Custom variable targeting

Last updated on October 21, 2019

Custom variables, or key-value pairs, can be used to target or block inventoryClosedAd space available on a website or app. The basic unit of inventory for OpenX is an ad unit.. When setting up custom variables for targeting, be mindful of the following:

  • Custom key-value pairs must be in lowercase.
  • Custom key-value pairs are recommended to not exceed 20 characters per key / 40 characters per value.

Custom variables targeting options

Targeting dimension Operators Description
Enter a custom variable name


  • Equals

  • Does not equal

  • Contains

  • Does not contain

  • Begins with

  • Does not begin with

  • Ends with

  • Does not end with

Use a string operator when you expect a single string value to be passed in the ad requestClosedCommunication from a web browser or app to an ad server to display an ad. for a given custom key. For example:

pet equals "dogs"

Make sure to use the list operators instead of string operators if you are expecting multiple values to be passed in the ad request.

The star (*) wildcard is supported when using Contains or Does not contain operators.

Enter a custom variable name


  • Less than

  • Less than or equal to

  • Greater than

  • Greater than or equal to

Enter a numeric value to target.
Enter a custom variable name


  • Before

  • After

Use this format: YYYY-MM-DD
Enter a custom variable name


  • Contains any of

  • Contains all of

  • Contains only

  • Contains none of

Use a list operator when you expect multiple string values to be passed in the ad request for a given custom key. Use commas between each value with no spaces or other formatting. For example:


For example, suppose you create the custom key xyz and use operator contains any of with the above values. The targeting for this custom key-value pair would be:

xyz [ contains any of ] "dogs", "cats", "horses"