Ad Copies

Ad copies represent individual media files that are imported into the system and stored in Broadsign Server. A standard ad copy is often a basic image or video file, but Broadsign supports several special 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:

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”.

OS Directory
Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 C:\Users\[USER]\AppData\Roaming\Broadsign\bsa\share\bsa\documents\
XP C:\Documents and Settings\[USER]\ApplicationData\Broadsign\bsa\share\bsa\documents\
Transfer Manager

Uploads take place in the background in order to allow the user to continue working while they are progressing. The progress of all uploads can be tracked via the Transfer Manager. It can be viewed by selecting the Show Transfers option in the Window menu. In the Transfers tab of the General Usage Options dialog, accessible via the Edit menu in the Menu bar, there is an option to automatically show the Transfer Manager when one or more uploads begin.

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 Administrator and select Deactivate All.

Note: The Deactivate All action will also deactivate all the associations between the targeted resources and other resources in your network. Use with caution.
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. The last wizard page will display a summary of locations where the ad copy will be swapped out. Click Finish to swap out the ad copy to replace with the new ad copy in all those listed locations in one batch process.

Saving an Ad Copy

By right-clicking on the Ad Copy in Broadsign 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.

Customers

An ad copy can be created with or without a customer. When created for a customer, the ad copy should reside within the appropriate 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”.

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:

The ad copies contextual 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 Ad Copy Types.

The ad copy types contextual menu

    • 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” below.
    • 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, e.g., a PNG.

For general information about adding, editing and deactivating resources, see Resources – Overview.

To add a standard ad copy, use one of the following methods:

    • Go to the Schedules ribbon, and then select the “Ad Copy” icon.

Add an ad copy from the Schedules ribbon

    • 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.

The Media File Path page of the Add Ad Copy wizard

    • 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 at for playback purposes on the players associated to the Display Unit. Some of the more common types of Criteria used in the Broadsign Suite concern elements such as language or aspect ratio.

The Criteria Selection page of the Add Ad Copy wizard

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.

Select Edit from the view bar

    • From the list panel, double-click on an ad copy.

The General Section

The General section of ad copy properties

External ID

This field can be used to store external identifiers for this content in other systems such as an external CMS or RCS selector. For more information, see Import RCS Selector Program.

File

When editing the properties of an ad copy, in the General settings button, you can click on the File tab. This tab contains information about the underlying file, such as the original file name, the mime type and the size of the file.

Info

When editing the properties of an ad copy, in the General settings button, you can click on the Info tab. This will show 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 determine the correct length of associated campaigns, as well as permit the generation of a media compatibility report with the correct information.

Approval Status

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, he or she 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.

An ad copy in the New state can be approved in the Approval Status tab of the Ad Copy Properties dialog.

The Preview Section

The Preview section of ad copy properties

Ad Copy Preview

An ad copy can be previewed from the Preview tab of the Ad Copy Properties dialog. This 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 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 simply 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

Criteria


The Criteria tab in the Ad Copy Properties dialog allows you to assign criteria directly to the ad copy. For more information, see Criteria & Conditions.

Monitoring


The Monitoring tab in the Ad Copy Properties dialog 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.

Archiving


The Archiving tab in the Ad Copy Properties settings allows you to control the precedence at which the ad copy is archived if your domain exceeds its quota. By default, this is set to Normal priority. If you set an ad copy to a Low archival priority, it will be archived if and only if all the other ad copies at Normal priority have already been archived and your domain is still over its quota. Low priority archival can be useful if you have some ad copies in your domain that you wish to keep forever, but that don’t necessarily generate playback statistics, for example, static images in an unlimited loop policy that make up the background elements of your display unit.

Settings


The Settings tab in the Ad Copy Properties settings 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 (i.e., 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 (i.e., “football-head” or “pencil-head”) when the content’s aspect ratio does not match the frame’s aspect ratio.

The image below demonstrates the playback behaviour of this setting when scheduling a 16:9 aspect ratio ad copy to a frame that is 4:3.

The “Transparent” setting can be toggled on and off for HTML or Flash transparent content. By default it is disabled. If you wish to layer transparent and/or translucent elements on top of videos or other ad copies, this option must be enabled. It will indicate to the player that this ad copy is transparent and should be rendered accordingly. For more information, see Content Formats – Transparency.

URLs


The URLs tab in the Ad Copy Properties contains information about supplementary dynamic files that accompany the ad copy in question. Typically, this is used when a flash file requires dynamic data, such as a weather or news feed. For more information, see Configuration Profiles – Players – The Monitor Sync Section.

When a monitor sync URL is associated directly to an ad copy, the option “Remove this Ad Copy from loop if unchanged in” 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:

ftp://test@test:weather.example.com/test/YUL/123456/

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.

Commands


Using Broadsign 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 Player generates a loop, the ad copy commands are scheduled for that loop (if applicable).

    • 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, e.g., trigger.exe 1234567. See Trigger 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, e.g., trigger.exe 1234567. See Trigger 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.
Variables

The Variables tab allows you to define arbitrary variables that will be injected into Flash files when they play. For example, you could create a variable called “background colour” that will change the background colour of the Flash file based on the colour of the wall behind the screen.

For more information, see Flash Variables.

To edit an ad copy folder, from the contextual menu, select Edit Folder.

General

    • 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.
Contacts


Specify the contact information for your ad copy folder. 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:

  1. From the view bar, select Explorer view.
  2. In the list panel, hover your pointer over the panel header.
  3. Right-click, and the column selector menu will appear.
  4. Select as many column options as you want.


    • Id: Indicates the unique ID number of the resource. See Resources – Overview.
    • 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 Domain Properties – The General Section.
    • Original Filename: The name of the file as it appeared in your system, before uploading it to Broadsign Administrator as an ad copy. See Edit Ad Copy Properties – The General Section.
    • 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 Customers – Customer Resources.
    • Approval Status: Indicates whether an ad copy is in an “approved” state or not. See Edit Ad Copy Properties – The General Section.
    • Checksum2: Indicates the value of the checksum analysis.
    • Size: Indicates the size of the file, in bytes. See Edit Ad Copy Properties – The General Section.
    • 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 Properties – 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 Edit Ad Copy Properties – The General Section.
    • External Id: Indicates the external ID assigned to the ad copy, if applicable. You can use external IDs in an external Content Management (CMS) or Revision Control System (RCS) selector. See Import RCS Selector Program.
    • 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 Creator user, if applicable. See Broadsign Creator and Users.
    • Creation Date: The date of the creation of the ad copy.
    • Attributes: Information on the file, e.g., dimensions, duration, Flash version, etc.
    • Feeds: Indicates the source of any external feeds, e.g., Twitter or RSS feeds.
    • Broadsign Creator Player Id: Indicates the unique ID of the player you have dedicated to preview the Broadsign Creator loop, if applicable. See Broadsign Creator.

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: