What Are Ad Tag Standards?

What Are Ad Tag Standards?

Digital video marketing was estimated as a $135 billion industry in the U.S. alone in 2017, according to a study by Magisto. It’s only logical that a business field so lucrative and accessible needs to be regulated in order to increase safety and decrease the chances of fraud. This is where IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) came into play and developed ad tag standards VAST and VPAID.

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What are VPAID and VAST?

Simply put, VPAID and VAST are tools used by the global internet community to standardize digital video ads in order to simplify, speed up, secure, and minimize the cost of their implementation.

What is the Difference Between VPAID and VAST?

VAST means Video Ad Serving Template and has been created by IAB with the goal of maximizing monetization of video views and homogenizing the digital video ads landscape.

Basically, VAST is an XML script which gives video players information about which ad to play, when to show it, how long to display it, whether the viewer can skip it, what the clickthrough URL should be. These simple XML scripts also carry information about the type of ad, where the ad creators are, and more. The latest version (VAST 4.0) also tracks viewable impressions.

Most importantly, VAST standardizes communication between various video players and various video ad servers. One of the reasons VAST is important is the different screen sizes content is getting displayed on nowadays and inequality of internet connection strength.

With VAST, advertisers know that their ads will display properly on most video players.

This is an example of what VAST would look like in XML format.

VPAID, also an IAB standard, was developed to organize interactions between ad units and video players with a focus on enabling interactive in-stream ad experience. In other words, VPAID captures user interaction data as well from ads that are built for interaction with users.

An example of an interactive ad would be one of a tourist agency displaying a world map where clicks on different areas would open different landing pages or provide different information.

Without VPAID, the advertisers would need to develop the interactive ad for each type of video player and screen size. VPAID deals with a more complex type of ads and runs on a more complex type of language, a code that runs within the video player.

How can you validate VAST tags?

There are several resources available online for validation of VAST tags. IAB Tech Lab, for example, offers one although you need to register in order to see whether your video ad response will work.

Google has its own Video Suite Inspector and we here at MOW Player offer very simple Ad Tester with which you can use to check your ad in a matter of seconds.

The end line is that if you’re in the video marketing field, you need to utilize VAST and VPAID in order to maximize your revenue and free up the time of your developers and marketing experts.

Determining if your ad tag is a valid tag, ie playable with your video player has to be done before you implement it. Simple as it is our ad tester allows you just that, ability to check if your ad tag is playable by our player.