A clock number is a unique identification number for video files submitted for television. (This is why you might have heard the term ‘clocked ad’ or ‘reclocking’ when talking about the Clearance process.)
A clock number is used to name and identify a specific video file. Once that clock number is applied to a video file and then submitted for clearance, that video file cannot be changed without also changing the clock number. That is important to remember and why we always recommend sending a rough cut of your ad for clearance and advice from your Clearcast contact – if you need to make an amendment, it’s a lot easier to do so before you’ve created a clock number for that file.
Creating a clock slate
Your clock slate can be any design of your choosing, but it must include your clock number (in capital letters) clearly while the countdown clock counts down before your main ad starts. Your clock number must match the submission file clock.
We also recommend including a title, your agency, the duration, format, audio and date.
Please find an example clock slate image and video file below for you to use as a comparison point.
Example Clock slate: Clearcast clock slate V2.mp4
Please also find below a timing chart for the format and timing of your clock slate (and clocked file) when submitting to the Library.
Creating a clock number
The agency or advertiser are the ones responsible for making the clock number. Clearcast will choose the three-letter agency code, which is assigned to you when you register with Clearcast for the first time. Your agency code can be found on your initial ‘Welcome to Clearcast’ email, or via the ‘Admin’ tab on CopyCentral. When creating a new submission on the Library, your agency code will automatically fill in.
The format of a clock number is, for example: AAA/ABCD001/030.
To split that up:
The first three letters are your agency code.
Clearcast will choose the three-letter agency code, which is assigned to you when you register with Clearcast for the first time. Your agency code can be found on your initial ‘Welcome to Clearcast’ email, or via the ‘Admin’ tab on CopyCentral. When creating a new submission on the Library, your agency code will automatically fill in. This is a code unique to your agency.
The middle four letters followed by three numbers is your organisation system.
This is created by the agency. The first four letters should be relevant to the campaign or ad, whether by agency involved, the client, or the product itself. The three numbers should be escalating as per the ads you have submitted to us. For example, you are running a summer ad campaign for a biscuit company. You might choose ‘BISC’ for your letters, and then the three ads you submit to us will be ‘BISC001’, then ‘BISC002’, then ‘BISC003.’ This is not mandatory; you can use your own internal numbering system, as long as it is always three digits.
The last three digits are the duration of your ad.
For example, a 30-second ad would read ‘/030’ while a two-minute ad would read ‘/120’. This does not include the additional time needed around the main advert – including the time a clock slate is on screen or any black screen at the start or end of the file.
For further technical specs, please find the Library specs below to download and compare.