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What is Unified Ad Serving and Why Should I Care?



Gina Cubillas

Vistar announced it’s “redefining ‘the loop’ with unified ad serving” but what does that mean and why should I care?

Traditionally, digital out-of-home (DOOH) media owners run ads on their screens in a scheduled loop. In order for them to maximize their revenue, they try to sell as many spots within the loop as possible. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to sell out, so sometimes media owners must cut their loop short or fill with house content, resulting in a loss of potential revenue.

Managing these loops can also be complicated and very time-consuming. Media owners are tasked with ensuring they are delivering the ad correctly, requiring a lot of manual rescheduling as campaigns & content needs change. 


Vistar's Loop-Based Solution

Vistar’s loop-based solution offers media owners consistency and control over when specific creatives will appear on their screens, while eliminating the complicated manual scheduling work. Similar to traditional guaranteed OOH sales, this provides the ability to preview and predict when an ad or content will play. These campaigns may be sold based on frequency, share of voice or spot count. 

On the other hand, programmatic campaigns - the fastest growing segment of OOH - require the ability to schedule ads based on impressions. 


Vistar’s Programmatic Solution

Vistar’s programmatic solution allows media owners to run data-supported, impression-based campaigns. Media owners can flexibly send ads or content to their screens ensuring campaign and business rules are met. These campaigns are sold based on impressions and may be run-of-network, targeted to specific audiences, or supporting additional targeting such as weather triggers.

The following diagram shows a simplified concept of how programmatic ad serving works.

Diagram of Unified Ad Serving

Vistar’s unified ad serving marries traditional scheduling with programmatic. Vistar intelligently delivers impression-based buys around fixed-schedule buys to ensure all campaigns deliver to plan, while still meeting any campaign business rules and/or targeting requirements.

The following diagram shows a simplified concept of how unified ad serving works.

Second diagram of Unified Ad Serving

So, why should you care?

By reimagining the loop, Vistar is helping media owners monetize their screens while continuing to sell to both traditional buyers and programmatic buyers. 

Vistar is making it easier for media owners to:

  • Sell and schedule campaigns sold on impression, share of voice or a spot in a loop
  • Manage all direct and programmatic campaigns from one platform
  • Optimize yield for all ad inventory
  • Streamline targeting, reporting and pacing capabilities
  • Deliver multiple unique creatives
  • Control the screen experience
  • Reserve a spot for partners
  • Deliver offline

Vistar continues to innovate and have media owners’ best interests at heart providing solutions to bring the most revenue to its partners. Unified ad serving was created to ease media owners day-to-day and ensure they are making the most of their screens. 

To learn more about unified ad serving, request a demo or  contact us today!

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