IAB Unveils Final Specs for Digital Video Rising Stars Ad Units (Exclusive)

/ Nov 21, 2013


Video is the future of digital marketing — talk to anyone in the digital advertising business and they’ll probably say something along those lines. But figuring out how to bring video — for a long time a pretty static “ad unit” — to the web, and making it compatible with the way consumers interact with digital content, has been a challenge.

A lot of people are trying to figure this out, maybe none more so than the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the industry organization that looks to be a leader for the digital content and advertising space.

Today, the IAB is issuing the final style guide and specifications for its Digital Video Rising Stars ad units — a collection of ad concepts designed to serve as templates for building video advertising experiences for the web. Here are the five formats that the IAB deemed the best to bring interactivity to video advertising:


The Digital Video Rising Stars are part of a broader initiative at the IAB to create standards for interactive and brand-friendly advertising that go beyond pre-rolls and banner ads.

The five winning formats were picked by “a cross-disciplinary group of digital advertising industry influencers” (the IAB is made up of more than 500 media, advertising, and tech companies). Initially, IAB member organizations submitted over 80 entries for consideration as an official Digital Video Rising Star ad unit, according to Peter Minnium, head of brand initiatives at the IAB. After the judging process, which was conducted by a group of agency creative directors and media planners, the IAB pared down the list to 12 winning concepts submitted by the likes of CBS Interactive, DoubleClick, Jivox, Microsoft Advertising, Tremor Video, Yahoo, and YuMe. As Minnium tells it, these 12 concepts were then combined and reformatted into the five winning entries you see above.

The approval process wasn’t done, though. Beginning in late September, these five formats were put through a 30-day public comment period, which gave industry people the opportunity to suggest improvements and modifications.

Though it doesn’t appear marketers needed the IAB to finalize the winning video ad formats before beginning to implement them in their digital marketing campaigns. According to the IAB, by the time the public comment period began, 21 of 25 of the top US brands, including AT&T, Budweiser, Chevrolet, L’Oreal Paris, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Samsung, Subway, Toyota, and Verizon, had already started using one or more of the formats.

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