5 Steps to Fix VAST Error Codes in Video Advertising 

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VAST error can interrupt the uninterrupted playback of video ads, which is a concern for both viewers and advertisers. In this discussion, we’ll highlight common issues associated with VAST errors and outline basic steps to diagnose the underlying problems. 

Through a simplified approach, we aim to provide readers with a fundamental understanding to efficiently identify and address these errors, ensuring a smooth video advertising experience.

What is “VAST Error” Codes in Video Advertising?

VAST (Video Ad Serving Template) Error pops up in the digital ad world, causing video ads to stumble before reaching the viewer. This trouble arises from misunderstandings between the ad server holding the ad, and the video player on your screen. 

These errors display as codes, each indicating a problem like a wrong file type or server-player miscommunication. By decoding these, one can spot the issue and begin fixes, aiming for smooth video ad plays.

What Causes “VAST Error” Codes in Video Advertising?

VAST errors often happen for a few common reasons. Below are some of the main causes of this error.

  • File Format Mismatch: If the video file format is not supported by the video player, a VAST error may occur.
  • Server Communication Failure: Problems in the communication between the ad server and the video player can trigger VAST errors.
  • Incorrect Ad Tag: If the ad tag, which is the code that requests the ad, is incorrect or improperly formatted, a VAST error can happen.
  • Ad Blockers: Sometimes, ad blockers can prevent the ad from being served correctly, leading to a VAST error.
  • Timeout Issues: If the ad server takes too long to respond, it can cause a VAST error due to timeout.

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What are the types of “VAST Error” Codes in Video Advertising?

In video advertising, VAST Error codes often pop up, showing specific problems with ad playback. Below are some common VAST error types and their meanings. 

  • Error Code 100: This code indicates a general error in the VAST template, often a structural issue with the ad tag.
  • Error Code 200: Signifies a problem with the VAST response, like an empty VAST URI.
  • Error Code 300: This denotes a wrapper error, where the VAST response cannot be followed to the next wrapper.
  • Error Code 400: Indicates an issue with the video player, such as it being unable to display the ad format.
  • Error Code 500: This code signifies a general linear error, like a problem with the media file or its delivery.
  • Error Code 600: Denotes a general non-linear error, which often relates to issues with overlay ads.
  • Error Code 900: Indicates an undefined error, which essentially means an unknown or unexpected error has occurred.

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How to Fix “VAST Error” Codes in Video Advertising?

Running into a VAST Error while trying to play video ads can be frustrating. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help fix these errors:

1. Understanding VAST Tag

  • VAST tag is a short piece of code that tells your video player where to find and how to show the video ad. It’s like an instruction manual for showing ads.
  • Its main job is to make sure your video player and the ad server talk to each other so that ads play right.
  • Search online for easy-to-understand articles or videos that explain what VAST tags are and how they work.
  • Look for tutorials that are made for beginners. These can help explain the basics of VAST tags and why they are important in video advertising.

2. Locate your VAST Tag

Getting your VAST tag ready is the first step to displaying video ads. Here’s a simple way to do it:

  • Log in to your ad server or ad network account.
  • Go to the section where your VAST tag is provided, usually labeled as “VAST Tag”, “Ad Tag”, or similar.
  • Click on it to view your VAST tag.
  • Right-click on the VAST tag text.
Click VAST Tag
  • Select ‘Copy’ from the menu that appears.

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3. Access Video Player Setup

  • To place your VAST tag correctly, you’ll need to find the ad settings in your video player account. Here’s how:
  • Open your video player on your computer.
  • Enter your username and password to log in.
  • Look for a button or tab that says “Settings” or “Configuration” and click on it.
  • Inside settings, look for a section titled “Advertising,” “Ad Settings” or something similar.
  • Click on it to open the ad settings section.

4. Insert VAST Tag

  • Look for a section named “Ad Tag,” “VAST Tag,” or similar where you can insert or update ad tags.
  • Find a field, box, or area where you can paste your VAST tag.
Click Ads Section to avoid VAST Error
  • Right-click in the field and select ‘Paste’ to insert your VAST tag, or use Ctrl+V (Command+V on Mac) to paste it.
  • Make sure your VAST tag appears correctly in the field.

5. Check Formatting 

Ensuring your VAST tag is formatted correctly and the URL is accurate is crucial for proper ad playback. Here’s how to check:

  • Look through your VAST tag to make sure there are no extra spaces or characters that shouldn’t be there.
  • Check the URL in the VAST tag to make sure it’s complete and correct, with no missing parts or typos.
Paste URL

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6. Save and Test

Saving your settings and testing the setup is essential to ensure everything is working as intended. Here’s how to do it:

  • After verifying the format and the URL, look for a ‘Save‘ or ‘Apply‘ button in your video player settings, and click on it to save your changes.
  • Now, go to a page on your website where a video ad should play.
  • Play a video and see if the ad plays correctly without any errors.
  • If you encounter any errors, note them down for further troubleshooting.

7. Check for Errors

Checking for errors is a vital step to ensure your VAST tag setup is functioning smoothly. Here’s how to proceed:

  • After testing, if an ad doesn’t play or there’s an error message, take note of any error codes or messages.
  • Look up the meaning of the error codes or messages, usually available on your ad server’s help center or documentation.
  • If the error is related to the VAST tag, it might be a formatting issue or incorrect URL, which you can go back and correct.
  • If it’s a different error, note it down for further investigation.

8. Adjust if Necessary

Making necessary adjustments is the key to rectifying any issues encountered during the testing phase. Here’s a methodical approach:

  • If you’ve identified errors, go back to the ad settings section in your video player.
  • Make any necessary corrections to the VAST tag, whether it’s fixing the formatting or correcting the URL.
  • Save your changes again by clicking the ‘Save’ or ‘Apply’ button.
  • Retest the video ad playback on your website to see if the issue is resolved.
  • If the error persists, you might need to revisit the previous steps or seek additional help.

9. Seek Help if Needed

If troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the issues, seeking professional assistance is a prudent step. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Identify the support channels available for your video player or ad server, like email support, phone support, or online chat.
  • Have the error codes and descriptions ready along with any other relevant information regarding the issues you’re facing.
  • Reach out to the support team, providing them with all the necessary details about the errors you’ve encountered.
  • Follow the instructions provided by the support team to rectify the issues.
  • If available, utilize community forums or other online resources for additional insights or solutions.

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10. Document Changes

Documenting changes is a prudent practice to track what adjustments have been made, aiding future troubleshooting. Here’s how to do it:

  • Create a document, either digitally or on paper, dedicated to logging changes related to your video ad setup.
  • Note down the date and time of each change you make.
  • Describe the issue you encountered, the error codes received, and the adjustments made to resolve the issue.
  • Capture any support interactions, instructions received, and the outcomes of the implemented solutions.
  • Keep this document updated and easily accessible for future reference, ensuring a historical record of changes and solutions.

How to Fix “VAST Error” Codes in Future?

Here are some ways to avoid VAST error panels, and ensure smooth videos ads in the future.

  • Up-to-date Knowledge: Keep abreast of the latest updates and best practices related to VAST tags and video advertising technology.
  • Regular Auditing: Periodically review and audit your ad tags, video players, and ad server configurations to ensure they are set up correctly.
  • Training and Education: Ensure that your team is well-trained and updated on the latest video ad tech standards, including VAST specifications.
  • Use Reliable Tools: Utilize reputable and updated video players and ad servers which comply with industry standards to reduce the likelihood of errors.
  • Documentation:Maintain comprehensive documentation of your ad setups, changes made, and issues encountered for easy reference and troubleshooting in the future.

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VAST Error Code FAQs

1. What is a VAST Error Code?

VAST Error Code is a message that appears when something goes wrong with video ad playback. It helps identify what the issue is, like a wrong file format or server communication failure.

2. How do I find the VAST Error Code?

When an error occurs, the error code is usually displayed on the screen or found in your video player’s error log. You can then look up the code to understand the problem.

3. My video ad isn’t playing, what should I do?

Check for a VAST Error Code to identify the issue. Ensure your VAST tag is correctly placed and formatted. If problems persist, contact your ad server support for help.

4. How do I fix a VAST Error Code related to file format?

Ensure the video file format is supported by your video player. If it’s not, convert the video file to a supported format or check with your ad server for other solutions.

5. How can I prevent VAST Error Codes in the future?

Keep your video player and ad server updated, regularly check your VAST tag setup, and educate yourself and your team on VAST specifications to prevent common errors.