Ads: The Basics

An ad combines one piece of creative media with details of how the content behaves when it is displayed. The creative media can be an image or video. The behavior details include a click-through URL, tracking pixels, and video events.

A simple ad could be an image with a click-through URL:

If you're using ad tags, an ad corresponds to a single ad tag.


You can upload creative files directly into Basis DSP, or you can use ad tags to point to creatives hosted by other vendors. No matter where you host your creative, you set up an ad for it in the DSP.

Ads and Campaigns

Campaigns and ads work together to show media to users. The campaign controls the targeting (where and when the ad will show), and the ad controls the content and behavior (what the user sees when the ad appears and what happens when the user clicks the ad).

A campaign can be linked to one or more ads.

Ad Status

An ad's status controls its availability for delivery.

  • ON: The ad is ready for delivery and can be used by any campaign linked to it. Once the ad passes Ad Quality Review, it goes live.
  • OFF: The ad is offline. Campaigns can link to the ad, but the ad will not be delivered.
  • Archived: The ad is no longer in use. When you archive an ad, it does not appear on the My Ads page by default. (Use the Filters dropdown to search for archived ads.)

See Editing Ads for more information about how to change your ad's status.

Testing Your Ads

It's important to test your ads before using them in a campaign. Your ads may automatically or manually be reviewed as a part of our ad quality process, but this is done to ensure that ads meet exchange and publisher requirements. Our ad quality reviewers do not test that ads work as you expect.

As the DSP is a real-time programmatic buying platform, running ads without first testing their functionality is ill-advised. Bids cannot be reversed and you will be charged for any impressions that your campaigns bid on, regardless of whether your ads function correctly or not.

To test your ads, visit the My Ads Screen. Ensure that:

  • The secure (SSL) status of your ads is declared correctly – if an ad is marked secure but contains non-secure elements, if may fail to render correctly.
  • It is uploaded as the correct type – for example, MRAID or Expandable (Web), as required.
  • The ad renders correctly and the DSP is able to count clicks. You can examine this on the Ad Preview.

My Ads Screen

Inside each brand, you use the My Ads Screen to manage the ads for that brand.