ZINC: High Impact Formats for Brand Impact

Are you wondering what the relationship is between ZEDO and ZINC.? Many of our customers are. It’s time for some good “talking points” about ZINC, ZEDO‘s advertiser subsidiary.
Because we are a big proponent of user initiation in advertising and an even bigger proponent of visibility, ZINC has developed a suite of high impact formats for agencies to use for brand messaging on mobile. We know how quickly users are moving to mobile and we  help advertisers meet them there .
This is a different way to get a brand message in front of users, and a better option than pre-roll, because it encourages a higher level of engagement and it can scale quickly and globally as pre-roll, with its limited supply of inventory, cannot.
These ads can be embedded in articles, and they’re not tied to a piece of video content to deliver their message. In addition, we have a proprietary trigger mechanism for the ad that prevents it from appearing until the viewer is there, ie., has scrolled down that far on a page. ( If the user scrolls, she’s there.) After the trigger, the ad will auto-play, but with the sound off. Mousing over the ad turns on the sound, and clicking to full screen turns any smart phone or tablet into a full screen video player.
If the visitor doesn’t click, the experience is very much like pre-roll, but unlike that video format it doesn’t prevent the visitor to your site from consuming your content. In a simpler version of the “Skip Ad” feature on many sites, this format, which we are calling InArticle for now, allows a reader to keep scrolling if she doesn’t wish to view the ad.
A because ZINC is part of ZEDO and works with the ZEDO network of Tier 1 publishers and news sites, InArticle has gotten the publisher adoption to allow you to scale your ads globally. We have hundreds of sites, a publisher network that allows marketers to access the right audience with their existing video assets. No creative customization is necessary.
Feel free to email adsales@zincx.com to learn more about this novel, ideal branding message platform.

 

ZEDO’s Next Gen Ad Server Draws Praise

Users of ZEDO’s new cloud-based ad server seem to be very happy with the amount of improvement it gives them. We are migrating our clients to the new server and collecting feedback. We’re receiving a great deal of positive feedback on our implementation and customer service processes company-wide, but here are the specific claims we feel we can make  as a result of the new back end we have built:

* New Ads push live within 5 minutes. A HUGE jump from the current average 20-30 minutes

* Trafficking errors can be fixed must faster, reducing loss

* Urgent advertiser requests to start/stop/increase/reduce/move can be granted with a much lower ETA

* Changes to existing ads or pauses are within two minutes or less

* Better inventory control and optimization control, especially if you are running more banners in rotation with specific impression limit goals.

* No longer will ads over deliver / under serve on new channels because of insufficient history

* The odds that an ad will over deliver due to unexpected spikes in traffic have been significantly reduced.

* If you had a many channels and were worried about ads with small limits not serving on all the channels, that won’t happen anymore

* If you use campaign limits, you will see a significant improvement in the delivery of ads, they will distribute better across channels, serve more evenly across days and within a day, and meet limits more often.

* By the end of July, we will also support competing campaigns and roadblock campaigns

But it doesn’t matter much what we claim, unless the customer sees it himself.  So here is what one customer said:

“This is to confirm that we’ve noticed a huge jump, exactly  as you’ve said we would. Much less time launching and pausing the campaigns, many fewer over-delivered impressions and more accurate impression distribution evenly and over the multiple channels.”

Kudos to our entire team for making our customers happy. It makes the effort we put into sustaining our technology leadership worthwhile.

ZEDO Advertising Technology Updates – July 2013

New Revenue type: Cost Per Engagement [CPE]

With video ad serving growing rapidly, advertisers need to be sure that their video ads are engaging viewers and generating interest about their products. Viewer engagement is measured by events:  start, midpoint view, full screen views, etc., that are defined by VAST video standards. These metrics give good insight into video ad performance.

Advertisers want to be able to pay publishers based on these events. Our new Cost per Engagement [CPE] revenue type lets publishers track this type of payment and allocate campaigns based on the event they will be paid for. This makes it easier for users to manage campaign revenue based on engagements.

Screenshots:

Create Campaign:

Report Builder:

Upgrades to VAST

VAST reports in access control

We’ve built some exciting features like VAST Events and Cost per Day revenue type. Reporting for these features was previously available only for administrative users.

Now, administrative users can allow any role type to see these reports.

Screenshot:

Daily breakdown for VAST reports

Until now, users could see only Summary data for VAST Events. We have added a Daily data breakdown option to the VAST Event report.

Expanded access to VAST ad trafficking template

The VAST ad trafficking template will now be available for Custom Ad Trafficker and Publisher Ad Trafficker role types.

Channel sets for VAST video channels

Several of our customers have asked that we extend our Channel Sets functionality to work for VAST video channels – so we did. You can now create a Channel Set for your VAST Enabled Channels.

Clone VAST Ads

Cloning functionality has been added for VAST ads.

Targeting Template For All Ad Types

Earlier this year we introduced targeting templates in our ad trafficking form, which allowed ad traffickers to save common settings as a template, making it faster to traffic highly targeted ads, (and making life easier for them!)

Initially this feature was released only for a few ad types. However, now we have updated this feature and made it available for all ad formats.

So we have just made this feature even more useful. Stay tuned, there is more to come!

iframe Buster in Ad Tag Generator

Because many customers use iframe tags to serve Rich Media ads, we’ve simplified the process of including an iframe buster in the ad tag.

When you generate an iframe ad tag, simply selecting Add iframe buster will add a placeholder for the buster file path (or you can include the path yourself, if you know it). There’s a link to the implementation guide for the feature right on the page.

Apply targeting template to multiple ads in Ad Search

Ad Search is much more than just a simple search. Now you can apply a Targeting Template to multiple ads (even ones belonging to different Advertisers and Campaigns) in a single step, using the new ‘Update targeting Template’ feature on the Search page (Campaigns tab >> Search sublink).

Screenshot with “Update targeting template” clicked

Praise for ZEDO Support

It can make an entire company’s day when a customer shares praise for its product or service. We’re fortunate, because we get quite a few emails of thanks, especially for our support.

Every time we receive one, we make a point of sending out a company-wide message to acknowledge the  team. The support team is one of the most important parts of any company, yet often it’s sales that gets the glory — the commissions, the rewards, the motivational treatment. But sales is only as good as the company’s support, because losing customers makes the sales team’s work irrelevant.

In an industry as complex as advertising technology,  with a product as familiar as an ad server, ZEDO differentiates on its forward-thinking technology and its support. Our sales team actually can “sell” our support.

So here’s the latest compliment. “I just wanted to send a quick note relaying some feedback I received from one of my clients… about a week ago….He had nothing but great things to say about the support team that has been helping him over the past few years. He then sent the following note (pasted below) to our support team reiterating that point. This is great feedback to get from a client and thanks to everyone on the support staff for being such a great resource.

*From Client

Hello Everyone,

I work a lot of support staff both at work and personally and I want to let you know you all are really the best.  I can’t begin to thank you for the help you have given me and how patient and nice you all are.”

We’re proud of our support team!

Digital Spend by Big Agencies Now Approaches 25%

Not that this is really news to anyone, but advertising dollars continue to shift online.  Four of the Big 6 agency holding companies, Aegis, Havas, Interpublic, and Publicis have contributed to a report by Standard Media Index, which is the best view to date of how dollars are allocated by big agencies on behalf of global brands.

Fueled by double digit growth in every sub-segment, overall digital spending rose 17% during the first quarter to 23.5% of agency media buys.

While mobile (+92%) and exchange-based digital buys (+46%) were the fastest growing sectors, display (+12%) and search (+12%) still account for dominant shares of digital spending. During the first quarter, direct-from-publisher display advertising accounted for 8.6%, and search accounted for 6.2% of all buys made by the major agencies.

We have been anticipating this shift, and have moved ZEDO in several new directions to accommodate it. Behind the scenes, we have strengthened our ad server for greater security, scalability, response time and redundancy. We have made more than two dozen new development, implementation, and account management hires during the last two quarters as we continue to grow with the industry we pioneered. And we are opening our New York office, hopefully on Madison Avenue.
On the product side, far more visible are our high impact formats, which are available to agencies through our new ZINC platform and available to publishers for direct and programmatic sales through ZEDO. Those formats, many tested by ComScore at 99% viewability, include the InView Slider, and FullScreen Video on the Web, the most engaging formats in the industry at this point.
With all the changes in how advertising is bought, display advertising spend still increased 10% in 2012, partly because Latin America is coming online. One of the reasons we strengthened our ad server was to get ready for this global scale as 2 billion people come on the internet this year, many of them through mobile devices. Our high impact formats work well on those devices, especially in the fast-growing tablet market — the favorite way to read news for most consumers.
These formats fit right into where marketers are going: away from direct response, where falling CTRs and falling CPMs are driving both the advertising and the publishing side of the industry to a bottom, and toward brand building — where online advertising will be far more effective. Marketers say brand advertising will pass direct response this year:

63% of marketers project that the dollars allocated to online brand advertising will grow in 2013, while one in five believe the increase will exceed 20%, according to Vizu, a Nielsen company, and the CMO Council.

 

We’re happy to see better creative, which comes with brand advertising, come into the industry at last. We’re sure it will help realize the potential of digital advertising.

 

 
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Agencies Love Our TV Ads on the Web

ZINC Sells High Impact FormatsZinc offers agencies and advertisers premium high impact formats across pc, mobile and tablet. Many of Zinc’s high impact units are guaranteed 99% viewable by comScore, making them the best branding vehicle in the market.
 
ZINC was founded by ZEDO, the world’s largest independent ad server, pioneering leading digital ad solutions for over 13 years.

In 2007, we announced the launch of  ZincX, a place where advertisers could buy guaranteed premium inventory. Six years later, we are expanding the concept. The main activity of ZINC is to help agencies bring their TV to the web with our  high impact formats.

During the past year, we’ve developed several ways in which advertisers can take their TV creative straight to the web — without adapting it. We have four different formats:

1. InView with video
2. Full Screen TV Ads. 300×250
3. Double video. 300×250
4. Rotating screen shots. 300×250

Our TV Ads on the Web give higher performance and more great inventory.  They are easy to buy and execute: agencies can just email us their TV commercials.

ZINC  has always been different and better than other companies. ZINC  offers only high-visibility, premium advertising positions on high traffic sites. ZINC’s web based interface offers real-time management of campaigns, instant reporting access at any time, and aggressive pricing that allows advertisers to maximize their media budgets. Inventory availability is clear and transparent  and agencies see real-time inventory and actual pricing.

To schedule a demo, or to find out more, contact lana(at)zincx.com

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High Impact Formats Are Engaging

This is going to be another confusing year for publishers, as the advertising trend shifts to programmatic buying. In most cases, we think this shift is a good thing, because it will simplify and automate many outmoded and inaccurate processes.  We were among the first to launch an automated platform for advertisers, and now we encourage our partners to use as many ad networks as they can in order to best monetize their sites.

But what happens to eCPMs in this process?  They could, conceivably fall further, or at best  stay the same. For example, the New York Times paywall, while is has created an overall increase in revenues and a more stable subscriber base for the Times, has not raised their eCPMs.

This is complicated, because we have to start from the premise that eCPMs are still the right way to charge for online advertising, and it’s becoming more and more obvious they are poor pricing tools. But we have nothing else for the moment, so assuming we’re still going to charge by CPMs, how do we get them higher?

One way is by trying out innovative formats that generate more viewable impressions. ZEDO believes, and we can back this up with metrics from both Nielsen and Comscore, that what’s important is that an ad  gets viewed, or in our language,  is not a simple display ad, but a high impact format. 2013 will be the year of viewable impressions, a movement championed by the IAB and many other industry thought leaders.

We were far out front of this movement with our InView Slider, which boasts 99% viewability month after month for the publishers  who use it. And the Slider isn’t sold through anonymous network; it is often sold through direct sales, commanding far higher eCPMS.

Now, we’re not saying the eCPM is an effective measurement for online advertising, and we are participating in efforts to come up with a better pricing model, especially for tablets and mobile, but right now it’s the only model the industry has, and we’re stuck with it. So we’re committed to offering formats whose higher viewability and impact make advertisers  willing to pay more for them.

A good example of this is our full-screen video, in which an ad expands to fill the screen and audio begins when a viewer mouses over it, or our expandable  mouse-rollover ads. These ads command higher prices, because they get more attention.

Some of these formats are so innovative that they’re not even on our site yet, but are only available to our customers and partners by scheduling a demo. I know every ad tech company says they will increase ROI, but how many of them have been around long enough to back their claims with numbers? As one of the veterans and thought leaders in the industry, we would like to re-introduce ourselves to you through our high impact formats and viewable impressions, as well as our standard ad server offerings.

During the past year, we’ve developed more than half a dozen  of these high impact formats that generate better viewability metrics. Along with the Inview Slider, many others have tested at 99% in view.  Our full screen video ads generate consistently higher eCPMs and engagement numbers, and when we show them to new prospects they often cause the people we’re meeting with to call the president or the GM into the meeting immediately. That’s how impressive they are.

The second way is by selling these innovative formats directly instead of putting them out with the remnant inventory. We’re a fully-featured ad server for direct sales, but you can sell these formats directly even if you’re not using us as an ad server.

In fact, many of our newest and best technologies are independent of our ad server, so if you already use an ad server and it’s not us, no worries. You can still benefit from the higher prices you will get from our cool new formats. And so far, I think we’re the only people who have them; we’re not seeing them around just yet, except from our own publisher partners.

 

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ZEDO Partners with GeoSurf to Target Global Markets

Winning in the online advertising world requires smart strategy combined with smart tools. Partnering with GeoSurf has allowed us to deliver the best possible service.

Our aim is simple, to ensure that our clients get the best return possible on their ad spend, or the best revenue for their ad inventory. For us to meet these standards we need a reliable, professional tool that allows us to see what is going on in the online world, in every market, in real time. GeoSurf provides us with a fast, reliable proxy tool and a great display analytics solution.

ZEDO Partners with GeoSurf

GeoSurf Delivers ZEDO Global Intelligence

 

 

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New comScore Report Underscores Viewability Metric

The new report from comScore, ”The Digital Future in Focus 2013,″ had some surprising numbers about how fast the digital media market is growing.

A staggering 5.3 trillion display ad impressions were delivered in the U.S. throughout 2012, with Q4 seeing the most at 1.4 trillion – up 6 percent from the previous year. Closing out the year with the greatest number of impressions delivered were advertisers belonging to the Online Media, Retail, and Finance categories, led by InterActiveCorp, Netflix and State Farm Group.

The top ten advertisers online were AT&T with 104.8 billion ad impressions in 2012. Microsoft, which debuted Windows 8 and the Surface tablet this year with 47.4 billion impressions, rose several spots from 2011. Experian Interactive ranked third with 45.1 billion impressions. Newcomers to the display ad leaderboard included State Farm (35.7 billion impressions), Weight Watchers (34.2 billion impressions), Walt Disney Company (27.0 billion impressions) and Procter & Gamble (26.7 billion impressions).
In addition to the big advertisers, the election in Q4 turned digital media into the same battleground we saw on television. The Romney campaign delivered more than a billion display ads, while Obama, who began advertising earlier, peaked at 2.5 billion.

And along with the growth of programmatic buying, 2012 also saw the the proliferation of non-standard ad units, especially for tablets and mobile devices.

The following two things stood out in comScore’s research.
1) “The U.S. online video market also shows signs of maturing from a consumption standpoint, but monetization is picking up steam …., while traditional media players are finding success with carrying TV commercial content. With the demand for high-impact video advertising exceeding the available inventory, look for the online video market to continue its strong monetization momentum – particularly as targeting improves.”
2) comScore research also showed that “an average of 3 in 10 ads are never rendered in-view, leading to significant waste, weaker campaign performance and a glut of poor-performing inventory that imbalances the supply-and-demand equation and depresses CPMs.”

ZEDO High impact formats address both of these key points raised by comScore. We define High Impact Formats as a way for the advertiser to give us standard creative (728×90, 300×250, 160×600 or a TV commercial) for ZEDO to serve on the page.

ZEDO’s Full Screen TV Ads address the first key point in comScore research; they are a way to run TV commercials on high quality brand-safe content sites.

This format is not just a small pre-roll format and not confined to the very limited over-priced inventory associated with brand-safe pre-roll. Instead ZEDO serves the ads on the best sites and they are viewed full screen by the viewer – just like TV. The advertisers love this: easy to buy (just send the TV commercial video file), brand safe sites, lower cost and higher reach than pre-roll and it plays full screen.

ZEDO’s InView format addresses the second point in the comScore research. Simply put we guarantee 99% viewability. Brand advertisers love this – and buy as much as they can get.

Programmatic v. Direct? It’s Not Either/Or

Like you, we at ZEDO read all the trades every day, and we’re always amused by the constant hyperbole: programmatic buying, or RTB , is destroying premium placements. Branded content, or native ads, are the only salvation for publishers. Media buying based on personal relationships has gone away. Only ads in social streams really draw response.  You’ve seen all these arguments.

As usual, some of them are partly true, and much of  them are not. It’s never an either/or situation for either brands or publishers. The fact of the matter is that many different kinds of ad buying should and do co-exist. First of all, not every ad is a performance ad. Many brands simply want their advertising to provide “brand lift,” and others just want constant top of mind awareness. After all, we don’t buy a new car every day, but when we do each manufacturer wants us to think of its brand as the most highly rated, the most cost-efficient, the safest. For that, they will use high impact to create awareness and also use RTB to buy retargeting to interested users for weeks following the high impact.

Brand lift ads are the most suitable for direct selling at premium CPMs. They sell especially well if they are interactive, contain video that can be expanded to full screen by the viewer, slide on and off the page only when the viewer is present, or shuffle among several ads in the same space.

Our publisher partners have given us the research to prove these points. While we do serve ads globally , run an exchange,   and provide the tools for self-service selling, the publishers who reap the highest revenues are the ones that combine programmatic with premium: they reserve some of their inventory for direct sales at higher CPMs.

We have to remember that algorithms can accomplish a lot, but not everything. We are still in a period of transition, and as we continue to generate better and better data about our customers, we’ll know more about which placements can and should be premium. At the same time, brands are learning more about their customers, and will know what’s the most valuable place for them to be seen. Context will also be important here.

None of this is happening over night, and to discount the revenue possibilities of direct selling is to write off money well before its time.