What are VAST Tags? Complete Guide

Video ads have gained a lot of popularity in the past 2 decades. One of the reasons for this is that it is easier for customers to interact with this type of content. These can be played because of VAST tags. This is an ad streaming template. It provides communication between ad players and a server, which is responsible for generating the tag.

This provides the instructions for what an ad player should do. This can also give other important information such as source, pricing and the type of ad. Let’s see and understand how it works and check the benefits of using a VAST tag, according to SmartHub!


The number of video ads is growing. Nearly 56 % of markets plan on increasing this type of content in the next few months. This format of advertising is effective for many reasons including:

  • Boosting ROI
  • Generating more sales
  • Preferences for video content
  • Such content leads to more clicks
  • It offers a high share rate

All types of players support VAST tags. This allows video ads to play without any interruptions. For it to work smoothly, it relies on several features which include the following.

The elements may vary depending on what the publisher uses. However there are five basic elements that all tags have.

1. Ad

This is the unique feature of the ad itself. The characteristics include:

  • The ID
  • Video sequence
  • Type of ad

2. Creative

The creative includes the actual features of the ad. This includes:

  • Video length
  • Dimensions
  • URL
  • Duration

3. Media

This has the creators’ content. All tags have this which is in a firm link. It leads to the video ad. Usually, a web link is used to retrieve the video. Sometimes this is done via a server instead of using the URL. It contains additional information on the file and delivery.

4. Format

Video Ad Serving Template is a standard that defines a common way to serve and display video ads across various platforms and players. It is a standardized way of formatting information about video ads in XML. It can support various ad formats and configurations. The tag comes with the format of the ad and the format varies and basically, it is set by the creator.

5. URL Tracking

Video ads wouldn’t be as effective without tracking capabilities. So, all VAST tags come with tracking. This is done with a link to the server. The link then allows users to gather data to determine how effective an ad is. When tracking performance, you have to set the starting time.

There are extra features that may be available. This usually enhances functionality and provides a better look. An example is the dimension of ads.

Read Also: Complete Guide to In-Game Advertising

How it Works

A VAST tag uses XML markup schema. The tags from servers are codes that allow computers to understand the complex details of a video ad. So it provides detailed information about different characters including:

  • Length
  • Ad format
  • Type of file

One way of creating a tag is by using the video players. They can generate a VAST tag. However, ensure that it matches your requirements to avoid errors. When operating one, it goes through three important phases.

1. Request

First a request is sent to the server. This is done by asking for permission to retrieve a video. This request allows the ad to play on many sites. It provides an amazing viewing experience on all types of devices as well.

2. Response

The server then retrieves the ad. Ut replies to the request with a link that provides the requested content. The server also provides the tracking link at the same time.

3. Tracking

When the user plays the video, tracking can begin immediately. As soon as the video ad is played, you can start gathering important data regarding performance.


There are so many reasons why you should use a VAST ad tag. Aside from video ads, this tool is useful for many other formats. For instance, it can work for Audio ads. In this case, it provides better customer engagement by enhancing audio content. Here are some benefits:

Reduced expenses

VAST tags are a cost-effective solution. This is because they are universal. This is true especially for the latest version which can be used for different ad formats. Compared to previous models, VAST 4.2 can be integrated with other tools. Additionally, users can access real-time data on performance. So instead of investing in different tools for ads, this one will work well regardless of what format you use.

Increased user control

You have more control over how to publish ads. The connection between these two components makes it easier to create an ad. The chances of coming across playback are reduced as well.

Easy to view

There are always issues that arise when viewing video ads. One of the most common issues is videos failing to play in a specific format. Users may come across an error. VAST tags provide a smooth way to view content in any format that the publisher uses.

Read Also: Guide to Monetize Your Content With Microsoft PubCenter

Media transfer

Transferring files has always been a challenge for many publishers. This is worse for larger files. But VAST has provided an appropriate solution to this issue. You can easily transfer a wide range of large files. The best part is that you will maintain the quality of a video ad even after transferring it.

Boosting uses interaction

VAST tags allow you to insert videos through a server. They are designed to provide more interaction with users. Doing this promoted brand safety. It also ensures that the ad targets the right audience. This works for any type of format of content that you want to use.

Final Thoughts

A VAST tag is a crucial part of playing video ads. It ensures users can stream ads in this format without any challenges. By creating a format that is easy to understand, this tool makes videos more accessible.

This tool empowers publishers to leverage advertising. By using the latest technology, you can provide ads that will convert customers. Through tracking capabilities, you will get an idea early on about whether an ad is performing well. It is a great opportunity to maximize efforts on all ads in video format on your website. Increase your revenue by using this tool in your marketing campaigns.

Raj Doshi

I am Raj Doshi, a versatile content writer, and we offer content related solutions for effective digital marketing. Our team of experts ensures that every content-related requirement is met through flawlessly written and technically correct SEO articles, blog spots etc that we offer our clients to increase brand value and visibility of the company.

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