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Digital Initiatives 


Ad-ID officially hit its stride only six years after its launch. The response to the platform throughout 2008 proved nothing short of extraordinary; there are now more than 700 advertisers signed up, including 65 of the top 100.

High Definition coding was introduced to the system—with sales expected to exceed $1.5 million dollars, and more than 100,000 Ad-ID codes were generated across all media. Based on current projections, the loans from the 4A’s and the ANA that were used to launch Ad-ID will be paid off by 2010.

The new mission of Ad-ID is to “cultivate partnerships with stakeholders throughout the marketing-communications landscape—including advertising, production, distribution, archival, and the media, to improve marketing accountability, to reduce human error, and to bring value to the advertiser.” The project has taken hold and announcements of real integration are being made:

  • Syncro Services, a provider of commercial distribution services, announced that its spot-ordering system has been integrated with Ad-ID’s database to create operational efficiencies and leadership in asset management and post-production technology.
  • MediaBank, a leading provider of integrated technology solutions to help agencies better manage the end-to-end media buying process, announced their product suite will also now integrate with Ad-ID to allow advertisers and agencies to more effectively manage metadata and measure performance throughout any media campaign lifecycle.

In addition to these developments, Ad-ID also introduced new pricing options for advertisers of all sizes—from those that create a limited number of ads to small retail advertisers that may not spend a great deal of money but create multiple versions of a creative message. Ad-ID also introduced a Direct Response advertiser program, based upon requests from the media.

For Ad-ID, communications and outreach were both major focuses in 2008:

  • More 4,000 informational letters were sent out, with led to more than 1,500 follow-up calls.
  • Five Webinars were held, with more than 600 people attending.
  • More than 130 Webex demos were held.
  • Nearly 1,000 meetings and conference calls.
  • To meet the needs of our Midwest and West Coast users, we extended customer service hours to 5 pm Pacific Time.

Going further, Ad-ID established two advisory councils, in New York and Los Angeles, comprised of advertisers, agencies, professional associations and the media. These councils will make sure that the platform responds to the needs of the industry and enables industry dialogue; already, the councils have enabled dialogue between broadcasters, professional associations, agencies and advertisers with regards to Active Format Description (AFD), which will be used by television broadcasters after the transition to digital television to enable both 4:3 and 16:9 television sets to optimally present pictures transmitted in either format.

Working with Partners and Other Associations

The topic of “commercial content identification” has become such a hot topic, that Ad-ID’s managing director co-authored and presented a white paper called “Content ID: The Elephant in the Room” to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) in Los Angeles this past fall, attended by media outlets and their vendors.

The Radio Advertising Bureau has embarked on a partnership with Ad-ID, designed to make radio commercials as interactive as the purchase-enabled songs to which they’re attached. By combining existing radio tagging technologies with Ad-ID, a consumer can “tag” an ad, and get deeper information from the sponsor or be handed off to a sponsor Web site (or both). This is a very powerful technology that will convert static/impression-based advertising into lead-generating interactive advertising. HD radios and some MP3 players will display text messages and graphic images that are linked by Ad-ID).

Ad-ID has partnered with Adobe Systems, Inc. and IDEAlliance in XMP Open, an initiative to advance Adobe’s Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) as an open industry specification. XMP is a labeling technology that allows data about a file, known as metadata, to be embedded into the file itself, which will enable the seamless management of assets throughout an end-to-end digital supply chain. Adobe has given the industry a good starting point by developing the XMP specification far enough to support standardized metadata handling for its own Creative Suite products. But to extend this killer concept across the broader digital-asset supply chain, industry education and outreach, along with critical new development, must be supported.

Ad-ID has been involved in conversations at the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the Society of Cable Television Engineers (SCTE), the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). These conversations are necessary so that the needs of the advertiser and advertising agencies are taken into consideration, not only as it relates to asset coding and metadata, but in broader issues relating to advertising content. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has included Ad-ID in its Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) standard which describes current practices within the online digital video advertising business.

eBiz for media

The Televison Bureau of Advertising (TVB) ePort project is now using the 4A’s registry of trading partners. TVB ePort is an electronic bridge over which any trading partner (buyer, station, rep) can send any transaction (e.g., order, makegood), and from which any trading partner can receive any transaction, whether national or local. There are currently over 700 stations, and 30 agencies using ePort to send orders.

The eBiz for media registry is now being run on an annual break-even basis.

The future of fully digital workflows looks promising as business practices and technology innovation converge to benefit all participants and Ad-ID is leading the charge on behalf of advertisers, agencies and the entire industry.

Project Reinvention

The Committees for Spot TV and the Internet—which include agencies, the media, and trade associations (4A’s, TVB and IAB)—have been looking at issues relating to measurement, ordering, and simplifying the process of buying those media. A consensus on a number of these issues, including cancellations, preemptions, what kind of ratings service the industry should use, posting practices, and methods, will be presented at a session in March at the 4A’s Media Conference and Tradeshow in New Orleans.

Ahead in 2009

More partnerships in the area of commercial production, broadcast commercial distribution, digital asset management, interactive media, Internet protocol television, video on demand, out-of-home video advertising, and print media are in active discussion, and will begin to show results in 2009.

Also, interest has been shown in rolling Ad-ID out in other countries; informational efforts will begin in 2009 with some adoption expected in 2010.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has included the use of the ebiz for media registry in all of its standards documents. Look for trials to begin in late 2009 and more increased adoption in 2010.

Finally, a new initiative, “Operation Bonehead Simple,” will go beyond counting exposures and serve as a means to measure what happens after the exposure but before the click. The objective is to create new metrics that will apply across all media platforms when consumers “engage” with an ad, but before they click to complete a transaction.

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