Most of the time our scripts contain information about audio: voice over, sound effects or music. But, often our ads are consumed on a platform that can show additional media, such as a companion image along with a click-through web link. We have released a new feature to allow the choice of companion image and link to be determined by rules, in the same way we do with audio, and we call it Annotations.
Annotations can contain images, links and also impression trackers and allow users to dynamically change a companion image for a richer UI experience. For example, if the ad is talking about sunny weather, then now the companion image can be a sunny picture, and the tracker fired can tell a third party system that the sun creative was played.
Creating an annotation is just as easy as creating any other type of element: select the “Convert to multiple annotations” paperclip icon in the pop-up control:
And then choose the annotation type: companion (image and/or link) or third party impression tracker:
If you selected Companion, the familiar script config panel will appear allowing you to upload a companion image and/or enter a companion link. Here we can configure rules as we normally would:
Based on this configuration the companion image and link would be used if it was a sunny Monday morning and of course we could have multiple annotations with different rules. One for a rainy Tuesday afternoon, for example (Note: Be sure to select an image with the correct width and height depending on where the image will be placed as these dimensions will be used in the tag). If none of the rules are matched, the companion image/link selected on the script level will be used which provides a nice fall back.
Annotations work the same way if a Tracker annotation type is selected. You would enter a URL and an ID and configure the desired rules:
The tracker URL will appear as an impression tag in the VAST response XML. Below you can see how the configuration above affects the response
This new feature enables us to write scripts which are truly personalised: from the lines in the audio through to companion banners. We hope to help users create highly dynamic and imaginative ads!