The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) Board of Directors has announced its unanimous endorsement of Ad-ID as the standard for digital advertising coding. The ANA board wants the marketing ecosystem to embrace the nine-year-old Ad-ID as the industry standard no later than January 1, 2014.
Ad-ID would provide a single, consistent commercial coding system for all advertising assets. Ad-ID is currently at use by more than 800 companies in the US, reports the ANA. Developed jointly by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and the ANA, Ad-ID replaced the previous ISCI commercial coding system in 2003. Now with what ANA calls "substantial advances in digital advertising asset management," ANA’s board wants to accelerate supply chain productivity improvements and syndicated measurement advances.
Until now, coding of advertising assets has taken a variety of forms (including logbooks and spreadsheets managed by agency staff, on the low end). The web-based Ad-ID system generates a unique identifying code for each advertising asset across all media (as unique as a URL or barcode). ANA claims that using Ad-ID improves workflow between agency, advertiser, distributor and medium; also that acceptance by all marketers, media and agencies will unleash $1-2 billion in productivity enhancement across the supply chain; finally, that it will substantially enrich measurement for all syndicated suppliers.
"Syndicated workflow efficiency and syndicated measurement effectiveness are critical imperatives for our industry," said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA. "At a time when media fragmentation is growing and new platforms are being created every day, the ANA board’s endorsement of Ad-ID brings efficiency and precision to the advertising supply chain."
Useful In Automated Content Recognition (ACR)?
Perhaps Ad-ID is useful in automatic content recognition (ACR). Consumer consultancy Weisler Media LLC earlier this week described the need for Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology, which would recognize which ad runs on an iPad while the viewer sits in front of a television. The iPad can then display complementary programming or ads, and enable the programmers to know that their content was consumed on both devices; this in turn would enable more accurate ad measurement and overcome audience fragmentation.
The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) has endorsed Ad-ID, and has as one of its missions to reach standards of set-top-box and cross-media measurement. CIMM President Jane Clarke said the Coalition "Is very interested in the potential [of ACR] for passive audience measurement." CIMM has engaged Symphony Advanced Media to test new approaches to cross-platform ad effectiveness using ACR to link passive measurement of ad exposure to consumer response, "The proverbial holy grail as advertisers and brands search for new ways to measure multi-platform ad effectiveness."
Weisler Media describes a "Wild West" among ACR providers with companies like Nielsen, Shazam, yahoo and Google developing their own protocols. Nielsen is developing ACR enabled mobile apps which will one day soon be a part of the company’s method of local measurement.
Ad-ID is the closest standard media has to date for automated identification—much like the universal coding system for barcodes used by the entire retail industry. While Ad-ID does not apply to content, it seems poised to become the unique identifier for recognizing ad- and marketing-based online assets.