This is the fourth blog post aiming to test and compare various VAST implementations and document our finds. We will focus on some aspects regarding companion ads in VAST. For the complete battery tests we highly recommend reading: part 1, part 2, part 3.
A companion ad is a banner designed to be displayed adjacent to the video player. It is paired with an in-stream video ad, or a video overlay from the same advertiser. A video ad can be accompanied by several companions.
Companion ads can be specified both at Vast Wrapper and Vast Inline Response levels. Considering a chain of Vast Wrappers each with overlapping Companion ad units, a question arises: Which Companion Ad to display? VAST spec addresses this issue and states that the companion ad unit closest to the displayed ad should be shown.
Consider the VAST Wrapper Chain:
- VAST Wrapper Ad (Companion width=”728″ height=”90″, Companion width=”160″ height=”600″)
- Wrapper Ad (No companions)
- Inline Ad (Linear, Companion width=”728″ height=”90″, Companion width=”480″ height=”32″, Companion width=”160″ height=”600″ etc)
Expected behavior: We have several companion units with the same dimensions: both on the first VAST Wrapper and the VAST Inline Ad. According to the VAST spec, the companions accompanying the Inline Ad should be preferred.
Conclusion: Testing this VAST resource JW Player will display the companions featured inside the first wrapper instead of those from Inline Ad level (no. 3 from list).
Now, Varrando sails the VAST waters avoiding rookie pitfalls such as these. Varrando Player matches the correct companions with the displayed video ad.