Google Exec on Adding Sanity to Video Asset Management

11th August 2017

This is a guest post from Harold Geller,  Executive Director of Ad-ID LLC — the industry standard for the registration of advertising assets across all media platforms. It was originally posted on on 8th August 2017.


It is music to my ears when people in the industry understand and support what we’re doing at Ad-ID.  That’s why it can be satisfying to listen in on the question and answer session during one of our webinars.


After a recent webinar on VAST v 4.0 and the technologies and best practices for server-side ad insertion, I was thrilled to hear Abid Dar, Manager of Video Solutions at Google, say that having a single, universal identifier — like Ad-ID — reduces confusion when identifying creative assets.  He went even further, saying it adds sanity and brings cohesion.


Ad-ID is the designated UniversalAdId to track assets cross-platform in the U.S. as required by the latest version (4.0) of the Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) for delivering video ads across multiple platforms: over-the-air, online, over-the-top, mobile and place-based.


Without such a universal identifier, systems from data collection to campaign management to creative tracking start to break down as the ad asset moves cross-platform.  This makes video operations extremely difficult to manage.


My new best friend Abid went into some detail on the struggles he encounters when trying to accurately report without the benefit of a common asset identification registry.  “I think that one of the largest challenges we face post-implementation is, ‘Why did X creative run and why didn’t Y creative run?  And how can I get more information about what happened?'” he said.  “Having a single ID that we can all reference helps.”


Abid concluded that the solution to resolve a variety of challenging scenarios is to agree on an industry standard unique identifier that would provide commonality throughout the ad-delivery process.


Queue the music to my ears.


VAST 4.0, created and managed by the IAB Tech Lab, requires such an industry standard — the UniversalAdId.  In the U.S., it’s Ad-ID; in the U.K. it’s Clock Number, administered by Clearcast.  These UniversalAdIds track each ad creative and provide a unique creative identifier that is maintained across all platforms.  When created from a known registration authority such as Ad-ID, it establishes consistency and reliably guarantees uniqueness for identifying the asset.


Using an Ad-ID code ensures that an individual video ad will have a single unique identifier across publishers and campaigns.  This improves data collection and reporting for cross-platform campaigns by providing the ability to control, track and measure ads accurately.  In addition, it prevents a stitching service from re-processing assets that have already been processed and made available for ad delivery.  The inventory fill rates for both the publisher and the advertiser, then, are improved.


Using a known registration authority such as Ad-ID or Clearcast delivers universally unique identifiers, which benefits the advertising ecosystem by eliminating asset-identity confusion throughout the supply chain.


I encourage you to attend one of our webinars; it’s a great way to learn from others and ensure you’re maximizing the usefulness of Ad-ID.  To listen to the webinar that Abid Dar attended, go here.


That webinar, while briefly giving an overview of VAST 4.0 core features, focused on demonstrating the importance of server-side ad insertion using the mezzanine file to deliver a higher-quality TV-like experience across platforms.  It also covered the benefits of UniversalAdId to track assets cross-platform.