VPAID format

VPAID media planning

If you're a media planner, follow these steps to make sure the creative meets site specifications and the campaign is planned correctly.

  1. Collect site specifications.

    Different sites support different kinds of creative assets. Collect the details below from each publisher. This way you can make sure your developer builds a VPAID creative that every site can handle.

    VAST 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0 and HTML5

    Confirm that the site supports the VAST 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0 standard. Sites must adopt this standard to support in-stream creatives. Otherwise, your videos may not render properly. You should also confirm that your site supports HTML5 VPAID. 

    If your site does not support VAST:

    • Sites on Google Ad Manager: ask the site to work with Ad Manager support.

    • Sites using other vendors (such as Brightcove or Lightningcast): ask the site to work with the vendor.

    • If the site's player is home-built, the site should refer to IAB's VAST compliance page. (Be sure the site can parse a standardized XML response with asset URLs and fit the parsed file into their content management system (CMS)/serving infrastructure.)

    What is VAST?

    Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) is a video tag format based on XML designed to standardize communication between video players and servers, facilitating traffic across various publishing platforms. VAST tags package all video serving files, companions, and tracking pixels for delivery into the publisher’s video player. The publisher’s video player is in charge of rendering and serving these assets and must be VAST complaint in order to accept VAST tags. Released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the VAST template accounts for most of the current practices in the online digital video advertising business.

    VPAID video and animation
    • Aspect ratio: 4:3, 16:9, other
    • Dimensions: 640x360 or higher
    • FPS (frames per second): 18, 24, other
    • Video time before user interaction: 15 seconds, 30 seconds, other
    • Video time after user interaction: 90 seconds, unlimited, other
    • Video type: Progressive, streaming
    • Special video/audio requirements
    • Initial file size: 30 K, 40 K, other
    • Subsequent file size including video: 5MB, 10MB, unlimited, other
    • User-initiated content size: unlimited, other
    • Mouseover or Click-to-expand?
    • Close button/skip button requirements
    Companion banner
    • Do you require a companion banner alongside the VPAID creative?
    • Dimensions: 300x250, 336x280, 728x90, other
    • FPS frames per second: 18, 24, other
    • Animation time: 15 seconds, 30 seconds, other
    • File size: 20 K, 35 K, 40 K, other
    • Ask your publisher if there are any additional requirements.
  2. Use LCD guidelines if necessary.

    If you can't gather all the site-specific details you need before building a creative, your developer should use the lowest common denominator (LCD) guidelines below. These guidelines should help your developer provide a version that is supported on most sites.

    However, this is not a guarantee. It's always best to get site-specific details whenever possible.

    VPAID video and animation
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9
    • Dimensions: 640x360 or higher
    • FPS: 24
    • Video time before user interaction: 30 seconds
    • Video time after user interaction: Unlimited
    • Video type: Progressive load
    • Initial size: 40 K
    • Subsequent size including video:  5 MB
    • User-initiated content size: Unlimited
    • Mouseover or click-to-expand?: Click-to-expand
    Companion banner
    • Some publishers offer companion banners alongside VPAID creatives; this varies widely depending on the publishers on the media plan.
    • Dimensions: Varies by publisher, can include 300x250, 336x280, 728x90
    • Format: Image or HTML5 creatives
    • FPS: 24
    • Animation time: 15 seconds
    • Size: 20 K
    • Some publishers require a close or skip button to close the ad after it has reached its duration (30 seconds).
    • Remember to account for creative graphics scaling to different resolution site video players, such as 640x360 and 480x270 sizes.
  3. Hold a pre-production kickoff call.

    It's a good idea to confirm all your plans with your creative agency and the Studio team. This can help you avoid campaign discrepancies and make sure your ads launch on time.

    General details

    You should discuss details such as campaign launch dates, timelines, ad types, file-size limitations, and tracking capabilities. You should also ask the creative agency to share comps (previews of the creative execution) before the call so that the post-production team is prepared to answer any questions.

    Creative details
    Discuss the key VPAID details below, as well as any relevant topics on the Rich Media kickoff call checklist.


    Key VPAID details:

    • Studio QA only: The creative agency should upload the assets to Studio and publish to QA on their own.
    • Turnaround time: QA is approximately one business day.
    • Companion banner: Ask the creative agency if there's a companion banner alongside the VPAID creatives because the trafficker must upload this to the VPAID linear creative in Campaign Manager after it's pushed from Studio.
    • Scalable and lock aspect ratio:
      • Campaign Manager automatically enables VPAID creatives to be scalable and have a locked aspect ratio. You cannot change this, so the creative agency should build a creative that works well with these properties.
      • Campaign Manager enables these properties by default, but the trafficker can disable them in the creative properties if necessary.
    • Tracking: Ask if all videos in the VPAID creative should have separate tracking and what other elements in the VPAID creative should be custom tracked.

Once your media plan is finalized, it's time to build the creative and set it up in Studio. Move on to VPAID build guides.

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