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How to End the Run of Ad Blockers

This week the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced a series of town halls to enlist member input on the creation of new global standards for ensuring advertising’s survival in the age of ad blockers. Meanwhile, Brightcove, one of the leading video ad platforms, announced a way for advertisers to circumvent the blockers.

It’s based on something Brightcove calls server-side ad insertion (SSAI), a process-diverter that eliminates the step that allows ad blockers to do their damage. “In the traditional method of serving a pre-roll video ad, the video server calls up the ad server—a LiveRail or a Freewheel—which plays the ad. Ad blockers work by stopping the call to the ad server,” explains Brightcove CEO David Mendels. “So when someone hits play, instead of calling the ad server, we dynamically stitch the ad into the video.”

The system, which also works for mid-roll video ads, plays within the IAB’s Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) and operates with all major ad servers. It allows publishers to continue delivering interactive features such as scrubber blocking, mid-roll ad break enforcement, click-through tracking, and companion ads.

Beyond end-running the ad blocker, SSAI pays dividends for users in the area of video quality and viewer satisfaction, maintains Mendels (left). “It’ still ultimately up to the viewers whether they want to watch an ad that’s been served, and SSAI gives them a better, more seamless experience. It’s more like what you get on TV,” he says.

Improving on the invasive and disruptive nature of online advertising is a topic that’s on IAB’s agenda for the town hall it will be hosting on Monday in New York. Additional meetings in San Francisco and London are planned for later next month.

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