Video Ad Zones: Your New Best Defence

Ensuring that every video ad is delivered across every campaign is paramount.  

If the demand is there, then money is on the table; and no one wants to leave money on the table.

Every day OTT rev ops teams spend considerable time and energy monitoring and troubleshooting ad delivery, all to make sure every penny is gathered up. 

To help with this, Watching That’s Customer Success team has developed the Video Ad Zones concept.

An approach to ad delivery management that will optimise a team’s agility to respond to trouble, leading to quicker identification of the cause, quicker resource assignment and, ultimately, a quicker resolution.

What Are These Video Ad Zones?

The sequence of filling an ad slot with an ad is the same every time:

  • A request needs to be made for the ad;
  • An ad needs to be selected, if available; and
  • The ad creative needs to load and play.

Deceptively simple, these three stages represent the 3 Zones of the Video Ad Flow.  Or, in other words, the 3 Video Ad Zones:

  • Request Zone : everything that happens to create and fire the ad request;
  • Response Zone: all the steps that go into determining if there is an ad available;
  • Playback Zone: the sequence that loads and renders the ad creative for the viewer.

By segmenting the video ad delivery flow into these groups, teams can react more effectively and efficiently to any delivery issue and trouble.

Ad Zones diagram

How Do These Zones Help Us?

In sports like basketball, a Zone Defence is a very effective way of organising a team under attack.  

The same applies with video ad troubleshooting.  

Revops teams can deploy the Video Ad Zones concept as a defensive structure that requires less endurance and energy from the team but still provides complete coverage of all potential areas of faults.

By understanding that an ad delivery failed in the Playback Zone your team immediately knows what it’s not (your code on page is working, the demand returned an ad) and what it is (the creative format might not be compatible with the platform it’s playing on).

Without the Zone structure your team would have to start with identifying the error code marking the failed attempt. That would then require a mapping from code to potential cause and from there a breadcrumb trail through systems and platforms to find the root cause. 

During this time you wouldn’t be able to discount what it’s not and all elements of the team would be active and focused on all potential reasons, draining energy and diverting attention.  

What’s The Power Behind The Zones?

Really what is happening by adopting the Video Ad Zone concept is you are changing your perspective towards one of Observability.  A hefty term that basically means you’re looking at your Ad Delivery system and sequence holistically and matching what’s going in to what’s coming out learning how it works with the ultimate goal of mastering it. 

By visualising your Video Ad Supply as just that- a Supply you immediately see the stages that make up the sequence. 

From there you can map all the potential areas of fault denoted by the error codes that are readily available to you: VAST, Player Errors, Log Errors etc. 

This mapping powers the Video Ad Zone idea and we maintain a handy list of all Video Ad Errors here for your reference. 

How Do We Get Started With Video Ad Zones?

First have a read of our post explaining the Video Ad Flow and familiarize yourself with the general sequence of the Video Ad Delivery.

From there you can either introduce a platform like Watching That or create the mapping between the delivery errors and your unfilled inventory reports to identify where your video ad campaigns and programmatic sells are failing. 

Screenshot 2021-11-05 at 14.51.33

Finally link your resources to the 3 Zones.  For the Request Zone connect with your engineering team, for the Response Zone your Ad Sales team and the Creative Zone your campaign / trafficking team. 

With that all in place you can set up a simple notification process that allows you to dispatch tickets for action directed by which Zone the issue resides in. 

Before too long you’ll start seeing less ad delivery errors and much quick time to resolution; without all the exhaustion!