IRIS.TV Insights: Black Friday Deals! Video Programming Strategies to Maximize On-Site Revenue


Black Friday is just around the corner and it will be a great opportunity for publishers to maximize revenue as we kick off the holiday season. The following article reviews use cases for how our clients are managing their campaigns to capture the most value while maintaining brand safety, user experience, and editorial integrity.

Maximizing Revenue of Campaigns On-Site

There are a number of ways that publishers have utilized video programming automation to deliver on their advertising commitments. In addition to pre-roll, branded content has been particularly successful, generating an average of 86% brand recall among viewers, compared with 65% from the pre-roll ad.

Most IRIS.TV clients utilize our personalization engine, Adaptive Stream™ to automate the creation of video playlists on their article and video pages. The user experience is a continuous stream of video that is personalized to the user.

IRIS.TV Personalization Playlist

Sometimes our publisher clients want to set guardrails on the types of videos that are recommended (Programming Rules) and sometimes they want to override a video recommendation with a specified video asset (Campaign Manager). With Campaign Manager, publishers can serve these specific videos in any recommendation position and target by content category, device, and geography. Frequency can also be adjusted to manage pacing. 

Pre-Roll Priority

There are multiple ways publishers meet their guarantees with a pre-roll campaign.

Category Lock-Off

The first method to prioritize the delivery of a pre-roll campaign is through a "Category Lock-Off" programming rule. In this scenario, a publisher wants only videos within a certain category to play as a recommendation. When a pre-roll campaign is associated with videos in a content category, this rule can be applied.

In the video clip below, USA Today Networks' Kara Chiles discusses how they applied category lock-off rules during the 2018 Winter Olympics to prioritize the delivery of their Farmers Insurance pre-roll campaign.

Watch the full video of how USA Today Networks partnered with IRIS.TV to Drive User Engagement and Revenue during the 2018 Winter Olympics

Recommendation Override

When the pre-roll is associated with a specific video(s), the publisher can override any recommendation in a playlist with a designated video asset(s) associated with the pre-roll campaign. Sometimes they may want all video players on the site to serve the asset, but in other cases, the publisher prefers the asset play only within certain content categories. This same rule can apply when a publisher and brand have agreed to run a pre-roll with a piece of sponsored content, ensuring brand safety.

Use Cases

On your tech and product review pages, use category lock-off rules to ensure a category specific pre-roll is surfaced. Use Campaign Manager to prioritize specific assets as recommendations when it is associated with a pre-roll ad.

Branded Content Priority with Dynamic Creative + A/B Testing

In some cases, brands want to deliver multiple videos within a branded campaign to a publisher. With Campaign Manager, publishers can have the multiple creatives matched to different content categories, devices, and geography. This can also be used to A/B test creatives to determine what is resonating most with a particular audience.

Example. St. Regis Hotels

Click the images below to see the different creatives for the campaign by St. Regis in-video-stream on premium publishers sites as the first recommended video.

Use Cases

Geotargeting - For Black Friday, national newspapers can deliver branded campaigns to local regions for geo-specific content. For example Snowblower promotion to Colorado audiences and BBQ grill promotion to Floridians.

Device Optimization - If the branded assets are of different lengths, publishers can also optimize delivery for mobile vs desktop.

Video Call-to-Actions - Publishers are constantly looking for ways to capture value from multiple revenue streams. During peak traffic events such as Black Friday and Christmas, you are likely receiving a higher percentage of new users on site. This is an opportunity to insert short 5-10 second clips that promote newsletter, subscription, and event sign-ups.

Maximizing Revenue of Campaigns Off-site and Receiving Branded Campaigns

Sometimes publishers maximize the ability to drive revenue with branded campaigns but still need additional views to meet guarantees. When you override a personalized recommendation to deliver sponsored content, there is a saturation point. If the frequency of overrides increases, user experience suffers resulting in decreased retention. To address this issue, publishers have engaged IRIS.TV for Brands to safely extend campaign reach to other premium publisher sites.


In the scenario where publishers are undersold and have excess capacity, IRIS.TV for Brands can always provide high valued branded video from our demand partners.

To learn more about how you can maximize revenue during Black Friday and the holiday season, contact your IRIS.TV Programming Strategist today. If you are not working with IRIS.TV, contact us for a demo and consultation.