Ad Serving Platforms

What is an Ad Serving Platform? 

Banners are a lot like cars, they may look similar on the outside, but it’s a whole different story when you look under the hood. Firstly, and most importantly, before you can build beautifully animated HTML5 units, or slick video units, your production team will need to know what ad server you are working with. This is because the base code that supports your banner, and slots into any programmatic or dynamic system you might be deploying, can be very different depending on whether you are working with a google ad server (DCM or Studio) or an Amazon ad server (Sizmek). Getting that base code right at the start can be the difference between an ad that slots seamlessly into a website and a banner that is glitchy and/or doesn’t appear at all.

But what is an ad server? An Ad server is the intermediary that stores information about your ads and eventually delivers them to one or more web sites for display to the end user. They also track ad displays, and clicks or what we call ‘click throughs’ – a metric that is usually very close to any brands beating, digital heart. Finally, ad servers are usually responsible for generating some kind of statistical report that can help you monitor how your digital campaigns are performing out in the wild.

If you are working with a global brand chances are your ad serving platform will be dictated by your planning team or your media agency. We work with all kinds of ad serving platforms here at TBM, and here are some of the more popular choices

How does an ad serving platform effect business? 

Determining which ad server to use will depend on your targeting requirements, the brands advertising preferences and is often times due to a pre-existing relationship.

An example set of criteria any brand might be looking for in an ad server is:

  • Deliver guaranteed impressions, where a publisher has promised a certain number of clicks or views over a particular time period.
  • Offering specific optimization algorithms which can predict expected performance based on past performance metrics.

When targeting ads or evaluating bids, the ad server must take into account many considerations such as:

  • Advertiser parameters, for example, site lists, time of day, geography, or browser type.
  • User data, which is information about a consumer’s past web behaviors or demographic collected by the advertiser, a data company, or the publisher.
  • Frequency and recency, which means limiting how often someone sees a particular ad.
  • Publisher parameters, for example, constraints about which types of advertisers or ads a publisher will allow on its site.¹

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See some of our work

Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker our work Standard Media Adverts Exceptional and Unparalleled Johnnie Walker is one of those brands to whom we could pen a love letter. Their briefs range from elegant builds with subtle animation to chipper and quick frame transitions with bright colours, to builds that feature rich colours paired with smooth and captivating animation. [...]

Diet Coke

Diet Coke our work Standard Media Adverts Oh yes, we can What’s better than an animated banner ad? Probably nothing—except maybe a glittery animated banner ad! And that’s exactly the creative brief that Diet Coke came to us with. We were only too happy to help glitter-fy the screens of Diet Coke’s audience with these [...]

Heineken Social

Heineken Social UEFA Champions League our work Social Facebook Instagram Global campaign in 6 hours or less Heineken came to us in 2018 with some lofty social media goals as they wanted to make their brand synonymous with UEFA Champions League games. To do so, they proposed creating Instagram posts, Instagram Stories, YouTube videos, and [...]


Nike our work Rich Media Adverts Find your Unlimited Potential Nike approached us with a killer banner ad campaign concept—desktop-only video ads that featured various Nike athletes, almost no text aside from a tagline, and multiple product shots in action. Which is exactly what we created! Just try and tell us these aren’t the slickest [...]

Heineken Rich

Heineken our work Rich Media Adverts Raise a Heineken to Video & HTML5 Integration Heineken is one of our favourite brands to work with, both because they have such great creatives and because they have such high standards. For this rich media campaign, we were commissioned to seamlessly integrate HTML5 with video. A quick word [...]


Gatorade our work Standard Media Adverts Client Direct Gatorade is one of our most important direct-to-client relationships. While more and more companies are looking to in-house some or all of the production process, our professionalism and expertise really starts to shine. Deploying (on average) two or three campaigns a year, it was not financially viable [...]


E.ON our work Rich Media Adverts Dynamic Media Programmatic Display Guardians of the Brand Galaxy E.ON is an international, privately owned energy supplier based in Essen, Germany, and has around 43,000 employees. As with any global powerhouse, E.ON delivers only the highest quality in everything they do, and digital display media is no exception. The [...]

McDonald’s Wraps

McDonald's Wraps our work Standard Media Adverts Campaign Consistency We know it feels like it's been a long time since McDonald's launched it's wraps, but when they did, we were right there with them! To get this campaign out the door, we produced a series of video and HTML5 units. This campaign was actually launched [...]

McDonald’s GTA

McDonald's GTA our work Rich Media Adverts Dynamic Media Parallax Plunge When McDonald's comes knocking at your door, you answer. So when we were brought in to help introduce the flavours of America to a British audience, we were thrilled! The beauty of these banners is found in their simplicity. As anyone who works with [...]

Destination BC

Destination BC our work Standard Media Ads Rich Media Ads Programmatic Ads Go Wilder Explore BC is an initiative to get BC residents to experience different aspects of their province during the fall, winter and spring months. It also includes a global ski campaign which help to advertise BC ski resorts, which account for almost [...]

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Navigating the complicated terrain of ad serving and publishers can be a harrowing job. We offer free consultation and training, to help you get a handle on all your digital campaigns.

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