are required
If one of three time-related fields has data, then all three are required
Header row should always be the first row → Header row has labels described above and not values.
If using your own spreadsheet, then it is not necessary to add all the columns if you would not like to use all columns. In addition, the order in which the columns appear is not essential. For example, if your goal is to group creatives based on postal code, then add 3 columns → Creative name, Priority, and Postal code.
If you are using our spreadsheet, then you don’t have to fill all the columns or cells, and you do not have to remove empty columns. For example, the spreadsheet has all the columns, and you would like to group creatives by language. For your convenience, fill the columns → Creative name, Priority, Language → and leave others empty (of course, you can delete empty columns, but it's optional)
If you're going to use your own Excel files, make sure the column headers match as in the template provided.
NB! It is not possible to create nested rules with the import; the ruleset will have a flat structure.
We've added a new Detailed Analytics for Flights.
This provides granular insights into your Flight's performance based on rulesets, allowing for more informed decision-making.
You will see the breakdown by ruleset and what's the priority set for that specific set. The details for the rulesets are displayed based on what you chose when setting up the Flight.
Breakdown by Geography: Understand which regions or countries are most engaged with your creatives.
Breakdown by Language: Discover which languages yield the most interactions.
Breakdown by Time Zone: Optimize your campaigns based on when most of your audience is active.
Breakdown by Location: Get insights on urban vs. rural or city-wise performance.
All these, per Creative: Every creative you run can be dissected for each breakdown.
How to Use the Flights Feature & Access the New Analytics
1. Log in to your Campaign Manager account
2. Navigate to a campaign or make a new one; the Flights tab is on the left panel.
3. Select the desired campaign for a general view or to make changes to your campaigns.
4. To access the detailed analytics, click on the Analytics icon on the left panel-
5. A new tab opens with Flight Analytics.
6. On the left, you can see all the creatives that are on the flight, and upon choosing one, you will see the detailed info.
7. Click the little downward arrow to see what each Ruleset was set to accomplish.
8. On the right, you can also choose a ruleset and then the dashboard will update to give you info on that.
Harness the full power of the Flights feature and its new analytics to elevate your advertising campaigns to new heights. Happy campaigning!