Let’s go back in time to the mid nineties to a time when grunge rock was at its highest peak, 16 bit video game consoles were state of the art and the words “Reality” and “TV” were nothing but antonyms and never used in the same sentence. During that period of time, the internet was something new, exciting, a broad undiscovered land waiting to be conquered.
The possibilities for marketing were endless, it was a publisher’s dream come true. As with everything else, this had its advantages, as well as its fair share of disadvantages. For instance, you could advertise your “cake and pastries bakery” on any website from a kid’s friendly store to a car dealership. But on the other hand you could end up advertising your “car dealership” on any website from a cake and pastries bakery to a kid’s friendly store. The organization, processes, invoicing, brand safety, everything related to online publishing was a complete mess.
Cue in the Ad Servers, these web based servers whose only purpose is to make life easier to very campaign manager made their appearance and revolutionized online advertising from day one. They are basically and specifically a web server backed by a database server, whose top priority is to store advertisements used in online marketing and to deliver them on any, pre qualified, website for their visitors to see.
This content is constantly updated so the advertisements on the webpage are new and fresh for the consumers every time they refresh the page. Ad servers are also able to manage a website’s advertising space and also provide an independent counting and tracking system for advertisers. Among the other services that are provided by every Ad server are such tasks like counting the number of impressions/clicks for an ad campaign and report generation, which helps in determining the ROI for an advertiser on a particular website.
Twenty years later, we are living in a different society where we can visit any place in the world, listen to a wide array of music styles or play video games with graphics that may even look better than life itself without even getting away from our computer screen. During that time, the Ad Servers have come to evolve constantly and have become precision tools on each and every one of the tasks described in this article. They are not just the best way… but the only way to advertise these days. If only we could say the same about entertainment and it’s “Reality TV”.