We have a client who asked us how to use a "User Defined Creative Template" ad from DFP. I'm not familiar with these templates, so after doing a Google search for "dfp user defined templates," it brings up this help article from Google Support. Even after reading the article, I still don't understand what the templates are and why they are used. Is it an actual ad creative that already looks a certain way, and you just customize a few things, or are these templates nothing but a bunch of variables you have to set before it has any look to it at all? Are the variables set by the DFP user before they generate the ad tag, or when they place the ad tag on the site (i.e. in the JavaScript on the site)? Also, what is the use-case for these templates, and how do they help management of ads in DFP?

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The templates are a combination of code (html, js, css) and variables. The whole idea is that the variables should be replaced with different values with each campaign afterwards. While the rest of the code remains the same. The variables could be of different types (i.e. image upload, hyperlink, text, number, dropdown)

Let me give the simplest example possible, which would be a simple image ad.

<a href="[%CLICKURL%]" target="[%TARGET%]"><img src="[%IMAGE%]" alt="[%ALT%]"></a>

You may add some inline JS/CSS to the template code as necessary. So, this would be a simple image banner template. It would have 4 variables: CLICKURL (type: Hyperlink), TARGET (dropdown with two options: _blank and _top), IMAGE (image upload), ALT (text).

So once created, the DFP User could create a new Creative based on the template and he would need to fill this 4 predefined fields in order to create the new banner.

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