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Awards and Events

VAST Digital, The Foundry @ Meredith Corp and Jaunt Release Provocative Cannes Event Invite

Late-night fête, featuring DJ set by will.i.am, encourages use of new digital ad platform to effect social change

VAST Digital, The Foundry @ Meredith Corp and Jaunt Release Provocative Cannes Event Invite

VAST Digital, The Foundry @ Meredith Corporation and Jaunt are hosting a late-night event, featuring a DJ set by superstar artist and activist will.i.am, to encourage the creative community to use its talents to amplify and effect positive change on VAST, a new digital advertising platform.

The event kicks off at 11:11 PM on Tuesday, 19 June at Le KA Club, adjacent to the Palais des Festivals. The invitation for the event offers a provocative gambit: ‘Celebrate all the awards you’re going to win next year,’ with the unspoken promise that they’ll be winning those trophies for their work using an all-new advertising format, the VAST-BLAST.

VAST-BLASTSrun on VAST, a new digital platform that is set to do for digital pub-lishers what OTT has done for television advertising – giving both brands and content creators new ways to connect directly with their audiences. The service will launch this fall across an iconic group of digital publishers.



On hand at the event will be Christopher Hercik, Chief Creative Officer for The Foundry, the industry-leading content studio of Meredith Corporation. “Part of our mission at The Foundry is to celebrate and embrace innovation and creativity, which is why we’re excited to team up with VAST and Jaunt, our partners in VR and 360 video, to host this event in Cannes,” Hercik says about The Foundry’s involvement in the event. “As the creative heartbeat of Meredith, we see this as the perfect opportunity to encourage the creative community to continue using their talents to create awareness around social issues and effect positive change.

“We believe innovative new ways to connect with consumers, which VAST represents, are to be both applauded and supported,” Hercik continues. “That’s what we’ll be doing on Tuesday night, and we’re delighted that an iconic artist like will.i.am will be there to set the tone.”

A brand’s VAST channel enables the marketer to deliver self-curated “brand capsules” to any digital publisher. Each brand’s channel will live on the VAST platform – a new digital hub that aggregates content, social media, and transactional e-commerce into a curated, interactive, multi-functional media unit, and distributes them strategically to the publishers that match its target demographics.

For digital publishers, VAST serves as a content destination that lives within their existing digital environment. “Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and others be-have like middlemen – keeping all of the valuable user data that’s generated in the process of that exchange,” says Ernest Lupinacci, VAST Digital’s Chief Strategy Officer. “VAST addresses this issue for brands. We enable our partners to deliver a media-rich customized brand experience, while providing real-time data and a direct-to-consumer communication channel. Everyone benefits, from the brand to the publisher to the audience.”

VAST-BLAST is not a traditional ad banner or static ad unit; when a user hovers over the brand capsule, the unit expands to serve streaming content – either prerecorded or live – as well as links to associated articles, news stories, videos, information on products or services, or just about anything that can be delivered digitally, all without leaving the publishers’ site. In essence, VAST effectively delivers a brands' website experience directly to the consumer through a proprietary piece of digital advertising technology.

“With VAST, we’ll be providing a unique media unit to publishers that allows them to better monetize their traffic, while creating ads that provide true consumer utility,” says VAST Digital CEO Doug Scott. “A VAST ad lets the consumer interact directly with the brand, doing things like booking a test drive, ordering apparel or finding store locations, all within an environment that provides consumers with original content that aligns perfectly with their tastes and desires. Ultimately, our technology is driven by a ‘transaction as function’ ethos, since sales are the only metric that matters.”

VAST’s framework was built around leading-edge digital ad units. “The IAB keeps stating that the biggest problems with existing digital units are cost, creative production challenges, and limited distribution,” explains Vancho Tolomanosi, Chief Technology Officer of VAST Digital. “So, we took the IAB’s top six ‘rising star’ ad units and trans-formed them into media rich, data-driven, fully-functional branded experiences.”

Several years in the planning, VAST was developed by a consortium of companies deeply invested in the future of digital, advertiser-supported media. This includes TheBridge.Co, Big Block Capital Group, Ernest Industries, Buddah Brown International, bMuse, Studio Russell James and a host of other content creators, all of whom have contributed their insight, experience and innovation to its launch.