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Driving Scalability with Universal Registry for TV advertising

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A Massive Ad revolution is in progress

Large amounts of advertising dollars previously locked up in traditional linear TV advertising have become available over time. Much of this is due to the consumer migration to digital and OTT. This move recently included the implementation of targeted, dynamic ad insertion for live, linear broadcast programming across multiple MVPDs, thus expanding the impressions available for sale by programmers

But are the advertising infrastructure, procedures, and governance in place to support such a shift?

This shift to targeted advertising has created the need to rethink traditional inefficient workflows and re-evaluate the scale needed to support an order-of-magnitude increase in advertisers and campaigns, including how to manage yield efficiencies.

Advertising dollars are spent through campaigns, which often include multiple placement orders distributed across numerous broadcasters or publishers. Agencies typically administer these campaigns to track how much of the budget has been spent or is pending.  A complicated campaign, on the other hand, can swiftly spiral out of control as it is routed through several intermediaries and end parties. Consider the chaos that ensues when hundreds of campaigns are carried out daily. The absence of underlying rules across these several bodies for governing campaigns and creatives implies that significant inefficiencies plague the entire system.

The parties go to great lengths to reconcile the execution of the campaigns. There is no doubt that advertising budgets get leaked through the cracks in the system.

What are the arguments in favor of a common taxonomy and universal identifiers?

‘Johnson and Johnson,’ ‘J&J,’ and ‘Johnson & Johnson’ are all variations of the same firm. This example demonstrates the lack of uniform standards. With increased targeting and measurement becoming the norm, we need data compatibility between systems, which requires standards. The increased proliferation of programmatic inventory will necessitate the standardization of many brand and advertiser identities. Interconnected systems will also enable workflow automation for tasks such as copy instructions, RFP automation, etc. Uniform IDs/taxonomies will enable new, robust measuring and reporting methodologies, allowing for simple information consolidation in a multi-channel world.

Industry-standard ID solution

To address the issue of non-standardization of entity names and campaigns across the sector, a centralized registry of names should be established, where a unique ID is issued, managed, and standardized. The centralized registry would be responsible for developing and maintaining a consistent taxonomy and registry for advertisers, brands, and campaigns. Including elements like copy instructions and creative changes would lay the groundwork for a more comprehensive, centralized tool.

The standardized solution leads to greater automation across ad workflow

This is how a centralized repository model will impact several advertising processes:

RFP – All requests for proposals come into the centralized system, which assigns a referenceable id that can then be integrated into the seller’s system instead of being handled externally as is now the case (through email or phone).

Proposal – The seller creates the plan in their system and sends it to the buyer via the centralized system, which links the proposal to the RFP. The plan is communicated between the vendor and the customer in the current scenario via email or phone. With each side having its system of distinct IDs, this rapidly leads to a lot of backtracking and cross-referencing.

Creative Delivery – Creatives are delivered to a centralized hub with industry-standard metadata, such as links to centralized campaigns and line-item IDs. Currently, creatives are provided to each publication with minimal standardized data attached to them.

Ad standards – All ads will be pre-cleared for compliance through the central registry. In the current process, each publisher manually views each creative to see if approved.

Instructions – Instructions will be provided via the standard format API. Currently, there are disparate methods and formats for providing instructions.

Reporting – Advertisers and brands will be standardized, allowing for industry reporting and consolidated fulfillment info for buyers. Currently, publishers have individual advertiser and brand naming conventions.

Invoicing – The invoice should display spot details and the value of each spot.

Components of the Solution

Building blocks of the Centralized Registry system are depicted below.

      Integration through APIs

  • Master input and update of campaigns
  • Automatic push to Order Management Systems
  • Integration with creative content management systems
  • Integration with Ad servers such as GAM, Freewheel
      Self Service Interaction

  • Portal to allow advertisers and broadcasters visibility and update to creative and campaign status.
  • Built in notification of pending flights and creative updates


      Campaigns & Flights

  • Master repository of campaigns
  • Cross MVPD visibility to Flights.
  • Cross Flight visibility to Campaign.
  • Auto notification of updates/changes
      Creative Management

  • Master repository of creatives
  • Standardization of brand and advertiser names
  • Distribution status of creatives
  • Integration with creative transcoding


      RFP Management

  • Input of RFPs via multiple options such as forms, import or salesforce integrations
  • Standardization of all RFP elements
  • RFP workflow with required alerts
      System Reporting

  • Campaign Dashboard
  • Flight Dashboard
  • MVPD Dashboard
  • Critical Issues status
  • System Logging by actor

With a massive advertiser shift underway, the time has come to introduce a unified campaign and creative control across the ecosystem. This will provide the creative identification space with the now lacking interoperability. This repository will not only serve as a single source of truth for advertisers, but it will also standardize the naming convention across different partners. This will result in ecosystem alignment and enforcement, with each player recognizing and passing the identifier to the next player in the chain.

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