Ad copies represent individual media files that are imported into the system and stored in the Broadsign Server. A standard ad copy is often a basic image or video file, but Broadsign supports several special types (see Special Ad Copy Types).
After importing the content files, players can download and display them on your screens.
In our reference material section, we provide a list of content types we support, along with best practices we have learned from our time in the industry.
The "Ad Copies" training video is part of the "Content and Scheduling" playlist:
- 1 of 5: Ad Copies (below)
- 2 of 5: Categories
- 3 of 5: Campaigns
- 4 of 5: Customers
- 5 of 5: Events
Note: If you are new to Broadsign Control, we suggest you start with the Network Setup playlist.
Ad Copies – Outlines how to upload ad copies, preview their contents and edit their properties.
Local Ad Copy Path
Note: When a file is uploaded to the server, it is also copied to the local hard drive.
In order to be able to view the AppData or ApplicationData folder on the OS, the folder options should be set to "Show hidden files and folders".
|Windows 8/Windows 10
Uploads take place in the background to allow you to continue working while they are progressing. The progress of all uploads can be tracked via the Transfer Manager.
You can open the Transfer Manager by selecting the Show Transfers option in the Domain Properties menu.
The following video outlines how to use the Transfer Manager in Broadsign Control Administrator:
The Transfer Manager offers the following features:
|Cancel transfer||Cancel the transfer of any “Pending” or “Uploading” item by right-clicking it and selecting the Cancel option.
|Retry transfer||Retry the transfer of any “Failed” item by right-clicking it and selecting the Retry option.
|Multiple selection||Select multiple items with Shift or Ctrl. This allows you to either cancel or retry multiple uploads at once. After selecting the uploads that you want, right-click them.
It is possible to automatically show the Transfer Manager when one or more uploads begin in the Transfers tab of the General Usage Options dialog, accessible via the Edit menu in the Menu bar. For more information, see The Defaults Tab.
Deactivating Multiple Ad Copies
To delete multiple ad copies at once you must create a folder in the ad copies content pane and drag all the undesired ad copies into it. Right-click on the folder in the folder panel of Broadsign Control Administrator and select Deactivate All.
Warning: The Deactivate All action will also deactivate all the associations between the targeted resources and other resources in your network.
Replacing Ad Copies
If you wish to replace all versions of an ad copy with a new version (due to error, new information, etc.), you can do so in a few simple steps.
To launch the ad copy replacement wizard:
- Right-click the ad copy you wish to replace and select Replace With from the right-click context menu.
- In the wizard, select the new ad copy you wish to use instead.
- Click Finish to swap out the ad copy to replace with the new ad copy in all those listed locations in one batch process.
The last wizard page will display a summary of locations where the ad copy will be swapped out.
Saving an Ad Copy
By right-clicking on the Ad Copy in Broadsign Control Administrator's list panel, it is possible to select the Save As function from the context menu. This opens a Windows Explorer dialog box that allows you store the file locally on your PC.
An ad copy can be created with or without a customer. When created for a customer, the ad copy should reside within the proper customer in the resource tree pane. This will allow you to keep your customer’s content separate. However, in many cases, an ad copy is not associated to a customer, but rather is created for self-promotional reasons. In this case, the ad copy can be created at the top level of the resource tree pane under Ad Copies. See Customers.
Ad Copy Criteria Matching
Booking a campaign across a heterogeneous network of displays often requires matching multiple versions of the same ad copy to their corresponding displays. This can be greatly simplified by the use of bundles, ad copy criteria, plus the ability of Broadsign Control Player to automatically match ad copy to the resolution or aspect ratio of a display. For more information, see Ad Copy Criteria and Resolution Matching.
Content Scheduling Restriction
It is possible to restrict media based on the mime type restrictions placed on the loop policy (see Content Restrictions Tab).
Consider a network of mixed digital screens. On most screens, media of all types are permitted. But on roadside digital billboards, local ordinance prohibits the display of video. When a single campaign targets a mixed network like this, ensuring video is not accidentally scheduled to screens where it is prohibited by law can lead to scheduling delays, or worse, costly fines when errors are made and bylaws are broken.
When content restriction is enabled, you are prevented from attaching ad copies to a campaign if the chosen media files do not follow the playback restrictions. For example, if only still images are allowed on all the targeted loop policies/display units, then you must include a still image in the campaign. Only then can the Campaign be promoted. The restricted content is not downloaded.
When media types are restricted on a screen via its loop policy, Broadsign Control will guide you into picking at least one ad copy that is allowed to play on that screen when scheduling content for that campaign (see Ad Copy Selection Page).
If you select Ad Copies from the resource tabs on the left, then right-click anywhere in the work area, you will see this menu:
- Add Ad Copy – Add a standard ad copy.
- Edit Ad Copy – Edit the properties of a particular ad copy.
- Replace With – Replace the existing ad copy with another of your choice. This change will impact all loops, campaigns, etc. in which this ad copy resides.
- Deactivate Ad Copies – Deactivates ad copies within the selected folder.
New – Displays a drop-down menu listing the non-standard ad copy types. See Special Ad Copy Types.
- Add Ad Copy Folder – Opens the Add Folder Wizard, enabling you to add a folder within the ad copy resource.
- Edit Folder – Opens the folder properties. See Folder Properties, Contacts and Notifications.
- Deactivate All – Deactivates all folders that reside within the selected folder.
- Add Campaign – Book a campaign from the selected ad copy.
- Add Event – Book an event from the selected ad copy.
- Save As – Opens your systems file manager, allowing you to save the ad copy as an image or video file, for example, a PNG.
For general information about adding, editing and deactivating resources, see Overview - Resources.
To add a standard ad copy, use one of the following methods:
Go to the Schedules ribbon, and then select the Ad Copy icon.
- From the resource tabs on the left, select Ad Copies. Then, right-click anywhere in the work area. From the contextual menu, select Add Ad Copy.
By default, the Add Ad Copy Wizard contains the following pages:
- Welcome – Name the ad copy.
- Media File Path – Choose the file to associate with the ad copy.
- Criteria Selection – Assign criteria to the resource. Criteria can be assigned to ad copies in order to allow a Display Unit to select the Ad Copy that best matches its own criteria for playback purposes on the players associated to the Display Unit. Some of the more common types of Criteria used in Broadsign Control concern elements such as language or aspect ratio.
To edit an ad copy, use one of the following methods:
From the list panel, select an ad copy. Then, from the view bar, select Edit.
- From the list panel, double-click on an ad copy.
With the Ad Copy Properties dialogue box, you will find the following sections:
The General section contains the following tabs:
The General tab contains the External ID field. This field can be used to store external identifiers for this content in other systems such as an external CMS.
You can also limit deal IDs for a Broadsign Reach ad copy. Click Only these deals can win and enter comma-separated Deal IDs in the field below. For more information on Broadsign Reach content, see Broadsign Reach Content.
The File tab contains information about the underlying file, such as the original file name, the mime type and the size of the file.
The Info tab shows you the user information and time stamp as to when a user uploaded the media file, and also the user id and time stamp of the user granting this ad copy approved and available for use in campaigns. If the user id of the person uploading the media file has the privilege to approve ad copies then any file they upload will automatically be available for Campaigns and their user name will be present in both fields.
When video files are uploaded to the Broadsign Server, the Info tab will contain information about the duration, resolution, and codecs used in this file. This information is used to automatically set the correct length of associated campaigns, as well as permit the generation of a media compatibility report with the correct information.
An ad copy in the New state can be approved in the Approval tab of the Ad Copy Properties dialog.
When an ad copy is uploaded by a user that does not possess the privilege to approve ad copies, it is initially set to the New state. In this state, the ad copy cannot be scheduled yet. When a user with the privilege to approve ad copies logs in, they can approve it so that it may be scheduled. If the user who uploads the content already has the privilege to approve ad copies, it will automatically be placed in Approved state after it has been uploaded.
The Source tab shows you the source information of an external ad copy as defined when the ad copy was added. You can change the remote URL used, as well as the refresh period and the expiry period. For more information, see Add an External Ad Copy.
The Preview section allows the user to see how the player will display the media file. When the user clicks the Play button in the Preview page, Broadsign Control Administrator will download the file from the Server if it does not already have it, and then display it. The download progress is shown via a Progress bar in the Preview area.
Ad Copy Volume
You can modify the volume of an ad copy by clicking Modify volume and using the slider to increase of decrease the volume. Make sure to save your changes.
The ad copy volume should be used to normalize volume between ad copies in the loop. It is a relative, not absolute volume adjustment. For example, if the system volume is set to 15%, increasing an ad copy’s volume to 200% will increase the system volume to 30% while the ad copy is played.
The ad copy volume setting will affect system volume by +/- the specified percentage while the ad copy is playing back. It is not suitable for mixing multiple different audio sources.
The Settings section contains the following tabs:
The Criteria tab allows you to assign criteria directly to the ad copy. For more information, see Criteria and Conditions.
The Monitoring tab allows you to associate Incident Thresholds to your ad copies, which will assist you in dealing quickly with any issues that may arise. Keep in mind that any Incident Thresholds set at the ad copy level will override any applicable domain level Incident Thresholds.
You can associate an Incident Threshold to your ad copy by clicking the Add button in the Monitoring tab. This will cause the Add Incident Threshold wizard to appear, which will allow you to select the incident type using the drop-down list and set the threshold's escalation options. The Incident Thresholds that can be set on this resource are:
- Playback - Error
- Playback - Missing Ad Copy
- Playback - Truncated Ad Copy
- Playback - Disk Space Error.
For more information, see Incident Thresholds.
The Duration tab allows you to define the duration of the ad copy in the following format: hh:mm:ss.
The Settings tab allows you to control certain properties that apply to how the player will display the ad copy.
The Preserve the aspect ratio setting can be toggled on and off for video content and images. By default, it is enabled.
When Preserve the aspect ratio is enabled, the player will scale the content to fit the frame while preserving the aspect ratio. This setting can result in black bars (that is, letterboxing or pillarboxing) when the content’s aspect ratio does not match the frame’s aspect ratio.
When Preserve the aspect ratio is disabled, the player will stretch the content in all dimensions to fill the frame irrespective of the aspect ratio. This setting can result in image distortion (that is, "football-head" or "pencil-head") when the content’s aspect ratio does not match the frame’s aspect ratio.
The following image shows the playback behaviour of this setting when scheduling a 16:9 aspect ratio ad copy to a frame that is 4:3.
Note: The .wmv file format, though supported by Broadsign Control Player, is an exception to the "Preserve aspect ratio" setting. The most efficient playback of WMVs (and other advanced Microsoft proprietary codecs) is with Windows Media Player, which Broadsign can use. It is unable to respect the "Preserve aspect ratio" setting. Broadsign Control Player does not use Windows Media Player by default, and if you set video output strategy to Windows Media Player, we will use it for all video including non-.wmv files. Performance will be affected.
The URLs tab contains information about supplementary dynamic files that accompany the ad copy in question. Typically, this is used when a file requires dynamic data, such as a weather or news feed. For more information, see The Monitor Sync Section.
When a monitor sync URL is associated directly with an ad copy, the option Expiry period becomes available. When enabled, the ad copy will be removed from the loop if the dynamic data source is unavailable or is available but hasn’t changed in the specified period.
Typically, this is used when displaying time-sensitive data such as stock quotes or traffic maps. In these use cases, if there is a network issue, it is preferable to stop displaying the content instead of displaying stale data.
When syncing from FTP, it is possible to append the Player Id and/or the location code to the specified FTP URL. When both are selected, the location code is appended first. For example:
Note: Setting the Protocol option to HTTP and the Sync behavior option to any of Sync remote folder, Sync remote folder and subfolders, or Sync using manifest is supported by players version 13.2.0 and above. If you use this configuration on a player that does not support it, the player will interpret it as Protocol = HTTP and Sync behavior = Sync file.
Finally, you can toggle to Advanced Mode, which displays the ad copy's URL settings in XML. If you want to create an ad copy with identical URL settings, you can copy and paste the XML.
Using Broadsign Control Player’s trigger commands – or any binary – you can set up ad copies to execute other actions. For example, set the lights to dim seconds after an ad copy begins or play a music track a few moments before the ad copy ends. You can also schedule commands to run before an ad copy begins or after it ends.
When Broadsign Control Player generates a loop, the ad copy commands are scheduled for that loop (if applicable).
Note: If a command is set to run before an ad copy begins, and that ad copy sits in the first slot in a loop, the command will not execute as expected. Instead, the command will execute the moment the ad copy starts.
- Run a command synchronized with the start of this Ad Copy – Select this option to configure a command to run in relation to the start of the ad copy.
- Command – Specify the command to be executed, for example, trigger.exe 1234567. See Triggers Action.
- Time Offset (+/-) (in seconds) – You can specify when, in relation to the beginning of the ad copy, the trigger will execute. For example, "+3" would fire the trigger three seconds after the ad copy begins; "-3" would fire the trigger three seconds before the ad copy begins.
- Run a command synchronized with the end of this Ad Copy – Select this option to configure a command to run in relation to the end of the ad copy.
- Command – Specify the command to be executed, for example, trigger.exe 1234567. See Triggers Action.
- Time Offset (+/-) (in seconds) – You can specify when, in relation to the end of the ad copy, the trigger will execute. For example, "+3" would fire the trigger three seconds after the ad copy ends; "-3" would fire the trigger three seconds before the ad copy ends.
Broadsign Control Administrator can run content that pulls variables and customizes behaviours on-the-fly.
Our content variables are available for HTML5 content.
For more information, see Content Variables.
To edit an ad copy folder, from the contextual menu, select Edit Folder.
- Resource ID – The ID number of the resource.
- Name – The name of the resource. You can edit the name.
- Active – Deselect Active to deactivate the resource.
Specify the contact information for your ad copy folder (see Contacts). If you select ad copy notification types for the contact, they will receive email notifications.
In the list panel of explorer view, each resource has a column selector menu. With this menu, you can configure the list panel to display information you want.
To access a resource's column selector menu:
- From the view bar, select Explorer view.
- In the list panel, hover your pointer over the panel header.
- Right-click, and the column selector menu will appear.
Select as many column options as you want.
- Id – Indicates the unique ID number of the resource.
See Overview - Resources.
- Active – Indicates whether the resource is in an "active" or "inactive" state.
See Resources - Overview.
- Folder Id – Indicates the unique ID number of the resource folder.
- Domain Id – Indicates the unique ID number of the domain. See The General Section.
- Original Filename – The name of the file as it appeared in your system, before uploading it to Broadsign Control Administrator as an ad copy. See File Tab.
- MIME Type – Indicates the MIME or media type of the ad copy. See Content Formats.
- Customer Id – Indicates the unique ID number of the customer resource that corresponds to the ad copy, if applicable. See Customer Resources.
- Approval Status – Indicates whether an ad copy is in an "approved" state or not. See Approval Tab.
- Checksum2 – Indicates the value of the checksum analysis.
- Size – Indicates the size of the file, in bytes. See File Tab.
- Archive Status – Indicates whether an ad copy is in a directory allocated to archive content. If the system archives the ad copy, its value in this column will be "1". See Domain Quota.
- Archived By – Indicates the ID of the user that archived the content, if applicable.
- Archived On (UTC) – Indicates the date and time on which the system archived the ad copy.
- Approved By – Indicates the ID of the user that approved the ad copy. See Approval Tab.
- External Id – Indicates the external ID assigned to the ad copy, if applicable. You can use external IDs in an external Content Management (CMS).
- Archive Priority – Indicates the location of this copy in the domain quota priority. See Domain Quota.
- Creator User Id – Indicates the unique ID of the Broadsign Publish user, if applicable.
See Broadsign Publish and Users.
- Creation Date – The date of the creation of the ad copy.
- Attributes – Information on the file, for example, dimensions, duration, etc.
- Feeds – Indicates the source of any external feeds, for example, Twitter or RSS feeds.
- Broadsign Publish Player Id – Indicates the unique ID of the player you have dedicated to preview the Broadsign Publish loop, if applicable.
See Broadsign Publish.
Note: Broadsign archives "inactive" ad copies only.
You can upload several different types of ad copies. By taking advantage of these types, the performance of your content in your network will improve.
In our Reference Material section, we provide a list of content types we support, along with best practices we have learned from our time in the industry.
After you have uploaded ad copies to your network, you can then move on to other basic steps: