So, here we are. 1 day away from one of the most prestigious events in motor racing, the 84th running of the Le Mans 24 hours endurance race. 60 cars, divided into 4 main classes, LMP1, LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am, all on track at the same time, all racing for the title in their respective classes.
Yesterday saw qualifying for the main event take place, amid heavy rain and generally treacherous conditions (at one point in the evening, even the safety car had a moment!).
Despite the conditions, the Race Performance team qualified in 30th position overall and 21st in their class. Not a perfect result, but not bad, considering the conditions and their Judd engine being a little bit down on power, compared to the more widely used Nissan engine.
But in endurance racing, as the saying goes, to finish first, first you have to finish. Granted, the race itself is more like a 24 hour sprint, but anything can happen. If you can outlast your opponent, be more agile, while preserving your tyres, keep out of any incidents, then your chances are much better come sunrise and into Sunday.
Before the race all power units, engine, gearbox, transmission and electronics, will undergo a complete change and be replaced by completely new components to be well prepared for the stressful 24 hour challenge. Seeing the chequered flag again this year would mean a world record in terms of reliability for Race Performance at Le Mans. Finishing six out of six races without any retirement has never been done before by any team in any class there.
The team have also been experimenting with the new, Dunlop tyres, with mixed results, but overall the car looks to be solid: “We still haven’t completely understood the different Dunlop tyres one hundred percent, and so we got a bit lost with one of the compounds for some time. But the reliability of the car was really promising”.
So, the team’s ready. We’re ready. Let’s do this!
The race itself starts at 3pm local time on Saturday and you can catch it on Eurosport, Fox Sports and, of course, Radio Le Mans.
If you want to keep track of what Race Performance are up to, they’ll being doing some Facebook Live streams during the race. Head over to their Facebook page for more info.
Technology. Innovation. Teamwork. Endurance. These are all things that you need to thrive in both the world of digital marketing and in motorsport. For the last two years Adcash has been proud to partner with teams racing at the prestigious Le Mans 24 hours endurance race.
And this year is no exception. For 2016 we will be getting behind a long-term friend of the Adcash family: Swiss driver, Niki Leutwiler. Having already achieved phenomenal success in the 2015 / 2016 season of the Asian Le Mans Series, resulting in an overall victory for that season, continuing that partnership for the European Le Mans Series was a foregone conclusion.
Building on success
Having taken the title in last year’s Asian Le Mans Series, thanks to an incredible all round performance from the whole team, Race Performance were in a great position to contend for the title in this year’s European Le Mans Series.
Their season will culminate at this year’s Le Mans 24 hour endurance race. This race is the pinnacle of endurance motorsport. With cars ranging from GT cars you’d recognise to LMP prototypes that would look more at home at some kind of space operations center.
Race Performance at the 4 hours of Imola
Their most recent race in Imola was a treacherous one. The 4 hour race was marred by heavy rains, making conditions extremely slippery for all the drivers. Despite the conditions (and a spin, involving a Ferrari GT race car), Niki and the team brought the car home in 9th place. Not an ideal finish, but finishing alone in endurance racing is a feat in and of itself.
Speaking after the race, Niki said “It started quite well for me, for the first time this weekend I found a really good rhythm. On the straight I was pushed by this white GT-Ferrari, who forced me into a high speed 180 degree spin. Quite a harsh experience, nothing you need at all. Fortunately I did not hit anything and was able to continue immediately, but of course the tyres were ruined. I still tried to continue with this set until the rain started, which I managed to do, but I could not attack as aggressively as before. When the rain turned really heavy and I wanted to come in to hand the car over to Shinji, I got aquaplaning and spun again, but luckily I was able to catch the car again and still come into the pits, so it did not make much of a difference and we could keep our position in this crazy race.”
Next stop: Le Mans
After Imola the team will be spending time preparing for the race in Le Mans. In just under a month’s time the team will be lining up on the grid to compete in one of the most prestigious events in motorsport. And Adcash will be riding alongside them as they chase down success.
We’ll be posting more here and on social media in the run up to the race itself. So, stay tuned as we join Race Performance on the Road to Le Mans.
This time last year we were adding the finishing touches to our Self-Service Advertiser platform prior to release. Now, 12-months later, we’re celebrating this all important milestone by looking back at some of the features that we’ve added.
When we released our Self-Service Advertiser platform, we had some idea of the direction it would head as a product and the kind of user we expected would be interacting with it. But sometimes things can surpass your expectations. And that’s pretty much what happened with Self-Service.
Adcash Self-Service: A brief history.
So, what have we been up to over the last 365 days? What new features have we added to Self-Service? What upgrades have we done? Well, let’s dive right in.
User Interest Targeting
At the beginning, we allowed our advertisers to reach users based on the verticals of the websites where their ads would appear. We called this “Site Category Targeting”. It was good, but we wanted to offer more. User Interest Targeting allows advertisers to harness the power of true behavioural targeting, ushering in a whole new level of capability for our advertisers.
Our location targeting features were added to further enhance the already extensive list of targeting options added to the Adcash Self-Service platform. Although the feature itself is called “City Targeting” it actually allows you to go even further than that, by reaching audiences in specific parts of cities (and towns).
This is all part of giving our customers the capability to build their campaigns around their desired audience. To reach and engage them, wherever they are. Location targeting can be very useful for “bricks and mortar” businesses, looking to promote offers to potential customers near to their store. Similarly, for online business, by using location targeting you can create messages that use location to add relevance (for example, “People in Tallinn are using this now!”).
Cost Per Click Campaigns
Cost per click (or pay per click) ad campaigns were on our wishlist fairly early on in the development cycle for the Adcash Self-Service platform. But, as with the verticals overhaul, there were a few technical challenges that needed to be overcome before we could deliver.
CPC was one of the most consistently requested features to be added to self-service. Different advertisers have different needs and while CPM campaigns can be highly effective for things like brand building campaigns, CPC is usually better when you have a clearly defined sales funnel and a product you want to sell.
When we first released the Adcash Self-Service platform, the campaign creation process was designed to be as simple and intuitive as possible. However there was one area where we recognized there could be some significant improvements: verticals (or categories to some).
The initial offering didn’t have that many options and they were all displayed on a single level. The challenge for our product team was that updating this list involved some considerable reworking of our ad serving database. But, after many hours and very many coffees, they succeeded.
What this means for our advertisers is that, now, they are able to more accurately select the traffic vertical they want to buy.
Since 2014 we’ve been looking at the incredibly exciting, engaging possibilities that video advertising and we’ve been building a product and team to make strides in that area. We added video advertising to the Self-Service platform towards the end of the year and have been working closely with our partners, on both the demand and supply side, to make improvements and optimize it more and more.
Let’s say you’re a marketer for a Windows-only time management application. You want to promote your new application to people you know are going to be able to use it. So, in this case, you would want to specify Windows. Our OS targeting feature actually allows you to go even further than that, by segmenting the different operating systems by version.
So, to continue with the example above, you may have initially released your application with support for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. So, initially you can specify these options. Then, later on you want to promote a Windows 10 version, with creatives saying “Now Available For Windows 10!”. Then select Windows 10 and you’re reaching the right people for your ads.
Zone Blacklisting and Whitelisting
One of the first big features we added to the Self-Service platform was zone blacklisting and whitelisting. This gave Adcash Advertisers the capability to optimize their ad campaigns, by specifying the ad zones they appear in. If they can see that a specific ad zone is not delivering the kind of traffic they want, they can blacklist it. Similarly, if they identify an ad zone that is performing really well, they can whitelist is, meaning their ad will only be displayed in that zone.
The Adcash Self-Service platform is built on cutting-edge digital advertising technology and relies heavily on machine learning to automatically optimize ad campaigns. At the same time, we recognize the importance of giving our advertisers control over where their display or pop-under ads appear. This is why we added zone blacklisting and whitelisting functionality.
Connection Type Targeting
Reaching audiences based on their connection type is one of the many ways Advertisers can get the most from their digital ad spend. Connection type targeting allows you to select from a range of the most common connection types, like Wi-Fi, cellular or even dial-up.
This is particularly useful if you have a landing page that contains lot’s of images or video: an advertiser is unlikely to want their ad shown to people with slower connections if the landing page, say, contains a lot of images or video.
Mobile Carrier Targeting
Mobile advertising is really booming at the moment, surpassing desktop even. So giving advertisers the tools to make the most of this exciting new area is very important to us. By allowing advertisers to target their campaigns based on mobile carriers, they can reach audiences with the most relevant offers.
For example, a media agency working for a mobile network to promote a “new customers” offer may want to exclude people already connected to that network. This way they’re reaching the people who can make use of the offer. By reaching the most relevant audience, they are ensuring that every cent they spend on buying impressions, is spent on the right impressions.
Web Browser Targeting
As the name implies, this feature allows advertisers to reach users of specific web browsers. Sometimes an advertiser may find that their ad campaign (landing pages, pop-unders etc) perform better on one or more browsers, but worse on others. Ensuring that they only target the browser types that they know will play nice with their ad campaign means that their audience will have the desired experience when reaching the page.
Once again, this is about ensuring that the right people see the right ads. If an ad is being shown to people where you know something isn’t going to work or is going to perform unusually, then you should be excluding them from your campaign. This feature allows Advertisers to do exactly that.
Here’s to another 12 months, and beyond!
This last year has absolutely flown by and, while we’re incredibly happy with what we delivered a year ago, where we are now has surprised even us! Thanks to the continuous feedback and cooperation of our partners, on both the supply and demand sides, we’ve been able to build and grow a fantastic product.
So, for everyone who’s been a part of the self-service story: thank you.
As always, if you have any questions, ideas, thoughts or feedback, let us know in the comments below!
Interstitial ads often get overlooked as a premium ad format, especially when put up against their pop under / pop up cousins. But, in the battle for valuable screen real estate, they are an incredibly powerful asset for online advertisers to have in their arsenal.
What Are Interstitial Ads?
Interstitial ads are similar to pop ups but, rather than opening in a new window, they are displayed “on top” of the page content. Interstitial ads can appear when a visitor clicks on a link to read an article or when the page first loads. The interstitial ad that appears takes up the full screen area.
In-App interstitial ads behave slightly differently, but the logic is pretty much the same. Rather than the ad appearing between page loads, they can be triggered by a range of in-app events, like in between levels or after a user has performed a certain action.
Here’s Why You Need Interstitial Ads
As mentioned at the start of this piece, screen real-estate is a precious and prized thing. With so many advertisers all competing for people’s attention, making eye-catching, engaging ads that stand out becomes harder and harder. This, coupled with the well-documented “banner blindness” phenomenon, means advertisers can have a hard time getting users to click their ads.
By taking up the full screen area, interstitial ads are able to stand out from the crowd. They also deliver great results, at a fraction of the cost of pop under ads, making them a brilliant return on investment proposition.
Interstitial Ads To The Rescue!
This combined with the advent of video ads, means that we’re likely to see an increase in the use of interstitial ads as a way of dealing with banner blindness. Interstitial ads work especially well for advertisers looking to promote fast moving consumer goods, as well as games.
For example, a premiere hotel chain saw a 25x increase in video views when using interstitial ads. Also, a leading European casual game developer saw a 7x increase in conversions, by harnessing the power of interstitial ads.
- 25x Increase In Video Views
- 7x Increase In Conversions
- 7% Click Through Rate
- Deals with banner blindness
- Minimal UX impact
Interstitial Ads In Action
Thanks to our easy to use advertiser platform, making the most of this creative, engaging ad format has never been easier. If you’re an existing Adcash partner, you can launch your ad campaign, by signing in here, and clicking CREATE CAMPAIGN.
Not already an Adcash partner? There’s never been a better time to join…
A Word On Google’s Interstitial Ad Policy
There was a lot of chatter at the end of 2015 and early 2016 about Google viewing interstitial ads on pages as a negative mobile experience and thereby harming page ranks. There’s been a lot of confusion on this topic, but Google has since clarified their position: their policy only impacts app install interstitials, not ads.
Here’s a response Google provided to an article over at Marketing Land, on this very topic:
“We’re focused on improving the search experience for our users. In the case of app install interstitials, there are easy alternatives for promoting apps. In particular, there is a commonly accepted browser standard: Smart Banners on Safari (from Apple) and Native App Install Banners on Chrome. We’re encouraging webmasters to adhere to that accepted best practice.”
Want to share your interstitial ad success stories? Let us know in the comments down below!