Explainer Public

Campaign Tagging: Television Advertising

Need to generate some campaign-tagged URLs for use in television advertising? Please try the Mason Campaign URL Builder Application.

How To Use Campaign Tagging in Television Advertising

Yes, you can use campaign tagging on links used in TV ads. Since links seen on TV ads have to be typed in manually by a user, and since we want to be able to track traffic from these ads specifically, you should try to provide as short and concise a URL as possible in the form of a URL redirect. You provide your user with a short, easy-to-type link that redirects to the full URL with campaign parameters included. These can be called short links, redirect links, vanity URLs, etc.

In addition to simply transferring users from the vanity URL to our website, the redirect will also add identifying campaign-tagging parameters to the redirect URL. This will enable Google Analytics to identify which incoming traffic was specifically a result of the redirect from the vanity URL on this television ad. This will will enable us to measure how many visits to our website were a result of people seeing this ad.

Note: because the URL redirection will automatically add the specified campaign-tagging parameters every time the vanity URL is used, whatever URL we use on the end of the ad can ONLY be used on the video. If we were to use the same URL anywhere else, any visits resulting from these other sources would be incorrectly attributed to the video.

Interested in a more-specific case-study? Please see the post: Tracking of A-10 Video Spot on NBC Sports Networks

Campaign Tagging Recommendations

Medium Parameter

For links used in printed materials, the medium parameter should always be “tv”.

Source Parameter

The source parameter should indicate both what unit/department is placing the ad, as well as what TV network is it running on.

You should indicate your unit (and department, if applicable) in the source parameter, in order to disambiguate the analytics data of sessions resulting from campaign link clicks from your emails other departments on campus. The recommended method is to use the abbreviation for your unit, delimited by a hyphen, followed by the department or group withing that unit (if applicable), delimited by a hyphen, followed by the name of the TV network running the ad. For example: “chss-nbc”. If the ad is being placed by the university as a whole (not a particular unit or department) you need only include the TV network info.

Campaign Parameter

The campaign parameter is up to the you, but remember to use something unambiguous, and to check the existing campaign reports to ensure that you are not using a campaign parameter that is already in-use.

Content Parameter (optional)

The content parameter may be used to provide additional data about the context of the TV ad, if needed.

Other Considerations


All parameters should use only lower-case characters. Google Analytics is case-sensitive, so capitalization matters. Using all lower-case will is a clear and unambiguous rule which will make it easier to keep our campaign tagging parameters consistent in the long-term.


Avoid using spaces if possible. If you must use spaces, use plus signs (+) in place of spaces in your parameters. Plus signs will appear in GA report as spaces. Although using spaces directly will sometimes work as desired, in other cases spaces can cause display issues in your Google Analytics reports.