Version 5.0
AdvertServe User Manual :: v5.0

VAST

Introduction

The IAB's Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) and Video Player-Ad Interface Definition (VPAID) specifications are universal XML schemas for serving ads to digital video players. They provide support for linear pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll MP4 or FLV video ads, interactive Flash and HTML5 VPAID ads and non-linear GIF/JPG/PNG, Flash (SWF), text, HTML, <IFRAME> and <SCRIPT> overlay banners. In addition to this they also specifies video tracking events, which enables measurement of video advertising metrics.

When creating a VAST or VPAID media you have a choice between four different types, which requires some explanation.

VAST Video (Linear)

VAST Overlay (Non-Linear)

To actually integrate your VAST ads with your video player you need a VAST tag. This is simply a HTTP or HTTPS URL that points to your VAST XML feed. As with other media types the code wizard can generate this for you. Simply click on the Generate Code shortcut when editing any VAST campaign, media or zone and it will provide you with a VAST tag that you can easily copy and paste into your video player configuration. Alternatively, you can go directly to the Code Wizard and click on VAST Tag > VAST 2.0 or VAST Tag > VAST 3.0 to generate a VAST tag for a campaign, media or zone.

VAST Versions

Currently the ad server supports both VAST 2.0 and 3.0 (as well as VPAID 2.0), but it is helpful to understand that certain functionality is only supported when using a VAST 3.0 tag with an equally VAST 3.0 compliant player:

As a general rule of thumb you should generate a VAST tag for the most recent version of VAST supported by your video player. If your player is VAST 3.0 compliant use a VAST 3.0 tag. However, if you are not in control of the video player it may be better to use a VAST 2.0 tag as video players that support VAST 3.0 must also be backwards compatible and support VAST 2.0.

Recommended Players

Currently only video players that support VAST 2.0 or 3.0 and VPAID 2.0 are supported. Here we provide a list of recommended players. This is by no means a comprehensive list of compatible players. We recommend these players because they are among the most popular, have complete VAST and VPAID implementations and are well-supported by their developers.

If the player that you use on your web site is not listed please check with the developer of the player to inquire about their support of VAST and VPAID.

Player Configuration

Click on the link below for the video player that you're trying to integrate with your VAST or VPAID tag.

Every video player is different, but what you'll need from the ad server is a VAST tag. This is simply a HTTP or HTTPS URL that points to your VAST XML feed. As with other media types the code wizard can generate this for you.

Simply click on the Generate Code shortcut when editing any VAST or VPAID campaign, media or zone and it will provide you with a VAST tag that you can easily copy and paste into your video player configuration. Alternatively, you can go directly to the Code Wizard and click on VAST Tag > VAST 2.0 or VAST Tag > VAST 3.0 to generate a VAST tag for a campaign, media or zone.

Video Reporting

VAST provides support for tracking impressions and clicks as you would expect. However, it goes beyond this with video ads. You're able to track how many visitors start watching your video ads, watch through the first quarter, midpoint and third quarter of the video and finally how many visitors watch the video ads through to completion. This enables you to effectively measure how engaged your audience is with your video ads.

VAST Video Report Graph

Additional events are provided for measuring mute, unmute, pause, resume, replay, stop and fullscreen events but these are not as useful. Despite this, however, they are still provided in the reports. They are not depicted in the graphs as shown above so that you can focus on visualizing the more important events.