The ABCs of Digital Video Advertising

February 20, 2014 — by Michelle Said    

It may be said that 2014 is the year of video. Sites like eMarketer predict that the spending for online video advertisements this year will exceed $5.8 billion in the United States alone. Which makes sense! Our lives are becoming increasingly reliant on digital video—whether it is via personal computers, mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, or even televisions streaming online content. More viewers means more available impressions, which means that advertisers must join in or get left behind.

As the sheer amount of digital video advertising increases, so does the technology used to create and serve these ads, including programmatic buying. But how do you serve programmatic video ads without knowing the first thing about pre-roll?

We at the New Marketing Institute know how confusing these terms can be. Whether you are new to creating digital ads in general or just new to the streaming space, it’s vital to your success that you understand the language of video.

Here are a few of the key terms we will be explore in our Level 3: Video module, which will premiere on February 26th at 2p.m. To sign up, please email us at

Key Terms: Digital Video Advertising 

Asset: Also called “video asset.” This is the video content of a company, corporation, or individual that can be utilized to create or maintain some sort of financial benefit.

Bit rate: The average number of bits that one second of video or audio data will consume.

Companion banner:  Also called “Companion ad.” Both linear and non-linear video ad products have the option of pairing their core video ad product with what is commonly referred to as companion ads. These ads are commonly display ads, text, rich media or skins alongside the video experience. The primary purpose of the companion ad product is to offer sustained visibility of the sponsor throughout the video content experience. Companion ads may offer click-through interactivity and rich media experiences such as the expansion of the ad for further engagement opportunities.

Completion rate: The percentage of the video that was watched.

Compression: Reducing the amount of data used to represent video assets. Compressed video can effectively reduce the bandwidth required to transmit digital video.

Player: The online vehicle that plays video content and advertisements.

Pre-roll: Pre-roll ads stream before online media presentations.  Other variations include mid-roll, which stream in the middle of an online media presentation, or post-roll, which stream at the end of an online media presentation. Pre-roll ads tend to be the most widely used form of web video marketing.

VAST tag: VAST stands for Video Ad Serving Template, which is a standardization of video ad tags in order to facilitate communication between video players and ad servers.

VoD: VoD stands for video on demand, an umbrella term for a wide set of technologies and companies whose common goal is to enable individuals to select videos from a central server for viewing on a television, computer, or mobile screen.

Viral: A broad term, this is a buzzword referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networking services and other technologies to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives through self-replicating viral processes.

Michelle Said

Michelle Said is the Senior Manager, Business Development and Global Expansion at the New Marketing Institute, and uses her 10 years of experience the online space to educate others in NMI’s industry-leading Introduction to Digital Marketing and Omnichannel certification courses. Prior to joining NMI/MediaMath, she worked in all sides of the industry, first in establishing the certification process at EyeWonder and helping to lead the company’s office in Dublin, Ireland, before trying her hand in the programmatic ad space in account management and yield delivery positions in the ad network world. Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and English from the University of Southern California and watches movies religiously in Brooklyn.