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Raja Ramachandran

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tips for Testing Campaigns

I was pondering for a while on the topic to post.At last managed to get a topic for today.The post would focus on few ideas to test new ad and creative type on live environment.When you traffickers receive any new creative/ad format which you wanted to know how it would look on the live publisher, here are the ways you can carry out this test
  • Live testing of campaigns MUST be executed in short time.Once the test ad is live, test what you needed, and turn it off instead running it for days(which is a huge mess)
  • Always check for the preview and click through on the ad server before going to make live
  • If you wanted to do a quick test, book huge inventory, set highest priority, and scheduled it for one day(simply traffic as exclusive/roadblock campaigns).So this test ad becomes live as soon as the Ad server pushes.Note very very importantly this type of test should be finished in short time, say 10 ~15 min after the ad server pushes.Else, it would results in unnecessary impressions delivery and also would compete with other premium advertisements running.So be utmost careful while executing this
  • Another good practice is to target.By this you actually reduce the competition with actual live ads scheduled.Pick the less traffic page group of the publisher to target.Usually the publisher would have less ads scheduled, so the possibility of competing is less
  • You can also geo-target .Idea is , you target the test ad to to your local(country/state/city)this way you narrow down and keep yourself out of competing with scheduled ads.Example if you are in india further drill down to city level say " chennai/bangalore/mumbai" which is your target city
Testing campaign on live environment is a good practice, but do abide your limits and its impact.Always carry out within shorter time and immediately turn off once testing is done.More the testing time, more the inventory loss and higher the cost we would be liable to ad server vendors.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Now Ad delivery on PDF, Adode joins Yahoo

Adobe has joined with Yahoo to create an Ad delivery system for pdf files that publishers offers in the form of newsletter, Daily bulletin,.etc.

Adobe is planning to publish contextual adverts relevant to the PDF content in the form of Advert links on the PDF files.Sources say that, the advert be published in the side pane of the document and When an user tries to print out, the Advert links would be disappeared in the printed page.Yahoo has been specifically roped in to, energise the ad delivery system.

Though, the effort is appreciateble, but unsure how much avenue it brings to pump in the revenue, unless we know the online market share of adobe.Also adobe recently acquired Buzz word, an online word processor tool.All these actions are a clear indicator of Adobe's foray into online advertising market.

Welcome Aboard Adobe !

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Doubleclick's DFP going Web2.0

These days I find hardly enough time to spend, some time on my blog.Today during my daily routine of checking my favourite website, I came to know that Doubleclick has come with a widget feature for it's publisher solution DFP.Doubleclick announced the availability of the DART® for Publishers (DFP) Dashboard, an innovative, time-saving solution for ad operations professionals. The new DFP Dashboard combines Web 2.0 flexibility, intuitive functionality and vivid graphical displays – transforming common advertising operations tasks such as monitoring campaign performance and troubleshooting delivery issues.


With the DFP Dashboard, information is presented in customizable tools called widgets designed to enable users to configure their dashboards to show the information most relevant to their role. This new tool is fully integrated with DFP and included at no additional cost to all existing DFP users.

For More details Click Here !

Friday, November 2, 2007

AD blocker a decisive?

It's sometime now, quite abuzz surrounding the wide spread of Ad blocker softwares.And due to this, Online players are much worried about the gaining functionality and popularity of Ad blockers..

But Ad blockers a real threat to online advertising?

What do you think when something is ruining your 13.7Bill display advertising market?
Perhaps I’ll say NO for now. But I cannot deny the fact that the situation might soon change.

What is the possible outcome from Ad Blockers?

  • It Limits the reach of Audience for the online marketers (Users blocking ads)
  • Leads to revenue loss of Ad server providers (Impressions does not count)
  • Again, revenue loss to the publisher and also losses advertisers (No conversions)

So, the list continues...

To stress on, recently launched firefox addon "Ad block Plus" is creating panic waves as it blocks about 90% of ads on a website. I tried it and found blocking all 3 rd party ad server links and re-direct links. It works well with Firefox, so I dug out on details about Firefox.See the image below the market share of all web browsers

Provided by: www.netapplications.com

The Firefox share is 14.85%, the total online population is 6 bill, so we have 976 mill Firefox users, which is Huge population. Among this 976Mil how many users have active ad blocker is my Question? Unfortunately, unable to get the answer.

How do we override this problem?

Many publishers have created redirects to pages asking Firefox visitors to disable Ad blockers so as to see their website. Some Publishers annoyed to such extent that they have totally blocked their Firefox visitors.I see this situation similar to the one online advertising industry faced in the development of pop up blockers. Lots of pop up blocking tools have come, but equal amount of anti blocking code has been associated with pop up ads to override.

Online players must realize the importance of breaking this clutter. Publisher/Ad server should associate Anti blocking codes along with actual ads for display. When new ad blocker comes, proportionally Anti ad blocking software should be updated.

I, strongly feel this is the wakeup call for all online players/online advertising governing body, to think about this serious problem in the making and help us with an effective Antidote.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

War Of CEO's-RightMedia DrivePM and Doubleclick

I came across an interesting article in Adotas which penned the oral war between CEO"s of Doubleclick, Microsoft's Drive PM and RightMedia

Little long article, but I guess whoever belongs to online industry would like it

With the occasional jab, duck and left hook three leaders of the internet advertising industry faced off in person at the Right Media Open conference on Tuesday to debate the future of ad exchanges and online advertising. Showing up to the panel representing their advertising business and future ad exchange was Scott Howe, President, Microsoft’s DrivePM, Mike Walrath, CEO of Right Media, and David Rosenblatt, CEO of DoubleClick. The discussion that started with a friendly round of respectful back slapping quickly moved to reflect the competitive and cut throat race each leader is in.

Each panelist was quick to start trumpeting the strengths of their respective ad platforms. While Mr. Rosenblatt calmly answered what differentiates DoubleClick’s ad exchange from Right Media’s, Walrath was clearly irritated by his response and image that only DoubleClick’s exchange had premium publishers, “One of the key differences is that we have top premium publishers,” said Rosenblatt. In response Walrath pointed out the status of his new employer, “Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Yahoo one of the largest premium publishers on the Internet?” he said.

This battle of ad dominance is marked by the ongoing and expensive consolidation between the titans. Yahoo’s acquisition of Right Media in April for $680 million, Microsoft’s acquisition of aQuantive in May for $6 billion, and Google’s hopeful swallowing of DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, highlight the importance of dominating the technology, supply and the demand. While being asked about why Microsoft was the right partner for aQuantive and DrivePM, Howe put on his best sales pitch, “Building ad technology is very complex and Microsoft’s strong history of software development will help us win the ad technology war. We have big big plans for AdEcn and our ad serving platform. Microsoft brings the resources to the table to compete.”

Acquisitions are typically marked with frustration and failure as companies with different DNA attempt to get married. However the competitive heat was strong enough here that each group preferred to highlight how conflict wasn’t the case with these integration efforts. Howe was more pronounced than normal with his excitement, “The cultural integration is going extremely well and we’re very lucky to have the Microsoft resources and money behind us, before we were a small company with little money and limitations. We realized that in order to win, Microsoft was the right partner.”

While the bicoastal relationship between the New York based Right Media and California based Yahoo may be a saving grace as the Right Media team continue to build their business while integrating one bicoastal flight after another, “The cultural integration with Yahoo has been good, they have a real commitment to openness and get it,” said Walrath. Rosenblatt was unable to address the specifics of integration between Google and DoubleClick as he continues to face legal review and approval of the deal.

While each company fights it out in the market, one of the more sensitive topics was the Google and DoubleClick acquisition. With the latest calls of anti-trust and for Government intervention to stop the acquisition, Rosenblatt was put on the hot seat with questions to defend the acquisition, “It defies commonsense to say that with this acquisition, with all the competitive companies out there, plus Microsoft’s competitive plans, we would kill competition. This deal is very pro-competition.” Microsoft has lobbied to have the acquisition stopped and Howe was quick to point out the issue, “As standalone companies DoubleClick and Google enhance competition, no doubt, but together they cover over 80% of the display market, this is very serious cause for worry.” Rosenblatt deflected the point by repeating that they were different and there was no conflict, “DoubleClick is an ad delivery company and Google isn’t.” Howe repeated his sound bite, “As standalone companies it’s not a problem, together it’s dangerous.”

Walrath was happy to point out that networks and exchanges are like church and state, “The conflict here is AdSense, which is a network, when a platform like an ad exchange or ad server and a network come together into one you have inherent conflicts.”Of course the consumer related concerns of such a merger surround the data and consumer privacy. Rosenblatt was quick to point out that he doesn’t speak for Google, but that privacy is very important to protect and consumers own their data, “We will work very hard to protect consumer privacy and we do not see much changing there.” DoubleClick has a controversial history of privacy concerns and Walrath was quick to summarize his view of the real problem, “You do not need to have a breach to have a problem, the perception to consumers is that their data is vulnerable, this is the real issue.”

The race to establish closed platforms, gather customers and win dominance is typically how markets are initially successful, however it was interesting to hear all three leaders say they would be happy to interconnect with other ad exchanges and support interoperability. “The economics of exchange businesses and networks aren’t so different. If companies want to be in both businesses I would support that and promote interoperability with other exchanges,” said Walrath.

Rosenblatt was quick to point out that he would be glad to connect with Right Media. It is unlikely that this will happen anytime soon as each company is working hard to sign up customers and create differentiators. Overall the panel demonstrated a strong mutual respect for their competition, but as each panelist repeated over and over that it is still very early in the race, it became obvious how important it is to establish early market dominance and make their ad exchange the platform of choice.

History has a tendency to repeat itself with Internet companies and being first to market isn’t necessarily a good thing. Microsoft has a track record of coming from behind and improving on the innovations of others. Large acquisitions and integrations have been known to take a nimble innovative start-up to mass bureaucracy resembling the DMV. Typically it’s not the existing list of players who win in the end; it’s the one we haven’t heard of yet. Maybe this is a good time to reflect on the history and experiences of AOL, Netscape, and even DoubleClick to understand how to survive change

Thursday, October 11, 2007

AdBid Central-Internet Marketing made simple?

AdBidCentral a new tool, which integrates media buying and selling process on a single platform.The system basically simplifies the complexities involved in everyday media buying/selling activities.The Ad bid central has got a in built search engine, which allows media buyers to search for their suitable ad space and also media sellers to search for their prospect media buyers.The search engine has options which you can use to filter down to suitable search results.

Further to this, the system also allows media buyers to upload creative units and send to media sellers for campaign activation.Also media buyers and sellers can monitor the campaign performance in real time.

You can find more information on AdBidCentral

Thursday, October 4, 2007

SmartAds, Dynamic Ads followed by Adroit

DesignBlox has recently introduced its product "Adroit" which has the capability of changing the flash creative in a fly in realtime.I would like to re-call my previous article about TribalFusion's Dynamic Ads and Yahoo's SmartAds, all has the same capability.

What is Adroit?

Adroit, powered by DesignBlox, is an ASP-based platform that allows advertisers to instantaneously alter components of Flash display ads in real time without having to redesign, rebuild or re-traffic an existing ad, allowing a single ad template to become unlimited versions of itself.

The platform can sequence messages based on any number of key behavioral variables that are defined by the user, and Adroit enabled ads can be populated via external databases or RSS feeds.
  • Can be used with any Flash display ad (including expandable and floating ad units)
  • Works with any ad server, publisher or network
  • Tracks unique users across multiple serving environments.

How Adroit Works

The power of Adroit begins with intelligent display ad templates, which are trafficked just like any other Flash ad. Our proprietary action scripting connects the templates to our web-based creative management system, enabling users to change ads manually in real time, dynamically compile ads based on behavior and business rules, and construct automated tests.

Adroit technology also includes A/B and multivariate testing capabilities that help to determine the effectiveness of individual ad components; including messaging and banner images.

: DesignBlox

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ad Server features which helps Media Planners

I am writing this article essentially, for all online media planners.I would discuss, the most commonly available ad server features which, would help all the media planners out there, to do an efficient media plan and productive campaign execution.I would highly recommend, all the planners to gain some basic ad server feature knowledge from the publisher ad serving person/Traffickers.

Frequency capping:It is a feature, which allows one, to set a limit to the number of times an advert shown to a given user at a given interval.

Example:A Frequency cap of 1 in 1 hour.For this setting, the Ad server would throw an advert to an unique user only once in one hour.

Ad Priority:Every ad server would allow, to set priority to an ad delivery.If you want, your campaign to deliver fast, you can check with Ad serving person to set higher priority to deliver fast.Similarly, you can reduce priority for slower delivery.

Even delivery:This option would ensure that, through out the campaign period the impression burn rate is consistent.No surge and spike in impression burn.You can check, for the availability of this feature.

Daily capping:This feature allows to set a daily impression limit for a campaign.Once this limit is met, the campaign would not run for the rest of the day.

Category Set:By this feature, we can restrict the display of similar products of other advertisers appearing on the same time on the same page.Media planners can check with an ad serving person for this feature so as to ensure other advertiser's similar product does not get displayed when your advert is shown.

Companion positions:Sometimes if you have two campaigns of same advertiser on two different ad slots on a same page, the problem is both the advert might appear at the same time.Is not the inventory waste if you do a performance based campaign?In order to avoid this you can set the Ad server accordingly.This would stop the same advertiser's advert appears on the same time on the same page.Thereby, saving loads of inventory.

Targeting options:There are wide range of targeting options available.You can target based on area code, Zip code, Postal code, telephone code, city, country, state, operating system, browser, User behavior, Age, Gender, Internet Bandwidth, Time and Day,.. etc.So, use it.

Creative delivery:Many ad servers would have various options to deliver a creative based on its"Weightage, Clicks and Impressions". So, check with your ad trafficker if you want to manually increase weightage of your creative or setup can be made on the Ad server to optimize the creative based its upon impressions and clicks.

As jotted few features there would be lots many more which can help significantly help you .So, remember to spend some time to prepare a detail Ad server feature list and their use of every publisher you work with.Because, this would help you not only to Media plan but also to run efficient campaigns.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Instantwonder-Ad Delivery system for IM's

EyeWonder, Inc., rich media and digital video’s fastest growing innovator,today announced the launch of InstantWonder, an exclusive offering making it easier for online advertisers and agencies to deliver rich media and video advertising units across five of the world’s largest instant messenger clients. Now, through one rich media provider, media planners and buyers can efficiently reach any combination of the very large and desirable audiences of:
  • AOL’s Instant Messenger (AIM®)
  • ICQ® Instant Messenger
  • MSN’s Window’s Live™ Messenger
  • MySpace’s MySpaceIM Messenger
  • Yahoo! Messenger

“Instant messaging is the dominant and fastest growing communication tool among both highly coveted young adult audiences and business people who use it daily in their office environments. The fact that EyeWonder enables advertisers a one-stop delivery mechanism across five of the top IM clients is a dream come true for online advertisers and agencies,” said Michael Griffin, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, EyeWonder. “With one InstantWonder creative execution, advertisers can reach Super Bowl-sized audiences online, creating tremendous synergies in media planning, buying and production. Of course, this translates to stronger bottom-line ROI and results for EyeWonder’s customers.”

EyeWonder is currently working with several top agencies and brands to leverage the InstantWonder offering to deliver rich media and digital video across all five platforms. Instant messaging dominates online teen life and the daily routines of business people in the workplace. Approximately 66 percent of teens and young adults now send more IMs than emails. Additionally, Gartner has recently projected that by 2013, IM will be the de facto choice for enterprise-based real-time communications, serving as the nexus for voice, video and text exchanges. Moreover, three-quarters of instant messenger users are online everyday, and spend several hours per day live within their messaging application. InstantWonder is the first solution approved to deliver video and rich media ads to this set of unique and desirable audiences, which each number in the tens of millions.

EyeWonder pioneered rich media and digital video advertising on instant messenger platforms in 2003 with its integration into AOL’s Instant Messenger (AIM). Since that time, EyeWonder has powered thousands of campaigns delivering billions of impressions across AOL and the other top messenger clients that followed. EyeWonder-powered campaigns were officially accepted on the ICQ Instant Messenger in 2005. The recent additions of MSN’s Window’s Live Messenger, MySpace’s MySpaceIM Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger round out the InstantWonder offering and represent a unique set of the top messengers that only EyeWonder can provide.

Source:Eyewonder, Click Here for more details

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

myspace follows Facebook

Almost a month back, Facebook started to use their user's profiles as a targeting tool(Click Here to check my previous article on facebook's profile based Targeting) to monetize its service.And now it is myspace, who is rolling out an ad Targeting system based on their user's profile.It is not just going to be another profile based targeting, more than that , the System sets its targeting based upon user's behavior.For having this done, the Ad targeting system would consume inputs such as user’s age, gender, friends, groups they belong to and what ads they’ve interacted with in the past.

During the test period, myspace has delivered impressive results, particularly among certain categories such as automotive and music. Clicks on auto ads almost doubled and music ad clicks increased 70 percent.It has taken half a year for a 100 man team to launch beta version of its new Ad targeting system.

I believe, the users of myspace must have the same amount of disinterest on using their profile for targeting, which prevailed among users of Facebook, when they unveiled their plans to Target Advert based on its user's profile.All these actions indicates that Social Networking is the best platform for marketers to effectively use their inventory on potential and highly targeted audiences.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Interstitial Ad-the Ambush

Penned down lines would find its usefulness for those, who's wanting to know what an Interstitial ad is.

Interstitial ad, is one of the most popular Rich Media ad type.Also, commonly known as Metastitial ads or transition ads.Interstitial ads are those, which would appear when an user navigates from one page to another page.There are some interstitials that would appear, when an user closes the web browser session.Technically, all these interstitial ads gets downloaded to the user's cookie, when an user visits a web page, which has an interstitial ad scheduled.And so, the downloaded interstitial ad would begin to monitor the user's behavior and when it finds that the user navigates to someother page or closes the browser, instantaneously the ad gets triggered and appears to the user.Depending on how the interstitial are programmed by the creative team, the interstitial appears either while navigating between pages or closing the browser.

Below is an example for an interstitial POPUp ad

In general, an interstitial ad type would be deployed for branding campaigns.Many people normally gets confused between an interstitial and superstitial ads.Actually, the nature of how these ad loads in both the ad types are the same, the only difference is being, a Superstitial ad appears on the background.One more thing on interstitial ad, I am not sure though is, some interstitials works on web browsers which has "Java Virtual machine" installed, a software addon for the web browser.

Traffickers !!!

Points to be noted While Trafficking Interstitial ads

Traffickers, normally interstitial ads would be of Tag form and you would need to make special settings on your ad server to traffic intersititals unlike normal ads.Moreover, you may need to make additional modification the interstitial creative tag before uploading on the Ad server so as to ensure impressions and click recordings.I would highly recommend the Traffickers to check with your Ad sever manual to know how to traffick interstitial ads.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

SEM + Display Advertising == Search Re-Targeting

24/7 RealMedia, very recently introduced a new concept of its kind, known as "Search Re-Targeting" for its Ad network "Global Web Alliance".Before getting on the story, first let us digg Re-Targeting

What is Re-Targeting?
Re-Targeting as it name implies, a method where an Advert is targeted to users who previously failed to complete a transaction.It is also called as re-marketing or re-messaging.

So, what is Search Re-Targeting?
A display advert is shown to an user who visits a website by clicking on a Text ad on a search engine through a Keyword/Keyword group Query.Feeling complicated ?

Actually, I myself iterated the Article several times to understand, and apparently ended up deciphering, it to a level :-)

I think, an example would help to get a clear picture

An user goes to search engine like Yahoo, google, MSN,..And types in a keyword.The user would get sponsored links/Text Ads related to the keyword typed.The user now clicks on the text ads which would take to an advertisers page.For some reason, if that very user incompletes the transaction, the 24/7 RealMedia system records that user, in terms of the user behavior, demography, Geo-location, etc(To remember this unique user).So, next time when that very user access any web sites which belongs to Global Web alliance, a display advert related to the keyword of the same advertiser would be shown.

In addition to Search Re-targeting, the system also enables advertisers to create dynamic ads which can be customized based on Keywords, the web users types.After running few pilot campaigns based on this targeting concept, 24/7 proclaims that, the method has boosted the conversions pretty high than usual.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Relevancy of Online advertising, a disaster?

In our industry, throwing up advert much relevant to the content and to the Targeted Audience is the prominent factors which determines a good advert.But sometimes, it might leads to disaster.One such case which, I came across today when, I happened to check my email on my 30gigs account.When I opened up the 'Inbox", I saw a leaderboard(728x90) Google Adsense advert on the Top, campaigning to create a gmail account.
Refer to the screenshot below

So whose loss, whose gain?

  • Can we blame GoogleAdsense for showing this advert?
  • Should we blame the 30gigs team for placing google adsense on their inbox ?

We cannot blame either of them as, GoogleAdsense does not know the 728x90 property details on 30gigs.At the same time even 30gigs does not know what are the Scheduled ads that would be displayed.So sometimes things are inevitable.

So whats the lesson in the store?

Too much of Relevancy not only gets you conversions, but also eats your cake :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Yahoo moved the Coin Again !

I came across an article in MarketingVox, which read

Yahoo has acquired ad targeting and delivery firm Blue Lithium for US$ 300 million, reports Advertising Age.The purchase is the latest in moves by major players to coin the behavioral advertising market.Blue Lithium adds a significant number of capabilities and inventory to Yahoo's existing ad offering.

The newly-acquired company boasts relationships with major publishers, which will continue after the purchase. Its inventory will be incorporated into Right Media Exchange, which Yahoo just acquired in full a few months ago.

Blue Lithium will run ads on Yahoo's network of fully-owned sites and services, bringing significant targeting power to ad delivery, something Yahoo aggressively began to target with the introduction of its SmartAds(Read my earlier post on smart ads) offering to the market.

Yahoo hopes adding a performance-based system will bolster the income from marketers looking for more than just brand impressions, characterized as a strength for the company.

Source MarketingVox

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Trafficking Text Ads containing Special Characters

Trafficking Text ads, ain't simple as they appear.One have to be utmost cautious while dealing with such ads.Important point is, when you Traffick a Text ad, which contains special characters or any Double byte characters such as "$,#,.." would be truncated on the web site.Because web browser might not properly interpret the special characters pushed through an ad server, so the aftermath would result in either Special characters not thrown up on the web site or the character would gets altered.


Actual Text
creative: Buy TV for 430£ HURRY NOW !

Displayed Text Ad:
Buy TV for 430 HURRY NOW !

Observation:The "
£" is missed in the Displayed Text ad.

There's a work around for this.All you got to do is, replace the special characters with its HTML equivalent while setting up on your Ad server.Download document which contains Special characters and their HTML Equivalents " Click Here to download "


  • Once you replace the special characters with its HTML equivalent, Please preview the ad and ensure it displays properly.Also run a Test campaign on a Test page before you Turn the actual ad live
  • I would highly recommend that you check with your ad server vendor or refer to Ad server manual to know whether you need to replace with HTML Equivalents.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fifth Network's Innovative Targeting

Quite a lot of innovations happening in our industry.Much recently an ad network, called Fifth Network has introduced a new baby to the existing family of Targeting.Fifth Network calls this as, an "Attention Targeting".

The idea of this targeting is, nothing but to target ads on pages, where users stays for a longer time.Bill casper, president and CEO, said that, this method has enabled them to offer an e-CPM whose rate is much lower than that of a Premium inventory. Adding to this Mr.casper has told that, this Targeting method is purely a branding product.Usually Multimedia and News related websites are the ones, where users tends to spend more time.So the company, would identify such websites in their network and further filter down to the Page/Zone level to target.

To address few concerns like,
what if an user opens up a website and goes away?

I firmly believe that, not everyone would open a website and goes away.However, the Fifth network has addressed this Q as well.Say, If a particular ad's impressions goes more than 2 and a half minute, it would not be considered.

Also, the Fifth network has planned to associate with Dynamic Logic (Industry leader in online surveys) and InsightExpress to measure the effectiveness of this targeting once the campaign is live.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

TribalFusion's Dynamic Ads

Few days ago, Yahoo launched it's behavioral based and dynamically customizable Smart Ads ( See my earlier post on Smart Ads).And it is now Tribal Fusion, which has come up with a slightly similar concept known as Dynamic Ads.

According to Tribal Fusion, Dynamic Ads would enable advertisers to instantly customize their creative content and landing pages based upon the attributes the Online users contributes such as demography, geo location and online behavior.

Example:A real estate company which uses Dynamic Ads can show different houses for sale to users in each zip code. When an user clicks on the listing, they would be taken to a dedicated page for that specific house.It means more relevant advert along with a relevant Landing page to a targeted user.

Creative contents are easily customized by using a simple Template and thus reducing the time consumption for advertisers to make huge number of creative and labor.Tribal Fusion proclaims that their DynamicAds has resulted upto 80% more conversion.

While speaking about this, I must admit that, in my experience I have done a similar optimization to my client which resulted in good conversions, where I would render different landing pages to users based on creative concepts.Say, If my campaign has 5 different concepts, I would assign 5 different landing pages designed exclusively for each concept.So when an online user clicks on an ad, he sees a much relevant landing page.Because of this we establish the same feel on the user on the landing page as that of the creative rather assigning a common landing page which would result in disconnect between creative and landing page.

Try this way, it should give you better conversions

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ad Serving on YouTube

You Tube has started to ad serve.Mainly after much speculations among advertisers and YouTube fans, the GoogleTube now officially started their adverts.

So far on the site, below were the ad units, I have noticed
  • 300x35 gif/jpeg banner
  • 300x250 gif/jpeg banner
  • In line video along with a 300x250 companion gif/jpeg banner
All the adverts are pushed through Doubleclick's DFP.I have taken few screen shots of the same
  • A small banner ad below the main video content is displayed(as highlighted at the left hand side), refer screen shot below
  • A click on this banner ad, would expand to a Video ad and starts to play which is clickable to the advertiser's page
  • A static companion 300x250 banner is displayed at the right hand throughout the main video, which is again clickable
  • Video ads here are less intrusive in nature, and video plays ONLY when the user clicks on the small banner below main video
  • When a user clicks on the ad, the acutal video is paused
  • YouTube is serving ads only on the popular videos which are rich in quality.Advertisers get big relief by this, as many were doubting, whether would their adverts be displayed on all lousy video uploads by Youtube users

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Facebook's New Profile based Ad Targeting System

Facebook, the most popular social networking site has revealed its plans, to monetize through online advertisements which would be targeted based upon it's user's profile. Technically this targeting is known as Profile Targeting.

Facebook works on this profile based ad targeting system with full priority.According to sources, the ads would be Text based and not display banners.Facebook also plans to conduct surveys among its users to evaluate the response for its advertisement program.The company hopes that it would bring them tremendous success like Google by their contextual based targeting system.

All these trends are clear indicative that Web2.0 sites are creating platform for marketers an easy way for indentifying their target audience.Moreover with already available various targeting options such as Geo location, keyword, Zone, Browser, operating system, Time and date in the industry, profile Targeting has better chance for marketers for reaching their potential audience which results in higher conversions.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pubmatic-an ad network optimizer?

Komli, an upcoming ad network has released a new system which works as an ad network optimizer and it is known as PubMatic. PubMatic is a software application which lets you push ads of various ad networks on to your website/blogs.Currently it allows Google Ad sense, Yahoo Publisher ad network, ValueClick and Komli.PubMatic would monitor the performance of every ad network and the best performing Ad network would be auto optimized there by resulting in maximum ROI.Beyond optimizing ad network, this system also optimizes the Ad slot frame, color of the Advert, reports to compare performance between ad networks.Isn't this cool?

How to use it?
  • Just visit PubMatic and sign up, it is FREE
  • Select the Ad networks you want run
  • Select the Ad slot size and instruct PubMatic if you want to auto optimize color
  • Once all this is done, you have an option to generate PubMatic Ad tag, Click and generate the tag
  • Copy this Tag and paste it on your web site/blog(It takes 90min for the PubMatic tag to go live)

It is apparently clear that PubMatic would provide
  • Easy interface for publishers to place ad networks and auto optimizing ad networks for best delivery and increase revenue
  • Mutually beneficial for the complete gamut of parties involved such as advertisers, publishers and ad network
  • PubMatic accelerates the volume of publishers to their ad networks
Though all this sounds good, I still have a doubt

If a publisher implements multiple optimized pub matic ad Tags at various slots on a single page(say example 728x90 and 300x250), will not the publisher see 728x90 Advert belonging to a different Ad network(example Google Adsense) and 300x250 of a different ad network(yahoo Publisher network) on the same page at a same time?

Problem is that, ad networks like Adsense, Yahoo, amazon does not allow publishers to place any other ad networks adverts except them.Publishers who violates, will have their subscriptions suspended.I am unsure if PubMatic has an intelligence system incorporated into PubMatic which ensures that different Adverts of different Ad networks is not displayed at the same time on a same page.

Currently, PubMatic is available for the First 100 publishers on a First come first serve basis.I got my subscription. I tried pubmatic its easy and kool. I have configured PubMatic to suit my Blog,and shortly would run Optimized PubMatic Adverts.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cache Busting -a closer look

Cache busting

It is nothing but a technique to override caching of online advertisements. Cache busting is done primarily to stop caching of online advertisements in local system because when a previously visited page is requested again, the browser would retrieve the webpage content along with online advertisements from the cookies(refer to my earlier article on cookies ), thereby creating revenue loss to the ad serving vendors.

Why should we do cache busting?

  • Absence of Cachebusting results in revenue loss to Ad server vendors , since, the already requested page along with the advert would be retrieved from the local cookies and no request would be made to 3rd part Ad server
  • Lack of Cachebusting also leads to impressions discrepancies between the Publisher Ad server and the 3rd party ad server
  • Improper and absence of cache busting causes 3 rd party Ad server to register impression value lesser than publisher ad server hence resulting in under delivery

How do I do Cache busting?

Cache busting can be done in 2 ways

  • Using Cache busting tokens
  • Implementing Math. Random() function in a JavaScript

In both the types a random number(usually 10digit) would be generated everytime an Ad is requested, so the browser actions this as a new request and delivers the Advert from Ad server and not from Cookies. This way cache busting is done.

Dealing With Cache busting Tokens

Usually all 3rd party Served Tags would contain identifiers which have to be replaced with the Publisher Ad Server Macro for cachebsuting.Look for these identifiers and replace with your Ad server's cache busting macro (value/Function) for defeating cache.

Some commonly used cache busting identifiers are

  • [cachebuster]
  • [TimeStamp]/[timestamp]
  • [RNG]
  • Insert_Time_Stamp_Here
Few Caching busting Macros of leading Ad servers

Ad Server

Cache busting macro

Doubleclick's DFP


Real Media OAS


MSN Sales's Ad Expert



%t or %r

**Please kindly refer to your Ad server product manual for accurate macro and confirm.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yahoo Debuts Behavioral Targeting

In my earlier post(Title:Yahoo!'s Smart Ads a Behavioral Targeting) I discussed that Y! kick started their beta testing on behavioral targeting which they call as Smart Ads.Now Y! Debuts this service to all its users.

With Smart Ads, Y! apart from just targeting a potential user based on web behavior patterns, also has the ability to dynamically customize the online ads, so the ad would get greater influential rate.So as to do this, the advertisers would provide various backgrounds, text and other materials of the ad.All this would be later uploaded on their ad server and set up made accordingly.

As a result of this, a potential user not only just sees a relatively advert according to his/her mind, but also an attractive ad. So, Y! firmly believes that this combination would soar their position in display advertisement segment.Furthermore, the beta test conducted on their Yahoo travel portal already proved success.

Comparison between Hardcoded Adverts and Ad Server served Adverts

Currently two ways of online advertisements are placed on the publisher.Usually smaller websites(in terms of web site Traffic) employs hardcoding of advertisments whereas medium and bigger publishers uses a specialized ad server software to delivers online adverts.So I made a comparison between two types, which should give ad traffickers a good insight

Hardcoded Adverts

Ad server served Adverts

Creative units are directly embedded on the web pages, thereby limiting the volume of advertiser ads on a page, so monetization is limited

Ad call tag are embedded on the web pages, Since ads are called through Ad tags all the scheduled ads would be delivered, thereby accelerating the revenue

Optimization of the campaign cannot be done so paving way to poor campaign performance

Manual/Auto optimization is done, so best performing unit given more priority, so advertisers gets maximum out of their investments

Targeting at geo-level would be complex as a separate IP pool should be maintained

Ad server maintains and updates their IP pool regularly so efficient geo-targeting is possible

Advanced targeting like Demographic, browser, operating system, ISP and behavioral targeting cannot be done

Core level targeting is possible to bring out better ROI to the advertisers from the inventory used

Lack of Compatibility with rich media ad types like expanding banners, over the page ads, interstitials and streams

Ad server technologies would integrate well with rich media technologies

Only basic level reporting is possible

Ad servers would provide customizable reports, where in we can run the report to analyze various metrics like campaign delivery for a specific time, location, etc

Difficult to implement 3rd party tracking system

Easy to implement

More manual intervention is required thus providing room for err

Almost everything is automated so room for err is negligible

Tedious to organize the campaign of advertisers

Simple to organize advertiser’s campaign

Manual billing is done for the campaigns

Billing report can be automatically done based on campaigns

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cookies-A must know

Cookies is a must know functionality for all online ad traffickers.Penned down few lines would help you to understand what are cookies and what role does it plays in online advertising

Quick Tour of Cookies
Cookies to me is a program which would help website to store little information about the user's behaviour on the website in the cookies folder of your hardrive.Cookies helps an user to have a faster web experience.

Types of Cookies
  • Session Based Cookies
  • Persistent Cookies
Session Based Cookies:These are the temporary cookies which would be stored until you close your browser.Every web browser has settings which can be used to allow this or block.

Persistent cookies:These stays in your hardware little longer than your session based cookie.Usually the lifetime of this cookies are determined by the website which stores this cookie.Normaly the cookies content would carry its expiry date.Even we can delete this cookies either from web browser or directly from the temporary folder.

  • Cookies helps us achieving Frequency capping that we set in the ad server.
  • For e-commerce sites, cookies helps to a major extent by storing informations regarding transactions.(e.g)After adding an item to a cart, when you move next to check out, without cookies, the website would not register what item if you have added to the cart
  • Faster web user experience
  • Cookies may lead to revenue loss to the ad serving companies if not properly cachebusted because when a user visits already visited page, the page content along with online campaigns would be retrieved from cookies and hence revenue loss to the ad serving company
  • Improper Cookie handling, would result in impressions discrepancies when we use 3rd party ad server

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Apple's iPhone, Google's GPhone?

Now that Apple's iphone frenzy is kinda over.Speculations prevails that Google is working on a major cell phone project as it is in talks with wireless carriers particularly with T-mobile about offering its phone it designed.

Sources says Google already started developing a web browser exclusively for mobiles.We all know that the next big medium for advertisments on the internet going to be an hybrid model integrating the power of internet, mobile and IPTV and having the current trend of soaring mobile advertising, it is of no wonder to me if google spending millions of dollars in its mobile initiative.

According to the newspapers the mobile would not be available in the market until atleast 2008, in the mean time let me guess what would google name their phone a Gphone may be? alike Apple's iphone.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Doubleclick Launches New Ad Format

Doubleclick recently have launched a new ad format known as '"the Teaser".This ad format contains short flashes of video.Doubleclick claims that this would increase the range of options for the advertisers.Universal Pictures is the first to use the ad format, in connection with advertising for the debut of its action-thriller, The Bourne Ultimatum.Also the Ad format allows us to scroll over the ad and gives us 3 options to select.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Best Online ad trafficking practices

I have jotted down few points which I think are the most essential qualities for all online ad traffickers to follow along with their everyday trafficking process.

General Practices

  • Do not touch the ad server before you read and understand the traffick request thoroughly
  • Check for any attachments and download if any (such as Creative, IO’s, Trafficking sheet, etc)
  • While replying the clients always remember to include information like Campaign ID, Ad ID, and creative ID instead of long campaign/ad names. Fact is Id’s are easy to search in ad servers
  • Once your work is finished on the ad server, just remember to put a brief note of your work in the comment field (if any) in the ad server. This piece of information would help your successor/QA person to understand your work
  • Prepare a matrix containing different page groups and its corresponding dimension for quick reference
  • Readers, it is a good habit to document a complete trafficking guideline. This document would be useful to you as well as your team to maintain a knowledge base which can be further shared with fellow traffickers and new joiners
  • While replying to your client, first type the email body and then attach files(if any) and at last include the email ids required

Technical practices

  • Whenever you deal with inventory booking, first run an availability inventory forecast and then book the inventory. Doing this way help you to understand the inventory available and avoid overbooking
  • Check for the creative specifications such as creative file size, Creative looping, Dimension against the website specifications
  • For Zone Targeting check if the sent creative and zone dimension matches (For example Page group “Horoscope” on a given website would accept only creative of dimension 400x400)
  • Check for the Landing page, by pasting the given LP on to the browser and see if it renders properly without error. If you get error then check with various browsers
  • For any TPS (3rd party served) Tags ensure you implement correct click tracking and cache busting (Cookie Defeating) of your ad server
  • Before making the ad live, ensure that the creative previews and click thru works fine

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Microsoft acquires ADECN

The acquisition spree still continues all the big www still continuing their shopping.

The recent acquisition is by "Microsoft", which has acquired Ad exchange network "ADECN".ADECN, provides a base for all the ad networks to bid, buy and sell their ad spaces in real time.As everybody knows ADECN is a competitor of RightMedia, which is a product of Yahoo.So it is apparent that there would be a tough tie bewteen microsoft and Yahoo.

With the development of network with microsoft, the ADECN has major scope of taking their ad exchange network to new heights.

My view while this trend continues is, the e market place becomes shorter and shorter and leaving marketers with limited options.But at the same time I am sure that, these changes would enable production of more sophisticated techniques for better ROI.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

AOL acquires TACODA

AOL has recently announced that it will acquire behavioral ad network TACODA.Sources close to the situation has informed that AOL would pay $275 million in cash to TACODA.

TACODA enables advertisers to serve ads based on the online behavior of consumers. With this functionality AOL will be able to extend its targeting capabilities, as well as the reach of its third-party display network, the largest in the US.Moving forward, TACODA will function as a wholly-owned AOL subsidiary.

Last June eMarketer reported that the behavioral targeting market was expected to increase to $3.8 billion by 2011, up from $350 billion in '06.

More details on Marketing VOX

I personaly feel that Behavioral Targeting in india has started catching its fire with Komli ad network started to provide BT, Yahoo started to provide smart ads which is again BT, with AOL acquiring TACODA, soon AOL India might start providing BT.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sequential Advertising a new strategy in online video

A new kid from heavy.com.As the name implies the advertisement's content would be thrown sequentially throughout the video.The idea behind this is to include series of narrative elements /story board which would hold the viewers till the last sequence of the advertisement.
Is not this concept sounds similar to the one we have come across TV and newspaper?I have seen print ads developed based on the similar concept by printing various sequence of an advertisement across various pages therby keeping the viewer's spirits up throughout the movie.
Sequential advertising offers a way of engaging viewers instead of repeatedly exposing them to the same creative or a series of disjointed ads. “We’ve seen a real problem with some advertisers,” said Heavy.com’s co-CEO, Simon Assaad, via MediaWeek.Mike’s Hard Lemonade will be one of the first advertisers to test out the new strategy this week, as it will run multiple related video ads within Heavy’s programming.

Having the history that longer video ads gives good conversion, this new kid has huge room to success for branding campaigns

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mid Roll a new advert concept in streaming media

So far while trafficking streaming medias(Video/Audio) we have used Pre roll and post roll audio/video adverts.Now we got company
Sneak Peak

Pre roll-Here the streaming Audio/Video advertisement rolls before the actual media content
Post roll-Here the streaming Audio/Video advertisement comes once the actual content is finished.

Podbridge, the leading provider of analytics and ad insertion services for downloadable video and audio content, today announced that it has partnered with Personal Life Media, Inc. and has come up with a new idea to insert streaming advert at the middle of the content, technically known as Mid-roll position.These ads are dynamically inserted through their sophisticated Ad server based on campaign parameters. Publishers determine ad insertion locations, which can vary ad lengths and bundle multiple ads together to offer integrated ad packages that are most valuable to marketers. In addition, the feature of fade–ins and fade-outs of ads within the show content enable a smoother, more professional consumer experience.

For more details please Click Here