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To easily empower video ad serving through a video platform, Adhese fully supports the VAST protocol as released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). VAST enables the scalable distribution of video ads across a set of video players from different technology vendors. By supporting VAST, ad servers are able to implement just a single ad response format that is suitable across a range of different video players. 


VAST

If a publisher wishes to serve ads to video players, it needs to develop distinct video ad tags based on the technology of each video player they want to serve to. The IAB created a standard for video advertising that allows for a scalable delivery of ads to video players from different vendors: VAST.

VAST allows ad servers to use just one single ad response format, independent of the video player's technology. The video player needs to be able to request and parse XML documents. Thus, by using XML, VAST does for video ad serving what HTML does for browser based ad serving.

Since the first release of VAST, the online video technology did move forward and made the possibilities for online video advertising more sophisticated. VAST has been extended with extra features and functionality to support the onward movement. VAST 4.0 is the current standard. Adhese fully supports VAST: we are compliant with the VAST 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 standard and can help you adopt its guidelines.

VAST offers a set of features intended to make online video advertising easy.

  • Platform- and device-agnostic: Nothing about the protocol of VAST is specific to the functioning of a certain device or platform. This allows Adhese to serve ads across several video players in different situations, such as websites, mobile websites and applications, Internet-connected TVs, or through set-top-box environments.
  • Support for different ad types: VAST supports different video ad formats. Next to the well-known linear and non-linear video ad formats, VAST enables the delivery of companion ads, skippable linear ads, and ad pods.
  • Tracking: To provide details about the delivered ads, VAST enables the simultaneous tracking of several user events that are related to the video ad. That is to say, VAST can tell you, for example, whether or not a video ad was completely viewed or if the user has muted the sound. VAST can also notify you if a user skipped a linear ad by explicitly closing it before completion or if the user clicked a non-linear ad away.
  • Detailed error reporting: When a video player is unable to display an ad, VAST enables the player to provide specific feedback to the ad server about why the ad can not be served.

For more information about VAST and its implementation details, click here.

Video advertising formats

Video content provides many advertising opportunities. Video advertising is also referred to as in-stream video advertising and comes in three forms: linear, non-linear and companions ads.

You do not necessarily need video content to serve a video ad. An in-banner video ad does not deliver a video within a video player but inside the dimensions of any display ad creative for a given position. The video playback can be automatically initiated, but it is recommended to initiate the audio only on user interaction.

Linear video ads

Linear video ads are played before, between or after the playback of video content. Linear video advertising is known to interrupt the playback of a video clip as the linear ad takes over the full video experience for a period of time. Three linear video advertising formats exist:

  • Pre-roll ads play before the start of the video playback;

  • Mid-roll ads play during the playback of the video clip;

  • Post-roll ads play after the end of the video playback.

Non-linear video ads

Non-linear video ads do not disrupt the playback of a video, but run alongside the video content within the video player for a brief period of time or after the ad is clicked away. The original video content remains in view as the non-linear video ad covers a part of the video as it plays. Usually, a non-linear video ad is shown in the bottom area of a video player.

An overlay ad is a banner ad that is delivered over the video content in the bottom of the video player. The ad makes use of text, graphics, or video overlays to convey the message of the advertiser.

Video advertising overview - Click to see larger image

Companion ads

To enhance the visibility of the campaign, a linear or non-linear video ad can be paired to a companion ad that is in tune with the original video ad. A companion ad is served outside the environment of the video player. Any display advertising format can be coupled.

An example of a companion ad is a branded player . A branded player consists of an outer layer or skin that is wrapped around the video player.

Reporting

For the purpose of reporting, VAST tracks several events that are related to the playback of the video ad and/or that are initiated by the viewer of the video:

  • Impression tracking, to measure the number of times a video ad was displayed to the viewer in the video player's viewport;
  • Click tracking, to count the number of click-throughs to the landing page of the video ad; 
  • Time progress tracking events, for example mid-point, video ad completion, first and third quartile;
  • Viewer-initiated events:
    • The viewer mutes or unmutes the sound of the video.
    • The viewer pauses the playback of the video.
    • The viewer switches the player to its full screen mode.
    • The viewer skips the playback of the ad creative.
    • The viewer clicks a button to close a non-linear ad creative within the video player.
  • ... and more

Adhese enables video reporting. For more information, click here.

Adhese SDK integration

The Adhese SDK for video advertising (JavaScript/HTML5) enables publishers to serve video ad formats. The SDK for video advertising is a JS library that intends to facilitate the integration of VAST (2.0 & 3.0) ads in video players. The library contains cross-domain safe methods to request ads from your Adhese account as well as convenient methods to play and track video ads. 

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