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Hi all,

I have migrated to wordpress and postings are done on


Raja Ramachandran

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