IAB Issues Tech Specs and Style Guide for Rising Star Formats Today

The Interactive Advertising Bureau today will push out its style guide and technical specifications for five types of ad units that make up its Rising Stars initiative the IAB introduced earlier this year.

Those units are meant to give some coherence to formats for display and mobile ads. The proposed specs that will be released today more finely codify the whys-and-hows.

The IAB is giving the public—in this case that mainly means ad agencies, brands, digital publishers and technology vendors—time to comment on them. After that they’ll be finalized by the Rising Stars Working Group. The style guide’s release coincides with IAB MIXX Conference and Expo in New York. There’s more information at

“Thegoal of this group was to determine what is next for the IAB’s strategic ad development,” Peter Minnium, IAB’s head of brand Initiatives said in an interview last week. “I’m pleased with the level of collaboration.”



The Rising Stars concepts, and  the 12 winning companies that created them– CBS Interactive, Celtra, DG MediaMind, DoubleClick, Innovid, Jivox, Microsoft Advertising, Mixpo, Spongecell, Tremor Video, Yahoo! and YuMe–have been working out the fine points since February.

But during that time, major brands including AT&T, Budweiser, Chevrolet, Citi, Ford, Geico, Home Depot, Honda, JCPenney, L'Oreal Paris, Macy's, McDonald's, Microsoft, Nissan, Samsung, Sprint, Subway, Target, Toyota, T-Mobile, and Verizon (21 out of 25 of the most major brands, IAB says, and lots of smaller brands, too) have been using them.

Presumably, whatever bugs there were have been worked out.

In fact, Minnium supposes that during this month-long comment period, IAB’s in-box won’t be overflowing.

Working on the style and tech guide, Minnium says, was a matter of getting ad tech and agency competitors to get together on the basics, so that “the technical metrics were not a bridge too far” for any of the interested parties.

The five formats are:

 “Filmstrip,” a scrollable, multi-panel, horizontal unit;

 “Ad Control Bar,” that has what  IAB considers to be an “elegant interface” for viewers to engage in multiple ways and allows any ad to be interactive without affecting video ad content;

 “TimeSync” unit offers quality ad content overlaid on video, as well as targeting and inviting interaction at the most appropriate moments. according to the IAB.

“Extender,” which, like the name suggests lets viewers choose to continue viewing ad content, and opting for deeper video engagement;

And “Full Screen” which gives viewers  a full canvas of interactive possibilities, including more video, social features and catalogs. 

1 comment about "IAB Issues Tech Specs and Style Guide for Rising Star Formats Today ".
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  1. Mark Mclaughlin from McLaughlin Strategy, September 24, 2013 at 4:57 p.m.

    This is great progress. Very, very hard work to get here. It might seem obvious that the digital advertising industry would have quickly moved in this direction once broadband became ubiquitous.

    But, the industry was built on direct response metrics. We chose, instead, to use broadband to allow 100 bidders to pursue the same simple banner ad impression via a real time bidding exchange.

    We were given the gift of bandwidth and that is how we chose to use it. Thank you IAB for never giving up on showing us another way forward.

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