Within the digital advertising community, the death of Adobe Flash was queued-up by browser side initiatives that strived to improve the user experience while browsing the web.  Since these announcements by browsers such as Chrome and Mozilla, there have been shifts on the demand and supply side of the advertising ecosystem. DoubleClick will prohibit, come July, Flash creatives to be uploaded and no longer allow Flash to be served across their platforms starting next year.* All of these shifts prompted the IAB Tech Lab to host an event last week in San Francisco. And the event was a mix of showcasing their HTML5 Ad Validator, while discussing solves for scalability, and flexibility.

HTML5 Ad Validator

The Ad Validator allows for easy assessment of various HTML5 ad formats by processing your input (either zipped ad packages or JavaScript ad tags) and evaluating based on the factors below:

  • File Weight

  • File Requests

  • Shared Libraries

  • Ad Load (both Initial and Subsequent Load)

Additionally, more granular validation and verification can be applied to HTML5 by evaluating factors such as:

  • URLs accessed by the creative

  • File Types

  • File Types by Weight

  • Ad Display Snapshots

Flexibility

Solving for flexibility design tools is key. Solutions ranged from enabling a client to upload a zipped asset pack of externally authored files, extracting various HTML assets and JS files, then allowing for the client to design around existing content to create a dynamic infrastructure. These dynamic attributes, available to designers, can be applied to external files, including triggers and actions, as well as access to JS files and assets via external data signals. The ability to include custom fonts, drag and drop layers within creative builds, and animation of creative elements via canned actions is sufficient for some marketers.

 

Scalability

Adtech partners are solving for design constraints, large media plans across platforms, cross device inventory, and creative variants. To solve for designer constraints, such as time or resources, adtech partners allow for creative layouts to cascade across dimensions with subsequent canvases to inherit original design elements. Other scale-based solutions include responsive canvases that allow for a single creative build to render cross device without sacrificing the integrity of the design as well as allowing for creative targeting based on the contracted media plan. Regardless of the problem being addressed, scalability solutions are needed for design and media buying.

Personalization

Within HTML5, personalization solutions include: the overlap of flexible designs, external data signals, and feed-forward or data-driven creative. Participants emphasized tactics that tackle how and where external feeds could be leveraged to dynamically populate an ad, the impact of media placement or audience data on flexible creative assets, and contextual data signals (weather and geo) determining which creative assets should render. As we all know, pushing out great product is necessary for solving industry-wide problems; however, packaging often empowers sales and resonates with a user base.

Given that the same themes repeatedly came up, it became apparent that there is an industry-wide need for shared/common testing tools and guidance on how to empirically evaluate HTML5 creatives against the IAB HTML5 guidelines. It is also easy to understand why Flite has been advocating for a shift towards HTML5 since late 2013 (when we first unveiled our HTML5 Design Studio). As the industry continues to move away from Flash and towards HTML5, it is important that there are common tools and verification processes that are made available to all participants within the market.

* These dates do not apply to video creative built in Flash.