The Power of Giving Back

Purpose & Summary:
We are working to build a solid foundation for AdYapper to grow upon – and we believe strongly in the power of giving back. As we rapidly expand, we see and feel the support of our community (Investors, 1871, TechStars, Lightbank, Mentors, Advisors, Colleagues, Fellow Companies, Clients & Friends) and are constantly humbled by the goodwill of those around us that help us each and every day. We’ve always understood that it is important to always give back, so to keep that mission alive and growing, we have formed the “AdYapper Cares” Committee that is in charge of planning quarterly volunteer events. This is the story of our latest project.

A few weeks ago the AdYapper team worked with Heartland Alliance to volunteer at the Hollywood House Apartments, a residential apartment building located in the Edgewater neighborhood that serves seniors. It was our second volunteer project with Heartland Alliance and was formed out of our very first “AdYapper Cares” Committee. We previously worked with Heartland Alliance around Christmas last year to bring presents to a family in need (see picture below.) After that great experience with Heartland Alliance, we decided to organize another volunteer initiative with them.

 Family Holiday Present Project with Heartland Alliance
(Elliot Hirsch, Justin Osterman, Marc Billings, Kal Patel, Wojo Weitecha)

Why We Chose The “Hollywood House” Project:
Our newly formed AdYapper Cares Committee looked through and voted on projects throughout Chicago. We ultimately decided upon working at the Hollywood House who requested volunteers for movie night to bring snacks and host a fun evening. It seemed like a fun opportunity to visit with some great people who may have otherwise not had visitors for a while. The cause was not intimidating either, as everyone can identify with feeling lonely at one point or another. We were especially excited that it was interactive, enabling out team to hang out with senior residents and really get to know each other.

After deciding on the project we took donations to help fund the snack portion of the project and were pleasantly surprised. It was amazing how far a small donation can go! We were able to buy an enormous amount (see picture below: two full carts) of snacks for the seniors. That’s a lot of Doritos!

Prep: Getting Snacks
(Left: Justin Osterman & Marc Billings)

It is our goal to integrate a “giving-back” mentality into our AdYapper culture. This foundation will lead to a strong company in every sense of the word, and brings a tremendous amount, and different kind of joy that has nothing to do with the day-to-day operations of the business. After buying snacks, we made little gifts of candy filled eggs (see picture below.)

Stuffing Easter Eggs for Senior Residents of Heartland Alliance’s Hollywood House
(Jule Mammoser & Kate Monks)

The Experience & Event
We arrived at the Hollywood House and were greeted warmly, with a quick history of Heartland Alliance and the Hollywood House. It was an eye opener for us to learn how much Heartland Alliance does, especially around Chicago. We had no idea that many of their residents were not just low-income, but refugees fleeing from persecution, and abuses too terrible to mention.

While socializing with the residents, we met a man who looked to be about 75 years old, and acted like a 25 year old charmer. He went on to tell us how he was 104 years old! He gave us some life advice, told several jokes, and even sang a song in Greek for us. When he was asked how his day was, he said, with enthusiasm “It was beautiful”. This man had witnessed 4 generations of his family grow, and spending even a few hours with him was inspiring for us all.

The experience really brought us even closer together as a team. It was one of the strongest team building experiences that we have had to date – watching us all be who we really are, with no filter, and all glowing in the shared love and good will. It was humbling – and it was empowering.


Everyone seemed to have fun at the event. We met some wonderful people, learned more about our community, our colleagues, and ourselves. We are excited for the next event – and are half hoping that snacks will be involved again!

See you next time!

About Heartland Alliance
Heartland Alliance—the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest— believes that all of us deserve the opportunity to improve our lives. Each year, we help ensure this opportunity for nearly one million people around the world who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. Our policy efforts strengthen communities; our comprehensive services empower those we serve to rebuild and transform their lives.  Because of this 125-year commitment, Heartland Alliance has evolved into an organization that is uniquely:
Far-reaching: Each year, in Chicago, the midwest, and around the world, our services help nearly one million struggling people secure the most basic of human needs — housing and health care, jobs and justice.
Holistic: Because the causes of poverty, injustice, and lack of opportunity are interrelated and interlocking, our programs are similarly comprehensive and integrated, allowing us to achieve an unusual synergy in meeting our clients’ needs.
Change-driven: In addition to direct service, we partner with lawmakers and organizations to shape public policies that fit the needs of everyone, ensuring that even the most vulnerable can realize a brighter future.
To learn more about Heartland Alliance, please visit:

To learn more about the Hollywood House, please visit:

A Day in the Life of an AdYapper

by Kate Monks

What did you do before coming to AdYapper?
Before joining the AdYapper team I worked for a publisher, TuneIn, doing digital ad sales in the Midwest. I was the sole Chicago employee, so it was not economical to have an office. While I was working at TuneIn, I enjoyed speaking with new people every day but felt like I needed something new and inspiring in the ad-tech space. So I started my job search.

How did you first hear about AdYapper?
When I started looking for a new opportunity I knew I wanted to look for a young, growth-phase company within the advertising industry. I started networking in Chicago, at 1871 and other technology focal points. AdYapper’s name kept coming up – and when I looked and noticed they had a job posting for the type of position I wanted, I was pretty excited. AdYapper looked like a young, growing company with great potential. It also seemed like the culture was both hardworking as well as energetic and fun.

What’s your title at AdYapper and what does a typical day look like?
My title is Solutions Manager, Media Products, and I work with brands, agencies, publishers, and ad networks to help them gain insight into their digital marketing campaigns. Through AdYapper’s technology we’re able to measure how many of their digital ads are actually seen, how long the ads were viewed, how many people viewed the ad, all with exact geo and in real time. This type of data allows our clients to optimize their media buys and learn more about their consumers. Coming from the ad space already, it’s pretty wild to be part of a team – and product – that generates the results we do at AdYapper. I’m used to moving the needle a few points and throwing a party – but here, our clients are seeing 450% gains in campaign performance. It’s pretty cool.

The majority of my day consists of outreach to brands, agencies etc. all across the country. Ad viewability is very new, and there’s a lot of dis-information in the market. I try to help marketers understand what viewability can truly offer and how it can drive real business results. I contact & schedule phone calls or meetings to educate them on ad viewability and AdYapper opportunities. The rest of the day consists of prospecting, holding meetings and goof time with the AdYapper team. We like to work hard but we also have a lot of fun! (Check out our video in the Chicago Tribune “How Entrepreneurs, Technology and ‘Goof Time’ Fit in at AdYapper.”)

What is your favorite perk at AdYapper?
Kal, one of our Co-Founders, feels strongly about welcoming new employees to the AdYapper family. He instituted a rule that whenever a new employee starts, we finish that employee’s first day with a team building activity. It is fun to get to know a little bit more about the new person while also having fun with everyone. When the time comes that we’re large enough to have a new employee start every day, we may have to start to get creative in ways to welcome our new AdYappers.

AdYapper Team Greek

What separates AdYapper from other places you’ve worked? 
I would say they definitely have the most passionate employees I’ve ever worked with. During my interviews, I was blown away by the passion and enthusiasm that everyone had for the company.  I knew that taking a job with AdYapper meant I would be working with people who truly enjoyed coming into work everyday. Overall, I’ve very much enjoyed working in an office again surrounded by my quirky and wonderful AdYapper family!

AdYapper is an innovative company right on the verge of changing the advertising industry. If you are looking to join a small start up with a ton of growth potential then AdYapper is just the place for you. When you join, I might even bring you some high-calorie baked goods!


Digital Advertising’s False Promise

Guest Post From Are You a Human By Max Nussenbaum

For most of its existence, advertising was bought and sold based on an approximated audience. You’d buy a TV ad based on average viewership, but you wouldn’t know how many people changed the channel or went to the bathroom while your ad was on. You’d buy a magazine ad based on circulation, but you wouldn’t be able to tell how many people actually cracked your issue open.

Digital advertising was supposed to change all this. No longer would advertisers have to guess about their reach: instead, precise metrics could tell advertisers exactly how many people saw their ad.

If only it had turned out this way. Yes, most digital ads are tracked and analyzed, but are the resulting insights accurate? Sadly, the answer is often no. Fraud, once a relatively minor problem, has exploded over the past several years. Some players—like AdWeek—have even gone so far as to call fraud endemic to the industry.

Digital ad fraud can take many shapes. Some of the most common include:

  • Fake clicks and views (usually caused by automated bots)
  • Ads that aren’t viewable (for example, appearing off-screen)
  • Ads that run in the wrong places (for example, an ad sold as pre-roll running as a pop-up)
  • Ads that run on scammy sites (for example, sites that just loop video inventory non-stop)

Take the example of, a video sharing site that sells large amounts of pre-roll inventory. Ben Edelmen, a professor of business at Harvard, pointed a custom tool he created to track suspicious behavior online at a number of video sites, including Break. He found that the site uses a variety of middlemen to load itself invisibly on other websites, racking up impressions and views even though none of its content is actually visible. (Read more about Edelmen’s tool at AdWeek.)

And Break is far from a lone offender. Digiday recently published an anonymous interview with a fake web traffic buyer, who claimed that many players in the industry were complicit in the fraud:

“Publishers know. If you’re buying visits for less than a penny, there’s no way you don’t understand what’s going on…We worked with a major supply-side platform partner that was just wink wink, nudge nudge about it.”

So what can be done to combat fraud?

First, we need to adopt better metrics that more accurately represent what’s really going on with our ads. The idea behind viewability is a good one, but the current definition—50% of an ad’s pixels onscreen for at least one second—is just the very first step to understanding if your ad is actually being seen. Industry-standard engagement metrics, like the IAB recently called for, will also be a part of the solution.

More importantly, though, advertisers need to step up and demand fraud-free results, whether through better metrics, more accurate reporting, more checks in the supply chain, or all of the above. The way the industry is set up right now, too many players are incentivized not to pay too much attention to where their traffic is coming from, and advertisers are suffering. Until that changes, the promise of digital advertising will remain unfulfilled.

About Are You a Human:

Are You a Human transforms online annoyances like CAPTCHA and pre-roll video into unforgettable advertising. The company’s verification technology filters out bots and fraud to deliver guaranteed engagement with real humans. Are You a Human gets real people to interact with your brand—and love it.

MRC Lifts Advisory on Viewable Impressions: What it Means to You

The world of online advertising is moving at such a rapid pace it is hard to keep up. Understanding policies and restrictions, or in this case lack thereof, will help you make better decisions by knowing why things are happening.

Let’s start off with a little background on the issue:

Advisory: (November 14, 2012) “MRC [Media Rating Council] believes it is premature to transact on viewability in advance of a fuller understanding of [viewability]… MRC recommends that the entire ecosystem continue to test and refine the definitions, thresholds and implementation steps required to transition to a viewable impressions currency for Internet media transactions.”

The MRC wanted to learn more about this new concept of “viewable impressions” before they sanctioned it as a commodity. The MRC said, “Moving to a new, as yet not fully measurable currency on a wholesale basis at this juncture could do more harm than good.” It makes sense because they needed to develop a uniform set of definitions, standards, and to be able to regulate the market.

Standards: “Once the need for an industry-wide advancement in interactive media measurement became clear, the trade associations came together to address it.” Developed by the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS ), a cross-industry coalition committed to developing digital metrics & measurement solutions. The 3MS includes collaboration with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s ) the national trade association representing the advertising agency business in the United States,  Association of National Advertisers (ANA ), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), & the Media Rating Council (MRC ).

Lifting the Ban: The initial timeline for lifting the MRC viewable impression advisory was by the end of 2013, but had been pushed back to Q1 of 2014—with a new date of April, 1 2014. After extensive review of the technology and processes used to measure ad viewability, the MRC gathered enough information to make a standard. They now feel informed enough to promote viewability as a commodity.

Publishers: Your clients are going to want more information on who is actually seeing their ads. This is due to the fact that they will be transacting on viewability more frequently outside of working with you. Big name publishers have already been getting requests from big companies to measure and transact on ad viewability.

Viewability helps publishers. Your most viewed digital ad placements can now be sold at a “premium” rate and best of all, you have the numbers to back it up. On top of getting more money for highly visible placements, you can now optimize your site so every ad you sell can be viewed for the perfect amount of time and then dynamically swapped out, as well as ensure your ad units are strategically placed to get the most viewability as possible. Regarding switching out ads after optimal view times (see chart below):

Brands: Viewability unlocks quality data and insights that were never before accessible. This data includes: who your ad is being seen by, how many times they see it, for how long, and what action it is driving. Gaining access to reliable numbers to convey ad effectiveness is a huge step forward. In the past, numbers have been based on impressions and due to the nature of that measurement, they may not be the most accurate: if you base your action off of bad data it is a cycle driving failure.

Agencies:  You are going to be affected by viewability, but not to worry—it will help you. “How?” you may ask. By having hard numbers that have been sanctified by a reputable organization (MRC) to present to clients, by bringing new success metrics to your clients that go beyond the old CTR – unlocking brand opportunities, and by better refining the efficiency of your client’s ad buys. It will help quantify the ROI on the ads you produce and make it easier to understand what part of your ad spend is being wasted. It’s also important that your viewability solution allows you to track ads via unlimited parameters, so you can monitor the success or failure of each advertisement at a very granular level – campaign, network, page, publisher, impression ID, cookie ID, geo, etc.  You will need this level of granularity to take advantage of the full suite of opportunities ad viewability provides.  Finally, make sure your vendor can accommodate RTB as well, with real time measurement and data access.

Next Steps & Key Takeaways:

1)   Go with a viewability company that is MRC accredited—this means they are conforming to the rules and regulations that have been developed by a reputable organization that has been setting measurement guidelines for over 50 years. AdYapper is the most recent addition.

2)   Use a company that has easy implementation. No one wants to waste his or her time trying to understand how to make the dang thing work. AdYapper has an easy implementation time of ten minutes.

3)   *Warning: The numbers coming out of viewability can be vast, so make sure the numbers are not only presented in an actionable way, but that they actually mean something and are tailored to your goals; don’t settle for drinking from the fire hose here – DEMAND RESULTS & ROI. AdYapper gives you actionable numbers, beautiful customized dashboards, and a dedicated team who work on your behalf to bring you real results.

4)   Use a measurement that gives you numbers in real time. Having reports that generate numbers at the end of the week/month or whatever the timeline may be are not truly actionable numbers. They are a record of the past. With the ability to see numbers in real time you can adjust your strategy, leverage for RTB, and turn on a dime. AdYapper allows you to understand what is working in real time, which is critical.  Imagine the money wasted on high volume campaigns, simply because of data lag.

Ad Viewability: A Definitive Introduction

Ad Viewability Explained – What Is Ad Viewability and Why It Matters

You may ask yourself,“Ad Viewability? Is that even a word?”  Well, it is now.  Let me break it down for you in three steps: 1) Definition, 2) Acronyms, and 3) Applications.  Our next update will be a review of the technical differences between ad viewability measurement technologies, and why they matter to you.

1) Definition of Viewability

It is easiest to understand through a story: Lisa Googles “ad viewability” on her laptop (see image below.) Because both ad A & B are loaded on the site at the time the page initially loads, they both add an “impression” to their count. An impression is the amount of times an ad is loaded on a web page, and typically you pay for each and every impression.

Lisa does not scroll down because the search result she needs are right at the top of the page, above the fold (the fold is where the page cuts off before you have to scroll down.) Lisa sees ad A on the right of her screen before she clicks the search result she wants, but she is never even aware of the existence of ad B, below the fold. This means ad A is “viewable” whereas ad B is not viewable.


As mentioned above, ads are typically paid for on the basis of “impressions”, or how many times the page is loaded. In Lisa’s case, both advertisement A & B are being paid for by “impression” which means every time the page loads, both ads cost money. Do you see the issue with paying for ad B even if no one sees it? I think it is safe to say that an ad not seen is worthless. This is where viewability comes into play. Viewability is the amount of times an ad actually appears on the visible area of a user’s screen. Viewability is making tracking ads on impressions alone – obsolete – because more than half of impressions out there are literally worthless.

2) Acronyms: Talk the Talk

How are you supposed to understand viewability when there are so many acronyms flying around? Take this sentence for example:

“Advertisers will eventually stop using CPI because the MRC and the IAB launched the 3MS initiative to create standards to regulate new measurement like vCTR™.”

What? Ok, again in English: Advertisers will eventually stop using Cost Per Impression (CPI) because the Media Rating Council (MRC) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) launched the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative to create standards to regulate new measurement like AdYapper’s Proprietary Viewable Click Through Rate (vCTR™).

It’s hard enough to grasp a new concept like ad viewability, without thousands of three letter abbreviations to contend with. To get you started, a few important acronyms you will probably see in the near future include the IAB, MRC and 3MS initiative.

iab_PicThe Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 600 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. They are in the process of finalizing a standard of ad viewability by creating guidelines & best practices for the industry.

MRC_LogoThe Media Rating Council (MRC) has a goal to secure, for the media industry and related users, measurement that is valid, reliable, and effective. It accomplishes this objective by setting standards and conducting audits performed by an independent CPA firm to verify compliance. They have announced their intention to lift the advisory against transacting on viewable ad impressions in the first quarter of 2014 and a public comment draft should be finalized within the next couple weeks.

3MS_LogoThe Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative was created through a partnership between the IAB and MRC, among other organizations. They are a task force dedicated to creating standards and best practices for measuring interactive advertising in the digital media industry. They have shaped the way ad viewability will be measured as well as best practices.

For a more comprehensive list of definitions and acronyms visit:

3) Applications

Stop wasting your ad spend!

Want to boost engagement? Increase Click Through Rate (CTR)? Need hard numbers for how many people saw your ad, actually engaged with it, and how your spend compares to the revenue it brought in? Need a way to measure the effectiveness of your digital advertising, in addition to relating it to metrics normally relegated to TV (audience eyeballs, GRPs, Digital GRPs, etc.)?

Utilizing ad viewability techniques & technology is a surefire way to increase your ROI in digital ads. By understanding which ads are seen, and reacting to that information, you can increase the efficiency and overall value of your digital ads. The key is having that information, to truly understand where your money is going, and which half is being wasted.

Knowledge is almost power. Now that you understand what ad viewability is and what it can do for you, AdYapper’s proprietary technology can give you rich real time data about where, when, how long, and by whom your ads are actually being seen – all with an implementation time of less than ten minutes. To top it off, all of the data is actionable. Instead of drinking from the fire hose, we give you numbers that actually mean something, and a dedicated team to help you put that actionable ad viewability data into effect.


Ready or not, here viewability comes. It is the next step in transparency for digital advertising.  Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on Viewability or, to learn about how you can be ahead of the curve, shoot us an email

Viewable Path to Conversion

There’s a New Path to Conversion in Town, and Ad Viewability is its Key

To optimize your investments, it is critical to understand how your online display campaigns perform and what your customers’ path to purchase actually is. That is why understanding the Path to Conversion is essential. The Path to Conversion is a conversion-focused, linear landing experience, specifically designed to catch and convert incoming traffic from your online marketing campaigns. It is designed to show the entire purchase cycle, but with the flood of available data, it can be difficult to separate the signal from the noise.

Typical Path to Conversion


To fully understand how to measure your campaigns, it is important to reveal existing measurement shortcomings and then determine which metrics to focus on to drive ROI. Traditional attribution methods give all the credit to the last impression served, as in the example above*. Unfortunately, by errantly attributing conversion credit to the last impression served (which was non-viewable), the model ignores the contribution of the customer’s previous interactions (with the ad that was actually seen) that in fact led to the final purchase.


This is where the viewable path to conversion analysis comes into play. This viewable path to conversion attribution gives appropriate credit to every impression, exposure, or interaction that helped drive a conversion in a campaign. Instead of a typical “last impression served wins” model, in which 100% of the credit is given to the last ad that was served before a conversion, a viewable path to conversion shines a light on the entire path the customer actually took to get there.

 With a viewable path to conversion, we now have the data and metrics to properly credit the different channels that actually lead to a conversion – down to the publisher, page, and user level. This transparency will make it easier for you to gain insight into the customers’ journey to purchase, as well as provide the data and analysis you need to optimize the conversion path for future campaigning.

AdYapper does all this heavy lifting for you – working directly with you and your team – providing this data in real-time, with concrete action items to put this data to immediate use.  We turn that flood of noise into action items that yield immediate, measurable results.

AdYapper is Hiring – and Growing Fast!

These are exciting times in advertising technology, and here at AdYapper as well!

We have had so much fun this year building our AdYapper family since returning from TechStars NYC last spring in June-2013, and it’s wild to see how far things have come. If you have a passion for advertising or big data, and you want to really shake up this old stodgy industry – please reach out, and let’s talk!

We are expanding and hiring across the board, so If you know anyone that would fit – especially those with a media or digital advertising background – we’d greatly appreciate you spreading the word. Feel free to send them to


Elliot Hirsch
Founder & CEO, AdYapper

Current openings at AdYapper include:

- Senior Sales, Enterprise (brand direct)

- Junior Sales, Enterprise (brand direct)

- Account Manager / Data Analyst

- Senior .NET Software EngineerMore info at:

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Very cool venture funded @TechStars company @AdYapper is hiring media & tech peeps across the board! Visit #jobs

About AdYapper and our Mission:

We are on a mission to provide much needed transparency in world of digital marketing – building the best technology, realtime data streams, and open platforms upon which the digital advertising industry can build the future.It’s a tremendously exciting time in advertising. If you are inspired by the notion of working hand-in-hand with some of the largest brands, agencies, publishers, and advertising technology companies in the world – at a scale that allows for even the biggest of ideas – send us a note (regardless of if you see an appropriate job opening).We are always looking to add more amazing folks to the AdYapper family. Regardless of if you have experience in the space, if you feel you share our vision, it all starts with a little email!

Email us at:

Learn more about the AdYapper Team