05/19/2020 - It remains a mystery why the video ad ecosystem continues to drag its heels on upgrading from VAST 2.0 to VAST 4.0. In case you don’t remember, VAST 4.1 made updating to VAST 4 all the more worthwhile because it addressed some major flaws with interactivity, viewability and verification. In sticking with VAST 2, you’re really only dealing in a world consisting of desktop video impressions and likely still customizing your video players to serve ads being delivered from different servers—while providing a subpar user experience.
That’s why another important thing that VAST 4 brought to the table was the inclusion of the UniversalAdId feature for including a creative identifier that is maintained across all platforms, making it easier to track ads more accurately and easily.
Luckily for those still stuck in VAST 2.0 land, there’s a trick for using Ad-ID. It all came about when Ad-ID got to wondering whether the UniversalAdId element could be carried through VAST 2.0 and, if so, in which field. So they partnered with A+E, NBCUniversal, and Hulu, to develop a set of best practices for the UniversalAdId in Vast 2.0. There’s also an upcoming VAST 2.0 Best Practices webinar—with Ad-ID’s Manager of Supply Chain Activities, Beth I. Frutkin on June 4, 2 pm ET—to learn how to include an Ad-ID code in the AdID element of VAST 2.0.
Why This Matters:
Being able to use Ad-ID codes in VAST 2 will significantly help the industry transition from VPAID (goodbye latency) to VAST4, SIMID (Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition), and OMID (Open Measurement Interface Definition). With Ad-ID codes in place, the industry can start moving towards better transparency, brand safety, attribution, and more accurate reporting in video advertising.
"Ad-ID provides the opportunity to streamline the ad serving process and deliver on the promise of the right message to the right person at the right time. By incorporating the UniversalAdId into VAST 2.0 as a best practice, the digital ecosystem will improve user’s experience, reduce troubleshooting and create greater transparency to marketers and agencies,” says Jermaine Roseman, Senior Director of Advanced Advertising Solutions for A+E.
Ad-ID is not supported in VAST 1.0 or VAST 3.0 and the support for 2.0 is meant merely as a stopgap. The best move for getting Ad-ID codes into the supply chain will be getting the idlers to adopt the latest version. Good luck to Ad-ID and the IAB with that one.