Blog Switch

Hi all,

I have migrated to wordpress and postings are done on


Raja Ramachandran

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.