Think you are a brainiac when it comes to digital advertising? Or do you need a quick refresher on how it all works? The true/false quiz below provides an overview of 10 frequently asked questions regarding digital advertising and the trafficking process.
Q: Most consumer and pharmaceutical websites accept the IAB standard units, also known as the Universal Ad Package: 300×250 (Medium Rectangle), 160×600 (Wide Skyscraper), and 728×90 (Leaderboard).
1- Ad units are labeled based on dimensions (in pixels) of width x height.
2- While the IAB recently added a fourth size to the Universal Ad Package (180×150 / Rectangle), many pharmaceutical websites have not yet implemented this unit.
Q: Static backups are not required for rich media and Flash banners.
A: FALSE. Static backups are required for all rich media and Flash banner sizes.
1- If for some reason a user’s Flash player is not functioning properly or if their browser is older and cannot handle more advanced creative assets, the static backup will be displayed in place of the Flash creative. This ensures that whenever an impression is supposed to be served for a campaign, it will be served (even if it is the static backup).
2- Expandable rich media banners only require static backups for the smaller, unexpanded size.
Q: There are no file size restrictions for digital banners.
A: FALSE. Digital banners must be built in 40k or less.
1- Static backup banners must be under 40k.
2- If the Flash banner cannot be built in under 40k, it must either be built as parent/child Flash or as rich media files (depends on ad functionality and client/creative agency preference).
Q: To “traffic” digital ads, we (the media agency) send the creative directly to the website on which we purchased digital ads.
A: FALSE. We utilize a third-party ad server, DFA, to serve digital banners in most instances.
1- DFA (aka DART, aka DoubleClick for Advertisers) streamlines the digital trafficking process in a few steps:
- We upload media placements and digital banner creative(s) into DFA
- We match the placements with the appropriate creative
- We export Ad Tags for the placements/creative above, send them to partner websites, and the sites upload them onto the webpages on which we purchased media.
- This is where the magic happens. As the page loads when a user visits a site, the site calls on DFA to supply the creative to be displayed in this placement. If it’s our brand’s turn to serve an impression, our creative will be displayed. If we are running multiple creatives, DFA also knows which of our creative’s turn it is based on the rotation we specified. DFA then allows us to track activity on the backend (whether a user clicks on the ad, etc.).
2- Some websites do not allow or are not capable of accepting third-party trafficking. This is the only instance in which we would not utilize DFA to serve digital banners.
3- For more information:
Q: Recommended animation length (for Flash and in-banner videos) is two minutes.
A: FALSE. Best practice and industry standard animation length is 15 seconds.
1- It is widely believed that after 15 seconds, a user’s attention has already shifted from the banner to other parts of the site, potentially causing a decreased click-through-rate (as a user will miss the primary call-to-action if it occurs after the 15-second mark).
2- Some websites do not have the capability to serve animation/videos that are longer than :15s; however, some sites will grant case-by-case exceptions if the animation length must be longer due to the amount of important safety information the ad is required to include.
Q: Flash is fully replaceable by HTML5.
A: FALSE. Though HTML5 is an important (and intriguing!) new tool for the creation of rich media and mobile banners, the desktop market is not yet fully prepared to serve HTML5 ads, as many older web browsers do not accept this format. If digital banners are solely built in HTML5, a brand risks frequently running static backups whenever a user’s web browser has not recently been updated.
Q: It is possible to preview a Flash (.swf) creative file without downloading the appropriate software.
A: TRUE. The Flash Validator tool allows you to upload and preview Flash (.swf) files.
1- This tool not only allows you to preview the creative (how it looks and how the animation works), but it also shows the Flash version the ad was built in, the ad dimensions, the file size, etc.
Q: We can track activity on a brand’s website for users who saw our ad, but did not click.
A: TRUE. If the campaign has implemented Ad Tags and Floodlight Tags, we can track viewthrough activity in addition to post-click activity.
1- Ad Tag—HTML tags generated by DFA and sent to the sites in a campaign. DFA generates unique tags for each placement in a campaign.
2- Floodlight Tag—HTML code that is placed on a brand’s website to analyze consumer behavior on site after a user has clicked or viewed their ad. When a user views or clicks an ad, and then performs an activity on an advertiser’s webpage that contains Floodlight tags, DFA records and reports on that activity.
Q: Custom e-blasts cannot be tracked through a third-party server.
A: FALSE. We can track clicks on custom e-blasts through DFA if the e-blast creator/distributor includes a click-tracker (1×1) in the e-mail clickthrough URL. Note that some vendors allow and are able to include click-trackers on their custom e-blasts, and some are not.
Q: Black box products cannot run branded Smartphone banners.
A: FALSE. The new IAB Mobile Rising Stars banners allow unbranded banners to expand into branded banners.
Have more questions? Below are a few great places to start, or feel free to reach out to anyone on the Ogilvy CommonHealth Medical Media team!
- DFA Support website: https://support.google.com/dfa/
- DFA Glossary: https://support.google.com/dfa/topic/20441?hl=en&ref_topic=2485971
- Interactive Advertising Bureau website: http://www.iab.net/
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