Adobe Launches “Project Adthenticate” To Test Online Ads

Today, Adobe is launching a hosted service for online ad testing which it’s calling Project Adthenticate. Available to publishers, rich media vendors and creative agencies, the service will help to test, validate and optimize ads based on the IAB’s 2011 Rich Media Creative Guidelines.

These guidelines provide a list of requirements for online advertising units, including things like maximum frame rates, max CPU usage, length of in-ad video play and more.

The idea behind the IAB’s Guidelines, which had not been updated since 2008, is to balance the needs of advertisers and publishers with the need for “positive consumer experiences,” explains the organization explains. Since its last update, advertisers have been increasingly interested in the usage of interactive ads and rich media formats. Of course, these sorts of ads are more complex and require additional testing.

With Adobe’s Adthenticate, publishers and agencies will be able to do that testing right in the browser. After signing into the service, they can select a local file, enter an ad’s URL or an AdTag and then chose the IAB specification they want to test it against.

After running, the test displays the results in a simple chart, displaying allowed and actual value for things like SWF width, height and filesize, framerate, animation time, sound and more. A performance monitor below maps out the CPU usage during the ad’s run.

According to Adobe, the key features found in of the (beta) service include:

  • Dynamic Validation: Online ads are run in a hosted, browser-based environment
  • Standardized CPU usage: Without Project Adthenticate, the ad ecosystem must compare CPU usage across machines that vary greatly in different agency and publishers’ QA departments
  • Advanced Instrumentation: Adthenticate can detect any requests for tracking pixels, animation beyond specified durations and clickTAG issues
  • Rich Media Rules: This lets the publishers set complex rules regarding the “polite, user-initiated, and automatic loading and playback of additional media, such as animations, video, and audio”
  • Web Service API: Adthenticate is also available as an API
More advanced features, including  custom specifications per publisher, network tracking and audio/video rules will ship in the commercial release.
The new service is available at this demo site: