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The Life of a Video Ad

Video ad campaigns offer advertisers more options, better targeting and more performance data than ever before. These capabilities also add considerable complexity to the execution of video campaigns. Who keeps track of the seemingly infinite number of digital video specs required by different publishers? How does a client’s creative actually get delivered to viewers after it’s been trafficked? How do the companies involved in monitoring video campaigns keep track of performance? Without having the proper backstory, it can almost seem like magic. In an effort to try and demystify the video advertising process, here’s what a “day in the life” of a video ad looks like for Extreme Reach customers:

Pre-campaign kickoff and quality control
Once a piece of creative has been approved by the client, most agencies hand off their assets to a video technology partner like Extreme Reach to deal with the complexities of delivering creative to publishers. This partner typically starts by performing a “quality control” check on the creative to ensure it matches with typical specs requested by publishers. It also involves a review of the publishers (and their specific technical requirements) for the client’s upcoming campaign. In some cases, where newer publishers are involved, this ad tech partner also checks the quality of the new publishers’ streaming protocols and confirms proper contacts at the publisher (in case any problems should arise).

Transcoding video to meet publisher specs
The video format requested by a publisher doesn’t always match the current specs of the video asset delivered by an advertiser. In these instances, the video technology partner also handles necessary adaptations, called “transcoding.” No further input should be needed by the client here, as the partner should have the expertise to adapt the broadcast quality asset for every site and device included in the campaign.

Trafficking and tagging
Once a placement has creative assigned and is ready to go live, “tags” are sent to the web publisher. Think of a tag like a postal address for internet advertising. These tags tell publisher sites where to find the creative assets on the video tech partner’s ad server so they can be quickly retrieved. The tags also capture any performance metrics that the client wants to track by feeding them back to the video tech partner’s reporting servers in real time. Extreme Reach’s TRUST Tag™ tracks video ads to ensure compliance with Talent & Rights payments, protecting brands from incurring unnecessary fees.  

Campaign monitoring
As the campaign runs and viewers are exposed to the ad, the tags described above also gather real-time data on performance. While there are many metrics that might be tracked, common statistics for video performance include quartile views (did the viewer complete 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%), completed views, clicks, geolocation of viewer (based on their IP address) and player size, among others.

Campaign wrap and performance
Historically, many advertising campaigns involved a “wrap report,” outlining typical performance metrics once the given flight period is completed. This still happens in the digital age, though most ad tech partners also provide clients access to a real-time dashboard, offering ongoing insights into ad performance while the campaign is live.

With a strong video technology partner in place, advertisers and agencies can expect all the complexity of launching a campaign to happen like magic in one connected, seamless workflow.