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5 Simple Programmatic Video Mistakes You Can Avoid

Anyone working in the programmatic space knows the industry is moving quickly, changing quickly and can confuse quickly!

Problems can arise and then be solved in the blink of an eye, and sometimes it can be difficult to know whether the issues one person is experiencing are industry-wide, or specific to a particular situation.

To help, we’ve laid out some of the biggest things annoying our partners right now and how you can tackle them, so you know you’re not alone!


1. Mismatched Wrappers

We still find that VAST wrappers are widely used in video advertising, usually for brand safety and viewability tracking. While they offer big benefits, they also add a layer of complexity. Every additional wrapper needs to be unwrapped, adding latency to ad load times. This is even more crucial on mobile, where data connections are worse and users are less tolerant of slow loading content.

Each additional wrapper also increases the likelihood of information being passed through incorrectly. Problems can occur if the child wrapper is incompatible with its parent wrapper (for example Flash VPAID loading inside JS VPAID).


2. Format Incompatibility

Knowing the different creative types and where they are supported is key to running a successful video campaign. Delivery issues often arise when an ad tag is trying to serve an incompatible file type. One common example is serving Flash creative on mobile, or a desktop browser that does not support Flash*.

*It’s worth noting that very soon Google will kill Flash support across its products, meaning this problem is even more pressing. You can read our guide to preparing for the Flashpocalypse here.


3. Large Video File Sizes Cause Frustration

With larger creative file sizes in video, it’s important to take user device information into consideration. Larger video file sizes on mobile can cause latency issues due to slower connections, and have a negative impact on video play rates. Mobile data connections are improving at a rapid pace, especially with 5G on the horizon, which has been one of the driving forces behind the rise in mobile video, but it’s still a consideration to be aware of, as there are performance and user experience risks to getting it wrong.


4. UX, UX, UX!

Make sure you are targeting creatives to the right format. For example, outstream (as opposed to instream) is not blocking access to content, so there is no need to traffic a skip button or a countdown to content.

Running the same creative in different ad formats can actually have a negative effect on user experience and confuse the user, so pick the one that best suits your KPIs.


5. Communication & Targeting

With targeting being applied on both the DSP and the SSP side, communicating the specifics is paramount to running a successful campaign. A painful example of this is a commonly seen issue where Deal IDs are throttled to one geo on the SSP side, the to another on the DSP side. So make sure your DSP and SSP are talking to each other and their efforts are aligned!

It’s also well-documented that 3rd party cookies often don’t work well on mobile devices, so you are potentially missing out on the opportunity to hit your target audience if you’re not paying close attention.We hope that’s helped (a little). As always, if you want to speak to one of our programmatic whizzes, then please get in touch below.