I just got back from Ad:Tech New York and it was quite an exhausting experience. My voice is still hoarse from talking to so many people, and my feet still ache from walking to and from the convention center. Overall, the conference was a great success for us. I got to meet face to face with clients, shout out to the guys at New Era Media, and walk through the AVID platform with a lot of publishers, advertisers, and affiliates. Here are some of my take aways from the conference.
The AVID Team
We had a great team from AVID at the conference. Attendees were always happy with how engaging and knowledgeable the team was both in terms of the ad server product, as well as the insights we were able to share on the future of digital advertising. I’ll go in to more detail about the main insight we shared later on in this blog entry. I want to say, though, how seamless the whole experience was. Our team really came together to get this event organized, from the special events coordinator who made all the conference and travel arrangements, to the design team for creating an eye-catching booth display, to the sales people on the floor creating interest in the AVID message. The Ad:Tech staff was great too. The only hiccup came at the beginning of the conference as we were setting up, the monitor only had inputs for VGA and DV/I. Our laptops only had outputs for HDMI. The audio/video guy was quick to get us a DV/I cable with a DV/I to HDMI adapter before the conference started, so bonus points to audio/video guy.
One of the coolest things at the conference was to be able to do on-site demos of the AVID platform. Everyone we talked to was impressed with how simple the interface is to navigate, and the ease in which they could use AVID to track all of their advertising campaigns across multiple traffic sources. Most conversations started with either a question about what an ad server does, or a discussion on their current ad server. By far, the most popular ad server being use was DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP), which isn’t surprising since the biggest advantage that DFP has is that its free.
HTML5 and Video
The biggest Ad:Tech take away for me was that advertisers want to be able to serve video and HTML5 ads. The future, if not already the present, of advertising campaigns will focus more on interactive ads. Look at any website and you’ll see that not very many ads are static banners anymore. Now that Flash is not a supported ad format anywhere, the only way to animate your ads is through video or HTML5, with HTML5 clearly winning on desktop traffic. There are huge benefits to this, the main one being that now you aren’t limited by a static ad. Ads can be dynamic and interactive. Using all the tools of CSS and HTML you can bascially create a mini web page in your ad container. I saw a Starbucks ad the other day that had a nav bar in the ad. I talked to a guy at the conference that has an idea for taking a technique that clicks through well on mobile, but using HTML5 to serve similar ads on desktop traffic. If he can pull this off it could be a game changer for affiliates. Part of the key to his success will be AVID.
HTML Ads and AVID
AVID is uniquely designed to take advantage of all that HTML5 has to offer. The hit of our booth was a dynamic HTML ad that was native to MSN.com. The image on the top is a static image ad copied from an ad currently running on MSN.com this morning. The image (actually an iFrame) on the bottom is an AVID Ad Tag that uses native ad styling to add hover over effects, similar to articles and ads native to msn.com.
The ad on top tries to be native using an image. They used the white text with underlining and the logo under the headline. If you were to actually visit MSN.com though you would see that the articles look and act more like the bottom image. If you wanted to change the text in the top ad to say 2019 instead of 2018, you would have to create a new image and upload the new creative. In AVID your native ad is built in the ad server. Just change the headline field in your ad and the text changes instantly across every traffic source where your ad tag is running. With AVID, creating dynamic content has never been easier for publishers, advertisers, and affiliates.
Overall, Ad:Tech was a great success for us. We got some insight into how clients are using the ad server by talking with them face to face. We learned about the new trends in marketing and what potential clients hope to see in future updates. We also made some connections with potential vendors that will help us make AVID faster and more reliable. Check out our AD:Tech pictures below.