Skip to main content

Create a Campaign

A Campaign is a framework used to distribute your ads to your audience.

Ads are grouped in ad sets, which define how they are distributed and to which audience. There can be many ad sets per Campaign and many ads per ad set, but you only need one of each to get started.

Creating a Campaign in Criteo will take a few steps:  

  • Setting up you Campaign's goals, objectives, and spend limit 

  • Building your first ad set

  • Creating your first ad

  • Previewing your setup

Step 1: Setting up your Campaign

To begin, click the "Create Campaign" button as shown.

1.1 Goals and Objectives

At this step, you set your Campaign's Goals, give your Campaign a name and determine its Objectives.

Acquisition: Select this goal if your Campaign mainly aims to gain more customers.

Retention: Choose this goal to drive more value from your existing customers.

Awareness: Generate interest in your products or service.

Consideration: Get people to consider your products or service and learn more.

Conversion: Drive sales or conversions for your products or service.








Generate interest in your products or service.  



Get new people who never visited and/or bought to visit your site or store and learn more about your brand and offer.  


Convert new customers and drive sales or conversions for your products or service.  





Generate interest for your brand, products and/or services from existing customers or visitors. 


Get customers to engage and interact regularly with your brand, products and service. 


Get customers to make repeat purchases, buy new products and/or services and increase their lifetime value.  

1.2 Spend limit

Spend limits define the maximum amount of money that can be billed for a specific Campaign for a given renewal period. This limit will be applied to all ad sets that are grouped under the Campaign.

  • Daily spend limit will be renewed each day  

  • Monthly spend limit will be renewed on the first of each month 

  • Lifetime spend limit will not be automatically renewed 

Step 2: Building your first ad set

An ad set determines how your ads will be displayed.

2.1 Media type

Give your ad set a name and select its media type.

Display: Create and manage immersive display ads with all
your brand assets
, including in-banner video ads.

Video: Create and manage video ads and drive user

2.2 Audience

Audiences help you make sure your ads reach the right people. You can either use your own data or leverage Criteo audiences.

Use the table below to decide which audience is best-suited for your Campaign:


Criteo’s AI works to re-engage customers who have visited your website and brings them back to the site to complete further actions.


Let Criteo’s machine learning predict the prospective buyers most likely to perform well for your business.


Target shoppers based on repeated long-term habits such as luxury buyers, new parents, or eco-friendly consumers.


Reach users based on their activity on your website.

Learn more about audiences here.

2.2 Audience refinement

You can also refine your Audience with targeting parameters like:  

  • Device coverage: Identify the device types, mobile operating systems, and environments your ads will be displayed on.

  • Location: Choose from countries, regions, and zip codes where applicable.

  • Context: Make sure your ads are displayed on pages dealing with specific topics.

  • Placement: Target or exclude specific websites, apps and supply vendors to display your ads.

2.3 Bid and budget

If you have set a spend limit at the Campaign level, you can refine the control with the budget options at the ad set level.

Bid strategies  

Criteo buys ads using Predictive Bidding, one of our main AI components. Choosing a bid strategy ensures that the AI will target the right users with the right products to achieve your marketing goals.

Depending on your campaign goals, you may have the option to choose bid strategies:  

  • Drive visits: Maximizes the number of site visits with at least two events.

  • Drive conversions: Prioritizes reaching people who are most likely to buy from you.

  • Drive revenue: Prioritizes reaching people who are likely to buy more from you, for a higher average price.

Cost controller  

Manages the spending rate of your budget. It can be a:  

  • Daily budget, where you set a maximum amount to be spent per day and our AI maximizes the outcomes depending on your chosen bid strategy.

  • Manual, where you set a CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per mille) manual bid value and actively monitor and adjust them as your campaign goes on. 

Frequency capping 

Set specific limits as to how frequently a user will receive the ads from your ad set. 

We recommend selecting the option to let Criteo optimize how often your ads show. This enables our AI to manage impression frequency to drive the best results for you.

Budget strategies 

Define how much of your overall budget you would like to allocate to your ad set, and how frequently you would like that amount to renew. Once this value has been reached, ad sets will pause and stop delivering ads.  

There are three possible renewal periods for ad sets budgets:  

  • Daily budget will be renewed each day at midnight

  • Monthly budget will be renewed on the first of each month 

  • Lifetime budget will not be automatically renewed and last for the duration of the ad set schedule

2.4 Schedule

Set up how long your ad set will be running for, either with start and end dates or by toggling off the schedule feature.

If you switch off this feature, your ad set will start as soon as possible and run until budgets are exhausted or it is manually paused.

2.5 Ad tracking

Set up click and impression trackers to monitor your ad set’s performance.

These trackers enable you to identify where your ad traffic is coming from, which ads are helping you achieve your marketing goal, make campaign adjustments, and more.  

You can add tracking at the ad set or at the ad level as you wish, depending on your analytic solution and your expectations.

 There are several options for ad tracking:  

  • Click URL parameters, also known as UTM (Urchin tracking module) 

  • Click redirect URL  

  • Prefix or suffix tracking (in advanced settings) 

  • External pixels for impression tracking 

3. Creating your first ad

All you have to do now is create your first ad for your campaign to launch.

You can either create one from scratch, reuse an existing one, or upload a creative in Criteo.  

To create an ad, you’ll have to:  

  1. Select its type and format 

  2. Enter design information, brand assets, CTAs, and display rules 

  3. Set up scheduling

3.1 Ad formats

Each ad format has its specificities. If you want to use dynamic ads, your product catalog will have to be fully set up before this step.  

There are various ad formats in Criteo:


Uses your product catalog to create personalized content and messaging for each user, which typically result in an 80% higher click-through rate and a 150% higher conversion rate compared to campaigns without any personalization.


Combines an image with what’s in stock in your product catalog to create personalized recommendations for each shopper.


Combines just a few brand assets with animations to deliver attractive looking ads and reach 18% more domains, see a 14% higher click-through-rate and 30% higher return on ad spend compared to campaigns live with image ads.


Decide how to tell a brand story with ready-made images, which can lead to a 14% increase in conversion volume and a 30% higher return on ad spend.


Video: Highlights campaign messaging or flagship products.

Depending on your ad format, there may be different layout options available to you. You may have to choose whether you want to create display and/or native ads as well as some placement options.

3.2 Design, CTA and display rules

You can upload logos and select colors and fonts to create your ad or upload a creative design entirely. CTAs (call to actions) are automatically recommended by our AI, but you can add up to 8 to your ads.  

Display rules help you set rules on which catalog fields appear in your ads and how. We recommend some optimized settings to increase your ad diversity and reach, but you can set them up manually.

4. Reviewing your setup

You can take time to review and edit some of your ad set parameters.

You may find a to-do list of integrations to tackle before launching your ad set and campaign. At this stage, launching your ad set will set it to deliver ads at its scheduled date and launch your Campaign.


You've come to the end of the Starter Guide!