PointRoll’s 2013 Benchmark Report Webinar: What’s Trending, and What It Means for 2014


In 2013, PointRoll served over 100 billion impressions across desktop, tablet, mobile and social. That’s an enormous amount of proprietary data. It’s also a huge opportunity for marketers, as this data contains deep insights into what worked and what didn’t–information that could help digital advertisers build best practices and shape smarter creative strategies.  We’ve spent the past several months combing through this impression data and compiling the learnings into a comprehensive report that we think you will find incredibly valuable.

Erin Crapser, PointRoll Senior Market Analyst, will lead a 30-minute webinar that will walk you through our 2013 Benchmark Report, adding context and commentary to the hard numbers. Join us as we review what you’ll need to know when planning your 2014/2015 digital advertising strategies. Our analytics experts will be on-hand to answer your data and creative questions and demonstrate how our insights, combined with our proprietary data, can translate into new opportunities for your brand.  

Reserve your seat now at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/219308598

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you do not receive the email within 24 hours please check your junk/spam folder and if you still haven’t received it, please reach out to Mike Zarcone at  mzarcone@pointroll.com.  

Benchmark Report Webinar Date: 
Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Event Time: 
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

About The author

Mike Zarcone

The Makegood speaks with
PointRoll CEO Mario Diez
on the Creative Re-Launch


The Makegood recently spoke with PointRoll CEO Mario Diez about the re-launch of the PointRoll brand.  The discussion was centered around the need for a new logo and brand feel as PointRoll becomes the leading multi-screen digital advertising technology and services company.  Some specific capabilities that were discussed include:

  • Dynamic Creative Optimization
  • PointRoll’s Social Engager Offering
  • Responsive Delivery
  • The new logo and brand feel
  • PointRoll’ Future

A major theme of the discussion was “A relevant ad for every consumer.”

Read the complete article here: CEO PointRoll Mario Diez on his Creative Re-Launch


About The author

PointRoll Marketing

Technology Update: Heartbleed

A message from Mitch Kanig, PointRoll’s VP of Engineering:

As many of you know, the Heartbleed security bug poses a serious vulnerability threat to OpenSSL, an open-source implementation of the SSL/TLS encryption, which is used to secure internet sessions. This vulnerability allows hackers to access sensitive data, eavesdrop on communications, and possibly impersonate services and users on web servers that use OpenSSL. Specifically, it enables attackers to read the memory of the systems using specific versions of the OpenSSL open source library. Hackers can then access sensitive information such as private keys of certificates and login credentials, and other personal data.

PointRoll utilizes a layered infrastructure, that is proven to effectively limit our system’s exposure to Heartbleed. None of the PointRoll application servers are running any version of OpenSSL. We have also taken the proactive approach of installing the latest version of OpenSSL on any non-application servers, all of which are Linux based.

PointRoll has conducted a thorough review its internal systems and can confirm that neither our technology, nor our users, are at risk from the Heartbleed bug. Our technology vendors have made the same assertion.

PointRoll will continue to monitor vulnerabilities related to Heartbleed and other threats.  Please direct any questions to marketing@pointroll.com, and we will make sure you get the additional information you need.

About The author

PointRoll Marketing

Ad Analytics API


PointRoll’s Ad Analytics API allows other applications to interact directly with PointRoll’s OnPoint Analytics system, enabling customers to submit data requests reflecting campaign performance.


Before using the Ad Analytics API you will need to participate in an onboarding discussion with PointRoll. This meeting will help us understand how you intend to use the API. It will also provide a forum to discuss the technical details of the implementation specific to your business needs. If you are interested in integrating with PointRoll’s API, contact your PointRoll Representative to schedule an onboarding discussion.

In preparation for the call, please consider the following:
• What is your target date for implementation?
• What specific metrics and aggregations do you expect to include in your API request(s)?
• Will your data encompass oversight for more than one advertiser?
• How frequently do you expect to make data requests to PointRoll through the Ad Analytics API?
• What level of granularity are you expecting to request?

Getting Started

The information in this document outlines the fundamental information of PointRoll’s Ad Analytics API. Before using the API, you are encouraged to review this document to ensure you have the necessary information and resources for proper implementation.


The following items are required to use the PointRoll API:
1. Username and password supplied by PointRoll
2. Appropriate permissions (configured by PointRoll at time username/password issued)
3. Advertiser ID

• Advertiser ID for advertisers will be determined by the scope of your token
• Advertiser ID for agencies/publishers will be determined by submitting a request to the API. • The response will contain a list of IDs for advertisers to which the agency/publisher has access. The advertiser IDs from that list can then be included in subsequent report requests.

4. The URL to use to access the data is https://reportapi.pointroll.com

Technical Details

The Ad Analytics API is based on REST principles. It uses an HTTPS transport, and supports JSON and XML data formats.

How It Works

All data requests made through the OnPoint Ad Analytics API must be both authenticated and authorized, and are illustrated in the process flow below.

How It Works

Available Metrics + Aggregations

The following metrics and aggregations are available to be requested through the API. Each metric/aggregation has a corresponding ID, which will be used in the request.

Detail Metrics*
Summary Metrics*These metrics can only be requested one at a time. They cannot be grouped in a request with any other metrics.

Summary Metrics*
Detail Metrics

*These metrics can only be requested one at a time. They cannot be grouped in a request with any other metrics.

Using the API

The REST Client

One way to interact with the API is by using a REST client. The REST client is a good tool to use to test API calls and inspect the data returned. There are several free/open source REST clients available for download on the web. More information on the REST client: http://restclient.net/

Best Practices for Requesting Data

Best practices for using the Ad Analytics API are outlined below:

Best Practices

Service Level Agreements

Service level agreements for the PointRoll Ad Analytics API:
• Each request is limited to 31 days
• Each request is limited to a maximum of 1 advertiser
• The timeout standard for a token request is 12 hours
• The timeout standard for a report request is 30 seconds
• Only 1 time based aggregation may be selected at a time. Time based aggregations include daily, weekly, and monthly.

Making Requests

The following information will assist you in making successful data requests. For detailed sample requests, refer to the Request Flow documents (JSON/XML).

Data Request Requirements

The following items are required when making data requests:

  • Advertiser ID
    • Advertiser ID for advertisers will be determined by the scope of your token
    • Advertiser ID for agencies/publishers will be determined by submitting a request to the API. The response will contain a list of IDs for advertisers to which the agency/publisher has access. The advertiser IDs from that list can then be included in subsequent report requests.
        • Date Range
        • TOKEN included in the header of each request
        • Username and password included in the header of each request
          • This is only required when getting a token via a call to “/User/Login”
        • Metrics IDs
        • Aggregations IDs
        • Campaign IDs
          • Not required but should be used in the request when you want data for specific campaigns for the advertiser(s) in the request.
          • If a Campaign ID is not used, data for all campaigns will be returned for the advertiser(s) included in the request.


          Sample Requests + Returns

          Sample requests and returns for both JSON and XML are displayed on the request flow. To view this detailed sequence diagram displaying the sample requests, click here (JSON/XML).

          Report Status Codes

          When a request for a report status is submitted, one of five statuses can be returned from the request.sample requests

          Error Handling

          If a request fails, an error will be returned and the requester will receive a notification about the failure. Common reasons for failure and sample error messages are listed below.

          Common Reasons for Failure

          The following may result in a failure of your data request:
          • Access/permissions restrictions (not authorized to see or use the API)
          • Extremely large data requests
          • Requests for data for a time period exceeding 31 days
          • Malformed requests

          General Information About Errors

          Information about errors generated when using the API:
          • Requests that generate an immediate error will return HTTP code 500 ‘Internal Server Error’
          • Requests that result in an error status on a report can be determined by calling the pickup error function for that report
          • The ‘errorID’ shown for each error is intended as an identifier to reference a specific error in order to assist PointRoll in diagnostics

          The content of the error comes back in JSON as:


          The content of the error comes back in XML as:


          Sample Errors

          Sample Errors

          Release Notes

          PointRoll Ad Analytics API, Version 2. June 1, 2013.


          If you need further assistance, contact Support at:

          EMAIL support@pointroll.com

          PHONE 1.800.203.6956 ext. 109


          Back to Top Back to Top

About The author

PointRoll Marketing

PointRoll Sponsers ADC Festival

adc festival

What do you get when you mix some of the world’s top creative minds from advertising, photography, film, and architecture, throw them on a beautiful resort in South Beach Miami just steps from warm crystal blue water, add a lot of alcohol, yoga on the beach, an awards show, and the openness and freedom to inspire and be inspired without being pitched? You end up with The ADC Festival of Art + Craft in Advertising and Design, sponsored by yours truly -PointRoll.

If you were lucky enough to be one of 300 people specially selected to attend, then you were part of quite an experience. It’s typical of most conferences to sit, listen, take notes and leave. Not at the ADC Festival. Every session required forming groups of 3-5 people from various parts of the globe to participate in hands-on workshops guided by the top creative folks in the industry.

So what does your not-so-typical day look like?

What if…

You were presented with a 10 pound bag of clay and had to build a sculpture of the man, the myth, the legend, Lionel Richie? Would you be able to craft the oh-so-popular face of the man that sang “All Night Long?” You may not believe it, but the most difficult part was creating the afro. Can you imagine??? My team ended up resorting to using the plastic bag to give it a full lustrous soul glow!

What if…

You were asked to break down the walls and barriers of social networks and truly expose yourself to someone you don’t know? Broken out in to a group of five, we were asked to share our most private possession with a random stranger: OUR CELL PHONES! After handing it over to this stranger, they had to open your photo gallery, swipe until someone said stop, tap the screen randomly, and present that photo to the group. When this was done the stranger holding your phone and photo would have to explain what’s going on in the picture.

What if…

You had the opportunity to take an hour out of your day to build a guitar with Martin Guitars’ Director of Museum and Archives, Dick Boak? Don’t know who he is? For the past 32 years, he led the formation of Martin’s Artist Relations Department, and orchestrated the conception of more than one hundred and forty signature guitar collaborations with the top musical talents of our time. Imagine spending the time to carve, whittle, and sand one of the most beautiful guitars in the world.

What if…

You got to spend an hour with one of the pioneers of the flash and ActionScript scene, Joshua Davis. Joshua blew everyone’s mind with a small glimpse into his world and his vision for where art can go. Using open source tools like “Processing”, Davis has come up with the perfect marriage of code and art. Sharing his genius on GitHub, Joshua has developed a framework that allows artists to add randomization, movement, and interactivity to their art – ultimately creating breathtaking pieces that are equal parts technically and aesthetically astounding. 

What if…

All you needed was your imagination and friends to create advertising in real time? During the final award ceremony, PointRoll placed the ADC festival attendees inside a digital ad banner – in real-time – through “Create-A-Vision. Some of the biggest names in advertising and design were able explore their inner improvisational acting skills, which then populated into a digital banner in just minutes!

And it didn’t stop there. This highlighted just 5 of the 11 sessions that took place over 3 days in sunny Miami. Each night ended with an awards show, where ADC Cubes were given to top creative winners.

Hopefully we’ll see you there next year!

About The author

Walter Geer

Walter Geer is the Vice President of Product Strategy for Mobile and Desktop. He brings extensive experience in product and business development, usability and customer experience design as well as emerging technologies, and holds five U.S. Patents for online ad formats. Geer is part of PointRoll’s Product Strategy Group, which focuses exclusively on understanding the intersection of consumer engagement and behavior to deliver the most effective ad solutions, products and technologies.

Play Flappy Beanie!


It began with a Boy and his Beanie. Now, as we welcome in our new website, we want to leave you with a tribute to the Beanie, and a reminder of how far we’ve come.

This Throwback Thursday, play “Flappy Beanie!” Pilot the Beanie through a series of tubes at blazing speeds and see your high score. Can you best your friends? Share the game to find out!

About “Flappy Beanie”: The construction of this game was one of the results of PointRoll’s 2014 Hackathon.  Jesse Brown did most of the work building the game, with help coding and testing from fellow ‘Rollers Kevin Broomall, Steve Rayl, and Carl Herrick.  While the basic nature of the game was derived from Flappy Birds, all the assets and music for this game are PointRoll specific.  Thanks for playing!

Game URL: http://bit.ly/1e8CbQO

About The author

PointRoll Marketing

2013 PointRoll Benchmarks Released


Every year, we take some time to evaluate the past year via our Benchmarks Report.  Yesterday, we released the 2013 Benchmark Report.


This year’s report is divided  into six categories — Format, Size, In-Stream, Vertical, Viewability and Day of the Week — across display, mobile and video.

Among the key findings:

  • People are more willing than they used to be to watch long pre-roll video ads
  • Ad viewability increased by 17% over last year, up to 60%.
  • Adding video to rich media boosts interaction rates by an average of more than 17%
  • In part because of their size, IAB Rising Stars deliver a 70% lift in CTR over other ad formats — and 36% more brand interaction time
  • 30-second in-stream video ads deliver a completion rate just 6% lower than that of their 15-second peers — yet they earn a CTR 55% higher than 15-second ads. (That’s good news for advertisers looking to repurpose 30-second TV spots.)
  • Rich media interaction rate is higher during the week — important information for brands — but click-through rate is higher on weekends.

Take a cruise through the interactive report.  Click around, and see what you can find.  You can download the entire report here: http://link.pointroll.com/2013benchmarks.

Portions of this report were published first in VideoNuze, Direct Marketing News and MediaPost.

About The author

PointRoll Marketing

Why Mobile Ads Suck
and How to Change That

mobile ads

The very first ad on television was this 10 second spot for Bulova. It’s little more than a “static” graphic and a 2 second voiceover… with 8 seconds of dead air. As bad as this ad is, it was the very first. Oftentimes, the first of anything isn’t very good; the very first powered flight was 3 seconds. Even the Constitution was flawed at first: it’s had 27 Amendments. Why the Bulova ad looks and sounds like this is simple: the most effective form of advertising at the time was radio. This is little more than a radio spot with an image crudely attached to it. It aired in 1941. Nearly 75 years later we find ourselves making the same mistakes, only this time with mobile advertising.

You cannot approach mobile advertising the way you approach display advertising. It is not the same. It is not even close. The only thing they have in common is that they are both connected to the internet. 

The most common form of mobile advertising is the static 320×50 static JPG. Why? Why on earth are we building crappy JPEGs? Why is everyone ignoring the fact that the mobile devices we all carry around in our pockets are purpose-built for consumption of media? A recent study shows that we check our devices on average 100 times a day, which once every 10 minutes if you happen to sleep only 6 hours a night. The reason these formats are the most common is because they are the easiest – that’s it. We’re being lazy. They are not the most effective, they are not the most engaging, but most condemning of all is that the measurement of these types of units is the worst kind of measurement out there.

With these static JPEGs, all anyone can tell you is how many ads were served (Impressions), and how many people clicked on them (Clicks). If you divide those two numbers by each other, you get Click Through Rate (CTR). Screw CTR; it’s useless when you are talking about conversion.  Study after study  after study suggests the same thing. If you are going to make mobile ads that don’t suck, you will need to do a few very important things:

Consider the device you are placing your ads on. Doing this ensures you are not making the same mistakes Bulova did in 1941. Consider the device and how users are actually using it. Nobody taps on ads to go to landing pages on mobile devices. You don’t do it; why on earth would you expect a consumer just like you to do it? What you should be doing instead is create engagement opportunities on mobile. When you pick up your phone, open an app or the mobile web, and an ad does catch your glance, remember the feeling you have when you see it. Everyone feels that way. Instead of asking a user to “Tap to Learn More,” ask them to “Swipe to get a personalized offer” or “Swipe to see a web exclusive trailer” or “Pinch to expand” or “Pinch to reveal the all new 20XX car”. Which leads me to my next point.

Be genuine, give users something for their interaction. If you are an entertainment marketer that makes TV shows or movies, trade the user for content. If you advertise cars, ask the user to explore why your car is better than the car they drive now.  If you want to sell something, give them a place to buy it nearby, or how many are in stock, or a coupon. Do these things and measure your ads by conversion rate, or by interaction rate. See what a better story that gives you for your Effie case study and what it will do for your client retention. Be careful though: as people, our bullshit detectors are pretty dialed-in thanks to evolution. If we swipe, pinch or tap and your ad does not immediately give us what was promised but sends us to some landing page, we’re closing it and telling all our friends what a jerk you are for hiding the saber-toothed tiger in the cave you told us fire was in.

Lastly do not ask them to do anything foreign. Asking a user to “click” on a mobile device instantly turns that cleverly crafted message of yours into the following sentiment: “We don’t know you and don’t care about you, so feel free to ignore us.” There is a vernacular to the way we all use our devices, and clicking is not a part of it.

Do these three things, abandon CTR, and you will have built an experience worthy of being on the internet in our pocket. Start here and you can build something great. You won’t be the first to do it, but your advertising will better for thinking about your consumers and how they interact with content, before creating the ad.

About The author

Dan Mouradian

Dan Mouradian is a Product Marketing Director at PointRoll with over a decade of technical and creative experience in the digital space. Dan specializes in helping his clients develop sound dynamic strategies and impactful creative solutions. After joining PointRoll in 2007 as an Art Director, Dan was instrumental in developing and expanding the creative flexibility of the dynamic ad platform PointRoll released that same year. Over the last seven years, he has assisted on dozens of dynamic ad programs for PointRoll’s clients, many of which he has personally built or directly managed. Prior to joining PointRoll, Dan was a Senior Interactive Art Director at Ogilvy and Mather, and Arc WW. While on the agency side, Dan led the experience and collateral design for numerous marketing objectives across multiple digital and traditional mediums. He has had the opportunity to work with a diverse set of top-tier clients, including Ford, Marlboro, Kraft, Paramount Pictures, Volkswagen, and Chrysler. Dan graduated from Parson's School of Design with a bachelor's degree in fine arts.

Media Rating Council
Lifts Advisory on Viewability Measurements

MRC viewability

The Media Rating Council announced that it has lifted its advisory warning against advertisers using viewability measurements as trading currency. This comes just days after the PointRoll 2013 Benchmark report found a 14% rise in viewability year-over year from 2012. Click here to read more about the announcement.

This announcement is an important reminder that the response elicited by an ad is highly dependent on the context in which it is viewed. As PointRoll has demonstrated, the viewability metric can be used to evaluate inventory quality, and set expectations about the impact an ad will have as part of a larger campaign. Going forward, advertisers will have more confidence that their ads are in view, and can focus on the importance of where they were viewed, both in terms of placement on the page, and device type. With a better understanding of this context, advertisers and agencies are positioned to deliver the most effective ad for each viewing scenario.

Todd Pasternack’s article on “What Comes After Video Viewability” offers further insight on this topic.

About The author

Erin Crapser

Erin Crapser is a Sr. Market Analyst at PointRoll, working with the Sales, Product, Marketing, and Business Development teams to understand the digital marketing landscape, and the challenges are clients are facing in it. Prior to joining PointRoll, Erin worked in Home Entertainment Measurement at Nielsen, and in the Business Strategy Consulting practice at IBM.

PointRoll’s Social Engager Offering

social engager image 3

eMarketer declares 2014 as the year marketers begin to master the art of engaging with media multi-taskers, especially in social. Digital ad spending is following suit, predicted to reach 12% in the US and 9% worldwide. And it’s not hard to understand why: after all, more than 75% of consumers are looking for deals on social media.

At the same time, Facebook is blunt about the reach of organic posts rapidly dropping off, saying that marketers will now need to pay for reach. This brings with it a host of headaches: multiple partners, fragmented reporting, inconsistent brand messaging, and non-dynamic creative that fails to connect with the majority of its audience. And that’s even before you factor in the time spent managing the design, building, trafficking and maintaining creative against all versions and all placements.

Now, what if brands and agencies could…

  • Easily scale existing rich media across both Facebook and Twitter.
  • Combine the impact (and metrics) of rich media—high-quality video, complex animation, data collect, etc.—with the reach and premium inventory of social.
  • Use the granular targeting of Facebook and build unique social engagements down to the audience level, with the creative dynamically generating the right message for the right user at the right time.
  • Work with consultative experts, who can guide a brand or agency from creative asset generation and media management, all the way though tag trafficking and post-campaign analysis.

PointRoll’s Social Engager does exactly that: fulfills the need for engaging rich media that easily scales across the social buy. Through Social Engager, brands can target and tailor their consumer connection with unique thumbnail images, messages and calls-to-action. If looking to extend the conversation outside the ad, Social Engager can also incorporate Facebook’s Open Graph to connect brands with valuable Facebook features, like access to users’ cameras and Facebook photos, custom Facebook event RSVPs, and the ability to post a personalized News Feed update on behalf of the user, with customizable calls-to-action to entice his or her friends to interact with the brand.

Take a look at Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the product, and click to download an overview of PointRoll’s Social Engager.

About The author

Jason Lord

As Senior Director of Product Marketing, Jason Lord leads a passionate team of nerds who love bridging the gap between client challenges and technology solutions, and enjoy talking about how to do so even more. Prior to PointRoll, Jason was the Senior Director of Technical Sales for ShopLocal.