Ad-ID Retrofits to VAST 2.0 for Wider Video Ad Adoption

05/29/2020-Ad-ID released a Best Practices White Paper in implementation of the platform for VAST 2.0 which may be downloaded here.

When we are finally able to look at the COVID-19 pandemic in the rear-view mirror, the advertising industry will remember at least three positive outcomes from this unfathomable tragedy: flexibility, simplicity, and innovation. The cooperation between most of the media sellers to accommodate the buyers and marketers, especially those in the categories hardest hit will be remembered and go a long way to cementing trust levels between those organizations and their clients.

When it comes to simplicity and innovation, there are substantive core needs at this time within the world of ad operations, both digital and traditional. The media industry is dealing with remote work, a higher level of impression uncertainty, and a greater need than ever to know exactly which ad is running where. Universal Ad-ID, an advertising identification standard that was created and codified by the 4As and the ANA, and whose usage is mandated by SAG-AFTRA, is more important than ever. It is also more flexible than ever.

In an effort to make the standard more widely accepted, the Ad-ID organization recently announced that it has retro-fitted the Universal Ad-ID tag to be compatible with VAST 2.0; the video ad serving template that allows video players to engage with ad servers. While the most updated version of VAST is 4.2, which was released in June 2019, there remains a large percentage of publishers who have not migrated past VAST 2.0. For those publishers, the retrofitting of Universal Ad-ID allows them to contribute to a brand's overall delivery view, including frequency insight and control; a topic which remains the single biggest challenge in a cross-screen, fragmented media environment.

According to Beth I. Frutkin, Manager of Supply Chain Activities for Ad-ID, adoption of this industry standard drives a multitude of benefits and insights to the Brands. "Asset identification is an important part of the digital supply chain," said Frutkin. "It is the support system that helps create transparency, brand safety, enhanced reporting and more."

Top media companies such as NBCUniversal, A&E, and Hulu saw the value of the retrofit and played a key role in pushing the project forward.

Ryan McConville, EVP, Advertising Platforms & Operations at NBCUniversal, commented, "At NBCUniversal, we believe that true transformation of the entire industry can only happen if we work together. That is why we fully support the adoption of Universal Ad-ID within VAST 2.0. It opens up the opportunity to enhance the entire consumer experience from every angle including improved frequency caps, competitive separation and an upgraded digital video supply chain benefiting marketers, publishers, and viewers. It brings us one step closer to perfecting the ad experience for every player."

Providing the opportunity to integrate Universal Ad-ID for publishers who have not yet upgraded to the latest version of VAST is yet another example of how major advertising industry organizations and media companies have been using this strange and unusual time to unify the advertising industry and make significant progress on the infrastructure issues that are so difficult to focus on during the hectic schedule of 'normalcy'.

For more on Ad-ID's industry adoption, please read "Comcast FreeWheel Endorses Adoption of Universal Ad-ID, Strengthening the Standards Framework".

Jeff Minsky
Editor and Lead Industry Analyst for The Myers Report
MyersBizNet