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How A Blank Video Ad Woke Me from a Dead Sleep

July 6, 2015

Recently, I was at an Ad Ops meetup in NY, and met one of GeoEdge’s partners. After we got to talking, he told me a story of what led him to partner with us. The story has really stuck with me, so I’m going to share it with you (just like he told it):



“It’s 11:37 pm. Jungle Fever starts playing as my phone display lights up. The VP of Monetization is calling me. I mumble a-half-asleep-but-trying-to-be-alert, ‘Hello.’  He tells me that he just left an important meeting somewhere across the world, and while trying to demonstrate our innovation by streaming a video from our site, he (among all the other professionals in the room) ended up looking at a blank screen for a full minute.”

I understand from his explanation that a pre-roll video ad must have failed to run.

“Now he is yelling in my ear about how unprofessional this is and how it affects our brand reputation. Without coming up for air, he continues with how this will have a negative impact on the user experience and ultimately, the company’s success and revenue stream.”


“When I hang up the phone, there are a few things to do.

First: Figure out whose video ad ran blank (and why?). The only information I have is the location of the hotel and the time it didn’t run. To replicate this same scenario is next to impossible, but I must attempt.

Second: Once I figure out who’s at fault (if I manage to), I need to call them up and demand that they make sure this doesn’t happen again. And they will agree. But we both know they can’t really control this kind of outcome, and it will probably happen again.

Third: Look for a video ad verification solution that automates this process for me so that I won’t get these calls in the middle of the night. Or if I do, I can easily access the delivery path details within seconds so I can stop the campaign. And that’s where you guys came in.”


I enjoyed hearing his story. Not only did it reaffirm for me how pressing the need for a video ad verification solution is, but also demonstrates how much pressure publishers are under to deliver a clean and engaging experience.


Video ad verification is a new technology emerging in the advertising industry as it gets increasingly difficult to solve video ad execution failures. Problems arise like: slow load time, auto sound play, wrong video player, malware hidden in the delivery path, etc. These types of issues are exactly what publishers want to avoid since they don’t want to alienate their visitors or lose revenue.


Often, an (end) user’s experience is disturbed by an obnoxious sound autoplay or slow loading video, so publishers not only need visibility to all served video ads, but the ability to identify and track noncompliant ones. This way, the publisher will know in real-time if a served video ad is breaching their policies and then they can stop the campaign. Unless, of course, they don’t mind a 11:37 pm wake-up call.






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