How to create a Video VAST ad campaign?


What is a Video VAST ad format?

Video is an advertising format that is shown in a video player. You are probably familiar with the Video ad format as you see video ads every day - for example on YouTube, or streaming services.

There are three available video ad types:

  • Pre-roll - your video ads will be shown before the main video.
  • Mid-roll - your video ads will be shown in the middle of the main video
  • Post-roll - your video ads will be shown once the main video is over.

Besides, your video ads can be shown as a video slider on a website.

A Video VAST ad example
In order to choose the most suitable video type, please, contact your personal manager via telegram, skype, email or live chat.

In addition, advertisers can work with VPAID video to integrate multiple video creatives at the same time. In this guide, we will focus on the classic video advertisement so if you are keen on learning more about VPAID video, please, contact your manager.

Video ad format is CPM or CPC based.

If you don't want to read the guide, watch our video guide on YouTube.

Which niches are best suited for Video VAST ads in 2024?

The best niches for Video VAST format:

  • dating;
  • games;
  • mobile apps;
  • iGaming;
  • e-commerce;
  • streaming dates.

Niches that are not relevant for Video are the same as for a Popunder format: stores for children, fishing, products for specific professions (e.g., server setup services, car repairs), as well as unique product stores, travel agency websites, and hotel bookings. Wellness products also fall into this category.

Note: it is better not to work with Video if you have highly specialized offers.

Let's set up a Video VAST advertising campaign on the HilltopAds platform together!

How to start a Video VAST advertising campaign in HilltopAds?

To create a Banner advertising campaign, you need to register with HilltopAds as an advertiser. You can register using this link.

Next, to create an advertising campaign, you need to:

  1. Go to the Manage Campaign section.
  2. Click on the Add Campaign button.
If you are hesitant about starting your campaign immediately, please do not activate the Status tumbler.

3. Pick a Video VAST ad format (desktop or mobile).

4. Then select a Pricing Type - CPM or CPC.

If you choose CPM, you will pay for each 1,000 impressions of your Video. If you opt for CPC, you will pay for every click on your Video.

5. The next step is about specifying the Video Format. As we mentioned earlier, you can work with both Video creative or VPAID Url.

6. Then you need to select Traffic channels.
If you run 18+ offers, at this point you need to pick a non-mainstream channel. If you run offers without age restrictions, you need to choose a mainstream one.

Besides, we recommend launching your first ad campaign to high and medium traffic activities so you could get as many conversions as possible.

7. Set up Targeting settings. The settings here depend on the product type, pre-landing page and other details.

By the way, we recommend creating separate ad campaigns for each relevant country. Do not mix countries, especially Tier1 and Tier 3 because there are different CPM and CPC rates, therefore, you won't get as many conversions as you could.

8. Set up Campaign filters and enable proxy traffic for your campaign. We don't recommend applying it because for Proxy traffic you are entitled to set up other targeting settings like language. If you would like to run ads to Proxy users, please create a new ad campaign.

9. Set up an Automatic Optimization tool Campaign Limits and Schedule. Auto Optimization will automatically add non-profitable traffic zones to BlackList.

10. Go to the Creative uploads. Upload a video. Then type in your Creative name. It is a unique name of a video creative, this information is available only for you. In the skip folder you need to define when a skip button will be shown after a video starts. For example, If we enter here 20, the skip button will appear after 20 seconds of video playing. If you enter 0, the skip button will not be shown. If you leave the Skip video folder empty, the skip button will be shown by default at 15 seconds. In the Final destination URL field you need to indicate your offer link that will be opened upon clicking. Also here you can add placeholders to track your results.

To remove the ad, click on the Remove ad button.

11. Last step is about selecting the CPM or CPC rates.

Great! Save your campaign.


Usually, ad campaigns are approved within 1 business hour. If you create an ad campaign on the weekend, moderation might take more time.

Technical recommendations

  • The minimum acceptable size: 360х240;
  • The maximum acceptable size: 1024x768;
  • File formats:  mp4, webm, ogv, flv;
  • The maximum file size: 40 mb.

How to run Video VAST campaigns successfully?

So, let us share the main recommendations from our QA-department on how to successfully launch Video VAST campaigns:

  • Add a CTA (call-to-action) button to your video, for example, subscribe, learn more, buy and so on- it will help you get more conversions;
  • It is better to make an easy-for-understanding video creative that will catch users attention;
  • Do not create a complicated video. Make sure, it opens fast on mobile devices;
  • Use different video creatives to find the best one for your ad campaign;
  • Do not produce  a long video. It is better to refrain from the ones that are longer than 30 seconds, the ideal length is 10-15 seconds;
  • It is better to design a landing page that will tell your audience about the product from your video;
  • If you advertise your brand, do not forget to add your company logo.

Important: before you get your first impressions, you need to top up your balance. You can find more detailed information in the guide below.

How to top up my account?
Data is current as of 01/01/2021.About payment methods and transaction fees. Go to the “Add Funds” section and select the required method. You can make a deposit via PayPal, ePayService, Capitalist, Tether (USDT), Paxum, Wire Transfer and a Credit Card. A Credit Card is available upon request.

If you want to monetize your website using a Video VAST ad format, please check our video guide for publishers on YouTube or read the guide.