Content and Scheduling

This tutorial will introduce the concept of scheduling campaigns. Broadsign uses campaign scheduling to get content onto your screens.

A campaign can target one or many screens at once; each campaign can have its own schedule of when it will play.

By default, each campaign will represent one play in the loop policy you have. Rules are then given to the software so that the players can automatically generate their own playlists. This reduces workload and increases accuracy.

We have created a video playlist for our Content and Scheduling Tutorial. It covers the same material as our online documentation, along with some advanced features.

These are the videos in the Content and Scheduling playlist:

Within the Broadsign suite, we refer to each piece of content as an ad copy. Broadsign supports a wide range of standard industry formats. For a complete list, see Content Formats.

Each piece of content is stored in a separate ad copy, and represented by it. For example, a single ad copy (called “corporate logo”) can contain a PNG file called “logo.png”. Many different campaigns can use the same PNG file, and they do so by referring to the ad copy “corporate logo”.

To upload an ad copy:
  1. Select Ad Copies from among the resource tabs on the left.

  1. Select the Schedules ribbon.
  2. Click on the Folder icon.
  3. Give the folder a name, e.g., “Local Ads”.
  4. Click Finish.
  5. In the Schedules ribbon, click on the Ad Copy icon.
      • Note: For this example, we will add a standard ad copy. If you select the ad copy drop-down menu, a list of other ad copy types appears. For more details, see Ad Copies.

The Ad Copy icon in the Schedules ribbon

  1. In the Select a folder dialogue box, click on the Local Ads folder.

The "Select a folder" dialogue box

  1. Click OK. The Add Ad Copy Wizard opens.
  2. On the Welcome page, give the ad copy a descriptive name.
  3. Click Next.
  4. On the Media File Path page, click on Browse.
  5. Navigate to the location of your ad copy, and select it.
      • The file path of your content will appear in the centre of the dialogue box.
      • For this example, we will use a simple PNG file.
      • If you know the file path to your content, you can enter it directly in this field.

Add Ad Copy Wizard - Media File Path page

  1. Click Next. The Criteria Selection page opens. We will add criteria to this content at a later time.
  2. Click Finish. The Transfer Manager appears, informing you of the status of the content import.

Transfer Manager

By default, your ad copy will appear in the work area, under the list panel.

To preview your content, select the image in the list panel. Then, from the view bar on the right, select Preview:

Here is a PNG file, as it would appear in the preview panel of the work area:

Previewing a sample PNG ad copy

The Broadsign Platform uses a rules-based approach to allow the players to generate their own playlist. You can achieve this by assigning categories to each campaign that you schedule.

In this example, we will examine “separation” categories. A separation category allows the player to separate similar content. Broadsign distributes similar content evenly and automatically. For example, in a playlist that plays “restaurant”, “retail” and “travel” content, the player orders the loop so that two pieces of “restaurant’ content do not play back-to-back.

To create categories:
  1. Select Categories & Triggers from among the resource tabs on the left.

  1. In the Schedules ribbon, click on the Folder icon.
  2. Give the folder a name. In this example, we will call it “Separation”.
  3. Click Finish.
  4. In the Schedules ribbon, click on the Category or Trigger icon.

The Category or Trigger icon in the Schedules ribbon

  1. In the Select a folder dialogue box, select “Separation”.

The "Select a folder" dialogue box

  1. Click OK. The Add Category Wizard opens.
  2. On the Welcome page, give the category a descriptive name. In our example, we will use “Soft Drinks”.
  3. Click Next.
  4. On the Category Type page, select Separation and deselect All.
  5. Click Finish.
      • Your new category will appear in the work area, under the list panel.

  1. Repeat steps 5-11, creating categories called “Car Companies” and “Restaurants”.

A campaign is a collection of all of the information relevant to one of the content pieces in your loop. Campaigns contain, among other things:

    • Schedules: You will configure each campaign to have its own schedule.
    • Content: One or more ad copies can reside in the campaign, for the player to display on your screens.
    • Duration: The overall length of time a campaign requires to play its content.
    • Meta Information: Assigning categories to a campaign allows the player to generate its own playlist intelligently. We cover separation categories in this tutorial. For information about other category types, see Categories and Triggers.
The Campaign Wizard
Note: You can configure the campaign wizard at the application level, i.e. at the level of your individual computer. Once configured, anyone adding a campaign on your machine will follow the same path through the wizard. For more information, see Campaigns – Options.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we have enabled the following options in the campaign wizard:
Sample configuration for the campaign wizard

To organize your campaigns:
  1. Select Campaigns from among the resource tabs on the left.
  2. From any ribbon, click on the Folder icon.
  3. Give the folder a name. In this example, we will call it “Promo Videos”.
  4. Click Finish.

Your new campaign folder will appear in both the folder and list panels.

To add a campaign:
  1. In the Schedules ribbon, click on the Campaign icon.
      • Note: For this example, we will add a standard campaign. If you select the campaign drop-down menu, you can add a batch campaign. For more details, see Campaigns – Batches.

The Campaign icon in the Schedules ribbon

  1. In the Select a folder dialogue box, select “Promo Videos”.

The "Select a folder" dialog box

  1. Click OK. The Add Campaign Wizard opens.
  2. On the Welcome page, give the category a descriptive name. In our example, we will use “Promo Video”.
  3. Click Next. The Display Unit Criteria Targeting page appears.
      • You can add criteria according to the Boolean operators “AND”, “OR” or “NOT”.
      • We will add one criterion, which corresponds to “Matching All Of”.
      • For more details, see Criteria and Conditions – Example.
  4. In the Matching All Of box on the left, click “+”. The Select Resources dialogue box appears.
      • For this example, we will target display units in New York.
  5. Expand the criteria folder named “Geographical”, and then select New York.

Selecting display unit criteria

  1. Click OK. The criterion “New York” will appear in the “Matching All Of” box, on the left. So far, this campaign will play on all display units in your network that are in New York.
  2. Click Next. The Frame Criteria Targeting page appears.
  3. Similar to steps 12-17 above, select Main from the “Frame” folder. The criterion “Main” will appear in the “Matching All Of” box.

An example criterion for frame targeting

  1. Click Next. The Ad Copy Selection page appears.

The Add Campaign Wizard - Ad Copy Selection page

  1. Expand the ad copy folder named “Local Ads”, and then select Promo Video (which we added in Upload an Ad Copy, above).
  2. Click Next. The Category Separation page appears. We have not created a separation category for “Promos”, but we can do that at this stage.
  3. Right-click on the folder name Separation.
  4. From the menu that appears, select Add Category, and then name it “Promo”. It will appear in the list of Separation categories.
  5. Expand the “Separation” folder, select Promos, and then click OK.

The Add Campaign Wizard - Category Separation page

  1. Click Next. The Date Range page appears. We will keep the default settings.
  2. Click Next. The Duration page appears.
      • If you uploaded a video, the Administrator will populate this field automatically with the length of the video.
      • If you uploaded an image, flash or html file, you will need to enter a value. The player will display the content on the screen for the length of time you want.
      • The saturation feature modifies the number of times a campaign will play in a loop. For more details, see Create a Campaign with the Wizard.
  3. Since we uploaded a video, we will leave the duration at 19 seconds. Click Next. The Campaign Results page appears.
      • The Campaign Results page provides many booking details about display units, loop policy slots, and frames. For more information, see Campaigns – Overbooking.
      • To see the Frame Selector page, which provides details of frames in your network, click Details.

The Campaign Results page

  1. Click Finish. The Administrator will ask if you want to promote this campaign. For this example, click Yes.

Customers are organizations that wish to display an advertisement in the network. They represent a source of content to be booked and scheduled to the Broadsign Players. With customers, you can organize ad copies and campaigns in the network.

The customer feature also allows you to set a locale for language and country, tax rates for certain reports, and default categories for campaigns related to the customer organization.

To add a customer:
  1. Select Customers from among the resource tabs on the left.
  2. In the Schedules ribbon, click on the Customer icon.

The Customer icon in the Schedules ribbon

  1. In the “Select a folder” dialogue box, select a folder. For this example, we will use the default “Customers” folder.
  2. Click OK. The Add Customer Wizard opens.
  3. On the Welcome page, give the customer a descriptive name. In our example, we will use “Ad Agency 1”.

The Add Customer Wizard - Welcome page

  1. Click Next. The Locale Selection page opens.
      • Your language and country choices will affect currency, which appears in the Insertion Order Report.
      • For our example, we will use the default settings: “English” and “United States”.
  2. Click Finish. The customer appears in the work area in a list panel.
  3. While in the explorer view, in the folder panel, expand the “Ad Agency 1” folder. You will see a separate folder for this customer’s ad copies, campaigns and orders.

Events are unique campaigns that you can schedule outside of a regular playback loop. These events appear at pre-defined times.

For example, on New Year’s Eve, you could schedule an event. It could play from just before midnight, until just after. Once the event finishes, your regularly-scheduled programming resumes.

Note: The flow of adding an event closely follows that of adding a campaign.
To schedule an event:
  1. Select Events from among the resource tabs on the left.

  1. Select the Schedules ribbon.
  2. Click on the Event icon.

The Event icon in the Schedules ribbon

  1. In the “Select a folder” dialogue box, select Events.
  2. Click OK.
  3. On the Welcome page, give the event a descriptive name, e.g., “New Year’s Eve Countdown”.
  4. Click Next. The Display Unit Targeting page appears.
  5. Select Location 1 (the display unit we created in Add Display Units).

Target a display unit for an event

  1. Click Next. The Display Unit Criteria Targeting page appears.
  2. In the Matching All Of section, from the Geographical folder, select London, New York and Paris (see Add Criteria).
  3. Click OK, and then click Next. The Frame Criteria Targeting page appears.
  4. In the Matching All Of section, from the Frame folder, select Main (see Add Criteria).
  5. Click OK, and then click Next. The Ad Copy Selection page appears.
  6. To create a unique New Year’s Eve ad copy, right-click the Ad Copies folder.
  7. Add an ad copy as described in Upload an Ad Copy, naming it “New Year’s Eve Countdown”.
  8. Select the ad copy you added, and then click Next. The Event Occurrence page appears.
  9. As this is a New Year’s Eve event, configure it with the following settings:
      • Starting on: 12/31/15 (or your current year) at 11:59:30PM
      • Duration: 00:00:40.0 (the event will start just before midnight, and finish ten seconds after)
      • Repeats: Yearly (our content is generic, so we can play it every year)
      • Repeats every: 1 year(s)
      • Until: 12/30/2020

Configure the event occurrence

  1. Click Next. The Notes page appears.
  2. If you want, enter a note. Click Next. The Event Results page appears.
  3. Click Finish. The Administrator will ask if you want to promote this event. For this example, click Yes.

After you have completed the content and scheduling tutorial, you can then move on to: