When you’re a peacock whose rainbow wings spread across a wide variety of media channels, ensuring you get the correct assets in place can be a challenge.

That’s why NBCUniversal has announced it will adopt Ad-ID, a kind of “bar code” identifier for advertising, as its standard for managing ad asset in-flow through its One Platform suite.

Ad-ID was developed and is jointly owned by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

In this video interview with Beet.TV, NBCUniversal’s Brad Epperson explains what is happening.

A unique code for ads

“As we’ve got commercials across our linear television channels, everywhere on all of our digital platforms plus Peacock, this allows us to have a growth strategy that adds the commercial quality and the commercial creative as the centre with one standard of a naming convention attached to all of them,” Epperson says.

Ad-ID uses 11-digit versions of the ISCI alphanumeric codes the TV industry has been using the identify its ad assets since the 1970s.

Since 1992, the ANA and 4As have been responsible for setting standard ad asset coding. Ad-ID, launched in 2002, is a replacement for ISCI, which had previously been used for that purpose but which the bodies said was “unregulated” and non-standard, leading them to make the full migration in 2007.

The code can resolve metadata which, Epperson says, “can be scheduled or facilitated in a way that allows us to really improve the viewing experience, and it gives us a whole new set of technological capabilities that just have never existed before”.

Peacock has already been requiring ad buyers register with Ad-ID and assign a valid Ad-ID code to each creative prior to submission of advertising creatives.

The announcement represents the extension of Ad-ID to NBC’s other properties, and the first major-media company signature to lean into the standard.

Supporting scale and new features

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For Epperson, whose NBC channels are broadcasting this year’s Olympic Games from Tokyo, it means: “When we’ve got that one associated Ad-ID connected to the creative, we can actually start to look into ‘What’s the creative impact?’

“In any supply chain in any industry, the greater amount of standardization you have, the easier it is for you to just scale that business.”

For viewers, the hope is that it will lead to a better viewing experience.

Epperson says the metadata connected-to by Ad-ID helps NBCUniversal better achieve frequency capping, to ensure viewers are not exposed to ads too many times, across both linear and digital channels.

It also ends up driving competitive ad separation, delivery reporting, ad decisioning, storage de-duplication and collision control.