Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

adInterax Review

Friday, February 27th, 2009
Posted in Web · Tags:

Do you spend a lot of time creating rich media ads (expandable, floating, video, etc ads)? There are vendors that make it much easier to build these. Some ad platforms, such as Yahoo’s APT requires you to use a third party vendor for rich media ads.

One that I’ve had a chance to work with is adInterax, which Yahoo bought a few years ago.

Their UI looks kind of old, but it’s very powerful. You can easily build ads that float, slide across, peel down or expand. It’s also very easy to create templates that you can modify if you sell a particular type of ad often. The ads will update on the fly when changed in their system, so it doesn’t matter if your ads are live in another ad system. You can also track events such as when someone clicks pause, closes a ad and so on and they have good reporting system.

One thing I have noticed though is adInterax re-encodes videos you upload even if they are FLV files. However, when it does so it can mess up the dimensions of the video. For example a video that was 300×200 might get changed to 304×208 and have weird banding issues on it.

So its best to upload the movie as MOV, AVI, etc into adInterax and let them encode it.
I’ve found the following settings for a 300×200 video (for a 300×250 ad) to work best.

High Quality Settings

  • Video Quality: 50%
  • Audio Quality: 75%
  • Audio Channels: Mono
  • Frame Rate: Keep

I leave the Low Quality ones at their defaults.

Make sure the resulting video is less than 3,000k though. You get charged $2 per CPM rather than $1 per CPM for anything over 3,000k. And 3GB is not the same as 3000k, either.

Ads on the Weekends

Monday, February 23rd, 2009
Posted in Web · Tags:

Do you have an ad insertion or management team? And if so do they work on weekends? If not, they probably should. The web isn’t a Monday-Friday deal like the business world, just like the news isn’t just for 9am-5pm or 3 telecasts a day. Even if the economy wasn’t in a recession, it makes sense to make sure you are able to make as many ad spots sold as possible. So why cut the insertion time off on Friday at 5pm? If a sale comes in late Friday and it could be sold for the weekend, why not have staff to do it? And with Yahoo APT‘s BT on Yahoo’s sites everyone is competing with each other to get the impressions sold against each other. So if you could snatch those impressions on a Sunday before the others get around to it on Monday, it might make a big difference.

A Better Way to Promote Than Using House Ads

Saturday, February 21st, 2009
Posted in Web · Tags:

If you have a huge website, chances are that you have some promotions for some of your own products, sections or sites in advertisements which are often called “house ads”. House ads get lower priority than paid ads from customers and even from content based ads as such as Google Adsense, Yahoo! APT or your own ad system. However if you have to pay for house ads on your own site, you really need to see how many house ads you are running. Let’s say you are running 1,000,000 house ads a month and you’re getting charged $0.50 per CPM (cost per thousand impressions) then that means you are spending $500 a month just on house ads.

Now it’s important to promote your own items in many cases, but at what cost? Some people like to show house ads in case there isn’t any available paid ads to let potential clients know there are advertising spots available. But your clients and potential new clients will know the spots are available. Why not just leave the area blank or collapse the area? That would decrease the amount of ad blindness, since ads would not always appear on the site in the same spots. If you really need to promote your products, create a JavaScript snippet that randomizes through an array of text and images and decide where would be best to place those promotions. By making it in an external JavaScript file you could update it on the whenever you wanted. If you really wanted to get fancy you could build something with PHP or some other backend scripting language and send query requests and have it generate promotions dynamically. Then you wouldn’t have to use 10 javascripts to have say random auto links on one page and random real estate links on another. And by not using your ad system to display house ads you won’t get charged.

Another idea would be to frequency cap your house ads (only show them once per user per day). That would reduce the amount that you show, if you really need to show them.

Rich Media Ad Standards

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
Posted in Web · Tags: ,

Often Flash Ads are often considered “Rich Media” ads when they are expandable, floating, stream video, look like a peeldown, or push down content momentarily. JavaScript will often be used with these types of ads to do something different than just appear as a box in one spot.

  • Pick an older version of Flash to support. I recommend supporting back to the Flash 6 (Flash MX) player. Flash 6 supports compression but not FLV video. Flash 7 supports FLV video, but Flash 8’s On VP2 codec is much better for filesize and quality. I would recommend building a player that detects the version of flash the user has and play an appropriate FLV. That means you will have to export the video twice, but if people are paying for ads, they need to be seen. Despite what Adobe’s says the statistics for Flash 8 or even the Flash 9 player on the web are, many people simply do not upgrade Flash for long time. Now if its a video player just showing video, then you can just use Flash 8, because people might upgrade to see videos, but they won’t upgrade to see ads.
  • Set a filesize limit of the SWF. 40k is a good amount but you might make some of your own settings based on the dimensions of the ad.
  • Some advertisers have limits on how many times a ad may loop. Sometimes they will allow you to repeat the loop if someone hovers over the ad.
  • Some ads such as floaters, can be quite annoying so they may put a frequency cap on how many times a person will see the ad, often its set to 1.
  • Some advertisers want a distinct border on ads, so they don’t get mistaken as content.
  • FPS limit – A higher FPS limit makes the animation smoother but also costs more CPU time to render the animation. Flash will generally skip frames or set itself to lower quality if it thinks it needs to. I really cannot see a need for using more than 24 FPS (cartoons use that framerate), usually I just stick with the default of 12 FPS.
  • Sound – Sound should not be played in an ad, people often surf the web while listening to music and the last thing they want to hear is some annoying loop or weird sound blow out their eardrums. However, some advertisers allow for sound when a video is playing or when the ad is moused over after 1 second but then stops if the mouse is moved off of it.
  • Don’t access user’s microphone, webcam or clipboard. This just means they get a security warning or dialog asking them to allow it and they will just say no.
  • Video – You should stream if possible and have an image show up with a play button. That way you don’t force the video to download and play until it’s clicked. I would recomment not to loop the video, but go back to the image with the play button. I recommend having play/pause and unmute/mute buttons. When you unmute the video it should rewind the video and start playing, because the user may have missed part of the audio with the ad. Videos should be no more than 30seconds and be the appropriate size for the ad, don’t scale or stretch the video to force it to fit in the ad. How big should the video be? Yahoo has a limit of 2.2MB, so that is a good standard to follow.