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A Deeper Look into VAST 4.0 and the Universal Ad ID

By Jarrett Wold, AD-ID and Amit Shetty, IAB Tech Lab

Ad-ID and the IAB Tech Lab have jointly published a white paper, “Five Use Cases for Video Ad Serving,” that demonstrates the importance of including Ad-ID as a registry value inside the UniversalAdId element in VAST 4.0. The white paper includes a collection of scenarios that focus on why the IAB Tech Lab-required Universal Ad ID —which provides a unique creative identifier and maintains it across all platforms — is important for tracking ad creative. The use cases also show how Ad-ID serves that role in the U.S. market.

The first two use cases describe issues with Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) using inconsistent creative identifiers. Because Ad-ID codes provide a standard creative identifier for tracking assets across all platforms, thereby resolving these inconsistencies, the IAB Tech Lab encourages the use of a Universal Ad ID.

Without a standard identifier, two common issues occur in SSAI:

  1. Different identifiers are used for the same creative (e.g., Creative A with ID=AB12, AB34, AB56, etc.).
  2. The same identifiers are used for multiple creatives (Creative A with ID=ABCD, Revision 1/Creative B with ID=ABCD, Revision 2/Creative C with ID=ABCD).

The first issue provides a poor ad experience for consumers, who may be subjected to ad repetition. In this scenario, a consumer watches content and is shown the same ad back-to-back, or even worse, back-to-back-to-back. In the second example, the wrong ad is delivered to the consumer, which is bad for the publisher/advertiser. The use cases discuss these operational challenges and how standardizing on a single registry (e.g., Ad-ID in the United States) resolves these issues.

The other three use cases focus on Client-Side Ad Serving and how using Ad-ID as the creative identifier provides value in ad decisioning to deliver high-quality ads. The use cases explain how Ad-ID’s advertising metadata can be used to obtain information at the creative asset level for competitive separation, brand safety, advertiser information, and product categorization — all critical factors for publishers looking to provide quality control and effectively deliver on campaigns.

Harold Geller, executive director at Ad-ID, says, “I’m excited about the documented use cases because they provide real-world examples of the value and importance associated with using a standard identifier in meeting the needs of the publisher, advertiser, and agency.”

Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab, says, “The use of the Universal Ad ID within VAST 4.0 is an important part of identity-related initiatives in the IAB Tech Lab, and helps improve brand safety, attribution, and analytics in video advertising.”

The use cases were developed with input from CBS Interactive, Extreme Reach, FreeWheel, Google, and TubeMogul.

To download a copy of the use cases, click here.









Jarrett Wold, Director of Technology, Ad-ID

Jarrett Wold, Director of Technology & Platforms, Ad-ID, has over 15 years of experience leading Web Application Development teams focused on digital applications. Wold is currently overseeing all aspects of Ad-ID’s technology endeavors. His former role was Director of Technology at Rodale, Inc. managing their web properties. He also worked at AOL on AOL Video, AOL Search, and Moviefone. He is graduate from Syracuse University and a huge Orange fan!








Amit Shetty, Senior Director, Video & Audio Products, IAB Tech Lab

Amit Shetty comes to the IAB Tech Lab with a background building Cloud, Mobile and Video products in a wide variety of markets, ranging from Telcos to Enterprise to Consumer apps. He has worked in Product Management, Marketing and Engineering roles, and has built platforms in standards based ecosystems at Motive/Nokia (products built on Broadband Forum standards) and InnoPath (products built on Open Mobile Alliance standards). He also worked at Yahoo! where he worked on the Video Player used across all of Yahoo!’s properties. He is a proud Longhorn from the University of Texas at Austin.