Manage preferred inventory access easily with First Look. Dive deeper to explore the creation of First Look pricing rules in Google Ad Manager.

Get to know First Look

First Look is a feature that lets you capture incremental revenue opportunities from high-CPM bids by allowing those bids to serve ahead of your reservation inventory.

It allows you to expose more inventory to high-value demand by giving buyers a “First Look” at your inventory. They’ll have the opportunity to buy any inventory ahead of your reservation inventory as long as they meet your selected price floors.

With First Look, buyers compete in real time in Ad Manager, thus increasing the yield for your most valuable ad requests.

First Look works for you

First Look is only available for bids in the open auction. Once you decide which inventory you’re willing to make eligible, First Look will allow open auction buyers to beat any demand in Ad Manager, even over reservation or sponsorship bookings, if the price is right.

If a bid is eligible for First Look and the buyer bids above the First Look floor, it will compete for an impression.

First look bids must clear the First Look floor and the value CPM (or “Rate” if value CPM isn’t available) of any remnant/non-guaranteed line item selected by dynamic allocation to compete for an impression.

Configure First Look

To configure First Look, you’ll need to first enable it in your Admin tab, then create two rules under Inventory > Pricing Rules > First look pricing. 

The first rule will specify any inventory that you don’t want to make eligible for First Look.

The second rule will specify all inventory that you want to make available for First Look and optionally restrict access to specific advertisers.

Use separate sets of rules for display and mobile web inventory.

Setting up First Look doesn’t require Ad Manager line item changes or additional tags on your page. This means no added latency, passbacks, or unfilled impressions. You can manage transaction volume through the selection of floor prices. You can also set 100% sponsorships to always serve ahead of First Look.

Activate First Look in Ad Manager

You can only use First Look with your primary linked Ad Exchange account. You must be an administrator for your Ad Manager network to link accounts and to activate First Look. If you’re not an administrator, the settings below are unavailable.

Step 1:

Select Admin > Linked accounts >  Ad Exchange

To activate First Look, you must set the primary linked Ad Exchange account as the Default for dynamic allocation for each inventory type (Mobile app, Video, and Display) you use in Ad Manager.

Step 2:

Select and enable the primary linked Ad Exchange account you’d like to use for First Look.

Once you’ve selected the primary linked Ad Exchange account you’d like to use for First Look, enable it as the Default for dynamic allocation. Select Save.

Step 3 (optional):

From Admin > Global settings Network settings, navigate to the Sponsorship priority setting available under Ad serving settings.

By enabling Sponsorship priority, this enables 100% sponsorships to always serve ahead of first look buyers.

Note that this step is recommended but not required to run First Look.

Create First Look pricing rules

As mentioned, best practice suggests configuring First Look pricing using two rules: one to exclude specific inventory that isn’t eligible (block) and one that includes all other inventory and optionally restricts access to specific advertisers (allow). Remember to use separate sets of rules for display and mobile web inventory. 

If you have separate unified pricing rules for desktop and mobile web inventory, you may wish to do the same for First Look. Data shows that buyers bid differently for these inventory types, and a more granular First Look pricing rule strategy may help you increase yield. 

Create First Look: block rule

Let’s look at how to create a block rule.

​Step 1:

Navigate to Inventory and select Pricing rules.

This will bring you to the First look pricing section. Select New display pricing rule.

For this example, we’re creating a new display pricing rule under the Display inventory type. The inventory types (Display, Mobile app, In-stream video, or Games) available to you depend on your network configuration.

Step 2:

Name the rule First Look – Block.

This rule will specify any inventory that you don’t want to make eligible for First Look.

Step 3:

Enter 1 in the Priority field.

First Look – Block should have the highest priority of 1. This will make sure that no unwanted inventory has a First Look price applied.

Step 4:

Configure the Targeting settings.

If you need to make sure First Look doesn’t serve on specific inventory, including special ad unit inventory, be sure to include it in the Targeting section of the First Look – Block rule.

Target all the inventory you can’t monetize through First Look because of Google Ad Manager program guidelines or special ad units.

Step 5:

Make the following selections in the Rules for targeted inventory section


  • Set pricing and blocking for everyone
  • Set floor prices
  • Blocked for Branded 

Then, select Save to save this First Look – Block rule.



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