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Picture this: You're chilling on your couch, streaming your favorite show. In the next ad break, the ad loads slowly and is grainy and pixelated. Clearly, you're frustrated because you expect more from your HD TV and lightning-fast internet connection.

You're not alone. Advertisers and broadcasters hate it when this happens too -- they want you to stay deeply engaged with what you're watching and not be distracted by the streaming experience. But providing TV-quality ad experiences has become challenging with the proliferation of connected TV devices that people use to stream video.

At DoubleClick, we are focused on helping deliver great user experiences by enabling advertisers and TV broadcasters to show seamless, high-quality video ads across all screen sizes and device types.

In this vein, we partnered with the IAB, CBS Interactive, Ad-ID and others last year to develop a new digital video standard that allows advertisers and broadcasters to deliver TV-quality ads to living room screens and devices. This standard, called VAST 4.0, updates previous video standards to work better for the viewing behavior in today’s world.

Today, we’re rolling out support for aspects of VAST 4.0 in DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Bid Manager, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and DoubleClick for Publishers. It was important to launch this standard for both advertisers and broadcasters simultaneously to ensure that the whole ecosystem runs smoothly, from insertion order to ad serving.

To enable optimal viewing experiences on living room screens, we prioritized our focus on two specific aspects of VAST 4.0:

  • TV-quality viewing experiences: TV-quality creative files (known as mezzanine files) uploaded to DoubleClick Campaign Manager and DoubleClick for Publishers can now be passed to services that dynamically stitch ads into video streams (server side ad insertion platforms). This helps ensure a higher quality viewing experience, especially for connected TVs, by enabling the TV-quality ad creative to be transcoded and served in one stream alongside the video content.
  • More efficient ad delivery: A universal ad ID system helps the server side ad insertion platform better identify unique vs. existing creatives, which reduces unnecessary transcodes.

This updated set of standards applies across ad servers and server side ad insertion tools, helping advertisers and broadcasters provide high quality viewing experiences for their audiences.

To learn more about VAST 4.0 and how we’re supporting it in DoubleClick, please register for our webinar, coming up next Monday, 5/22, from 12-1pm ET.

Posted by Peentoo Patel and Sunil Gupta
Product Managers, DoubleClick Video Ads


At DoubleClick, we’re committed to helping our partners deliver great advertising experiences while earning the most from every impression. One way we meet this goal is through native advertising. Native ads match the look, feel and function of their surrounding content, enabling publishers to serve non-disruptive advertising experiences to users.

One year ago, we made native ads on DoubleClick available across all screens — on desktop, mobile web and in apps. Since then, native impressions served through DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) have increased by more than 7x.1 Users are engaging more with these ads than traditional banner ads, so advertisers have ramped up demand as well. Since May 2016, average CPMs for native ads on DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) have significantly increased.2

Today, we’re excited to share some of our partners’ success with native ads and announce new tools for delivering better native ads on DoubleClick.

With higher user engagement, publishers see greater revenue

Native ads on DoubleClick are flexible and dynamic, enabling publishers to optimize their native implementations for better user engagement. In fact, we’ve found that users are more than twice as likely to click on a native ad as opposed to a traditional ad.3

“Moving to DFP native enables us to optimize for better performance. We dictate how we want the ad template to look and A/B test to ensure the best performing position and style combination. This flexibility lets us cater to our partners’ branded content needs. The result is better quality traffic and renewals, a 10% lower bounce rate and a higher average time on page."
- Jen Castillo, Director of Ad Ops, Slate Magazine

Slate is one of many partners benefiting from native ads on DoubleClick. As more publishers recognize the opportunity to increase performance and deliver compelling advertising experiences through native ads, partners such as the New York Times, Vogue, Daily Mail, eBay and Condé Nast are all using DoubleClick to deliver beautiful and responsive native ads.

Publishers are also benefiting from combining the flexibility and engagement of native ads with the scale and efficiency of programmatic. Australia-based real estate marketing provider Domain Group uses DoubleClick to offer advertisers dynamic native ads at scale. In addition to selling directly to advertisers, Domain makes their native ad inventory available on AdX. Compared to traditional banner ads, Domain saw a 38% increase in viewable impressions and a 12% increase in revenue with programmatic native ads.

“Programmatic native allows us to offer a truly differentiated product to our advertisers. They’ve significantly reduced the complexity and time required for our production team to code and compile individual creatives. And they’re driving significantly positive results.”
- Shannon Fitzpatrick, Operations and Performance Director, Domain Group

With better performance, advertisers ramp up on native

As users have responded well to native ads, advertisers have increased their investment. That's why today, we’re excited to announce that programmatic native ads are now available to all advertisers in DoubleClick Bid Manager, allowing more brands to build beautiful ads and deliver them at scale to mobile-first audiences.

In addition to Bid Manager, more than 40 demand-side platforms are currently buying native ads on DoubleClick Ad Exchange, including AppLovin, The TradeDesk, Criteo and Liftoff. And it’s paying off: for third-party DSPs, average click-through rates are more than 4x higher than traditional banner ads.5

“Since launching our support for native ads on AdX, we've seen native ads expand into one of our highest growth channels. We view programmatic native ads as one of the most effective formats for helping our advertiser partners engage with their target audience across all devices through an integrated format."
- Tim Sims, VP of Inventory Partnerships, The Trade Desk.

Growing native adoption with a common language for native ad creatives

To realize the true growth potential of native ads, we need to continue making native ads easier to execute at scale. One key challenge in doing that is ensuring buyers and sellers are speaking a common language when talking about native ad creatives.

The definition of native ads varies across publishers and technology platforms. This causes confusion for advertisers, and without clear guidance on the proper creative assets for effective native ads, they struggle to scale native experiences.

To help solve this problem, we’re launching a new interactive tool that lets advertisers visualize how their native ads could look across different environments. By uploading just one set of creative components, or leveraging sample creatives already supplied in the tool, anyone can see customized native ads dynamically render across multiple websites and devices. For publishers, this tool offers an easy solution for helping their advertising partners preview how their creative assets will assemble to deliver a compelling user experience.

This interactive tool is just the latest step in our ongoing effort to help buyers and sellers create beautiful native ads at scale. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll share new features that make it easier for publishers to create beautiful, high-performing native ads on DoubleClick.

In the meantime, build your native ad today to see what’s possible with native ads on DoubleClick.

Posted by Gabe Bender
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick
1 Internal data, DoubleClick, May 2016 - April 2017
2 Internal data, DoubleClick, May 2016 - April 2017
3 Internal data, DoubleClick, April 2017
4 Internal data, DoubleClick, May 2016 - April 2017
5 Internal data, DoubleClick, March 2017