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January 13, 2021

Basic Troubleshooting on CAASie

Taryn Syratt

Basics in Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting on CAASie can be very easy – IF – you know what to look for. So that’s what I’m going to give an overview.

The very first thing to know – is that colour matters. When you’re running through your campaign set up there are a few things that you might notice.

The first thing is CAASie’s buttons. You’ll notice that they have an “active” and “inactive” state.

What this usually means is that you have some information that you need to input before you can move forward. Once all this information is available, her buttons will activate, and a bright green outline will appear.

If the button doesn’t change it can mean one of two things:

1. You haven’t completed all of the required information (or your autofill tool hasn’t registered properly).

2. CAASie has not saved all your information. This is usually just a mental delay – if She’s still processing give her a bit of time. But if it’s taking too long - going back and forward through pages/tabs again, or refreshing a page, will usually help.

The next colour thing you might notice (and should pay attention to) is the red, yellow and green colour coding.

As you might expect – red means that there is a problem (or something that might impact the function of your campaign), yellow means that there’s a slight problem (or something that might impact the effectiveness of your campaign), and green means good to go!

Now that you’re equipped with what colours to look for – it’ll be easier to find problems. Particularly for the most obvious question of all.

Why are my ads not playing?

CAASie is a pretty complex software so there are a lot of possible reasons for why your ads might not be playing at all. I’ll give you some common reason, what to look for, and how to fix it.

1. You don’t have any credit.

If you have run out of credit (or never uploaded any in the first place) – your ads cannot play.

Usually, while building or checking your campaign, you’ll see this notice here at the top of your screen.

"Your organisation is running low on credit. Your campaign may not run"

But you’ll also notice that as you run out of credit, your wallet turns red. The solution of course, is to load credit into your account.

2. Your campaign is paused.

If your campaign is paused it won’t play – it’s pretty simple, really. Just press the play button. It’s big and bold at the top of your campaign’s overview page or at the bottom of all your campaign’s pages.

3. It hasn’t started yet.

I know that this sounds silly – but it happens. CAASie is an international platform and the world runs at different times! (also, people are forgetful and maybe you just forgot that it starts tomorrow).

There are two things to check –

1. Your start date (in your campaign’s schedule tab), and the time that your ads should play (the actual schedule). Make sure that these are correct.

2. The time zone of the screen/s you’ve selected. If you’re in the East coast of Aus, but the board is in Western Aus - it won’t hit the right time until 2 hours later than you might have been expecting. Goes for the rest of the world, too.

4. The chosen screens are not available.

This could mean that they’re not available at all, or that they’re off during your scheduled hours.

The schedule runs for 24hrs, there are only a few types of screens in Australia do. Try to keep your schedule within business hours of the venue types (e.g. most doctors offices are closed on weekends).

Now you can look for those lovely colours again – specifically coloured dots. When we’re talking about availability – I look at the frequency at which a screen or board is talking to CAASie.

If she’s able to serve ads regularly it will show a screen as available (indicated by a green dot).

If she’s not able to deliver ads frequently the boards have a yellow dot – to show that she can deliver ads here, but it will be at a low frequency and therefore impact the effectiveness of your campaign.

If a board has been ghosting CAASie for 6 hours or more, it’ll have a big red dot. This fella is not talking right now. Doesn’t mean they won’t later – just not right now.

You can still choose unavailable boards/screens as part of your campaign because the availability can change quite rapidly – also, as I said above, some venues just aren’t open at certain times/days.

There isn’t anything you can do to fix the lack of availability – however selecting a number of locations means that if one drops out, the others can pick up the slack.

5. Your artwork either isn’t uploaded or hasn’t been approved.

It makes a lot of sense that if no artworks were uploaded that they wouldn’t be able to play. You’ll even get this nice big yellow waring if some of the required sizes have not been provided.

You just need to upload the correct size ad and make sure that it’s saved.

The other thing to look out for is whether an ad has been approved. All ads go through at least 2 stages of approval before they can play.

Yellow is pending. Pending pre-approval means that the CAASie team have not approved the ad. Pending final approval means that one or more screen providers have not approved the ad for their screens. If your ad is rejected, the text turns red, and if it’s approved it will turn green.

6. Your bid is too low or budget is too restrictive.

You can check your bid in the board table, along with many other reasons for why your ads might not play.

Again, you’re looking for colours – yellow means that your bid is too low. Green is good. At least, usually it’s good. But it’s based on minimum prices and averages - the actual price will fluctuate throughout a day.

Your ads won’t play at all if your bid is too low for any of the chosen screens – in which case you need to increase the campaign’s global bid. However, you may find that there are only a few outliers that are significantly higher priced than other chosen screens – in this case you can override the bid on individual screens.

You won’t have a clear indication of a restrictive budget, but if you rule the rest out it’s probably that. This will fall into a new question;

How do I recognise and fix pacing issues with my CAASie campaign?

Well, you first need to recognise that your campaign is pacing or performing poorly – and there are a few ways you can do this;

1. Check the graph & spend.

If your impression graph is unstable or your ads are playing infrequently (and you’ve check everything in the section above) there’s likely an issue with your bid, budget or pacing settings.

2. Check the win rate on your campaign.

This is the number of times your ad has been eligible to play vs the number of times that it actually did play. Where you want this number to be will depend on the type of campaign you’re running. Anything below 20% indicates a problem with your campaign. This problem will typically be a bidding issue.

3. Check your custom pacing setting.

You can set hourly and daily pacing for your campaign – these settings will override any of my automatic pacing. There is risk that if this was not calculated properly, your budget may not last the duration of the campaign. More rarely, it may also outlast the campaign duration.

Make sure that your pacing setting have not accidentally been set to spend $0 per hour or day.

Make sure that you hourly/daily spend makes sense for the number of screens in your campaign. In other words, remember that whatever you choose to spend will be split between all of your screens. It is very hard to split $1 across 100 screens.

This applies to my automatic settings as well your own settings. If you have a lot of screens and a little budget – it doesn’t make for an effective campaign.

Now that you know where to look – you need to know what to look for.

Bidding problems:

If your impression graph is blank across certain hours of the day – they might be peak hour and require a higher bid at those times. Check your win rate.

If your win rate is lower than you’d like it to be, you’re probably not bidding high enough, or there’s a bit of competition on the sites you’ve selected.

The pricing that is shown is based on averages – it doesn’t always account for busy periods or current competition, where a bid may need to be higher.

Pacing and budget problems:

The most common issue with a campaign’s performance comes from choosing too many screens with too small a budget. It will usually cause random peaks in ad plays, followed by hours with no ad plays. If your win rate is good, despite the obvious lack or randomness of ads – this may be the problem.

In most cases you need to either decrease the number of screens and/or scheduled hours in your campaign, or you need to increase your budget and/or pacing value.

To close off, now that you know why your ads ae not playing, and why they’re not playing well – here’s a few random FAQs.

Troubleshooting FAQs

What does it mean if there’s a clone in the system?

This means that your email address has already been used to create an account. Most likely by you – so you can either request a password change or sign up with a different address.

Why can’t I upload my ad?

Your ad needs to be the correct size for the boards you have selected. You can crop in some cases, but it’s better to start with the right sizing. It also needs to be a small enough file to load onto billboard very quickly – which means under 7MB for video or 4MB for static ads.

I will automatically reject anything that is a) the wrong format or file type, b) the wrong size/resolution (and cannot be cropped), and c) too large.

It’s also possible that your ad blocker is blocking your own ad.

What does in mean if I have not submitted enough artworks?

Because you need to load the right size for each screen, there may be several sizes that you need to upload. If you don’t submit all sizes, there will be some screens that won’t show any ads. It won’t stop your campaign from running – but screens can only show ads that are the right size.

Why are some ads approved and others not?

Each ad goes through at least two approval steps – one through team CAASie (following our ad policy), and the other through the owner of the billboard/screen.

In some cases, your ad will be the right size to run across multiple owner’s screens – they can all approve (or not approve) your ad for display on their own screens.

Some venues have more limitations or restrictions, equally some owners have higher quality expectations or relationship restrictions. It is possible that where an ad might be accepted by one owner and venue type, it may not for the other.

Taryn Syratt
A scientist-turned-CAASie-ist. Taryn is a natural-born introvert with no fear of awkwardness. She writes about all things CAASie, strategy and other interesting bits.
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