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The necessity of HTML5

Written by Harriet | 13-Jul-2015 11:40:00

Why HTML5?

The popularity of using HTML5 to build ad creatives over using flash is being driven by our new found love of using multiple modern day devices, mostly in the form of mobiles and tablets.

The main underlying reason for this change is the simple fact that flash does not have the capability to serve ads on mobile inventory, as most mobile environments do not support flash. 

Source: Google

Publishers are reducing the support of flash, the number of mobile impressions is increasing and many browsers have started to adopt ‘power saving plugins’, which pause any flash content to reduce the negative impact video and rich/flash media can have on browser speed and battery life.

Continuing to use flash content

One browser which has adopted said plug-in is Google Chrome. At the moment this setting is optional, but from September 2015 this opt-in setting will be made default. As a result any flash ad creatives appearing on chrome will not run across desktops until the user initiates the ad.

Considering that chrome has the highest usage of internet browsers at 64.9% as of May 2015, this change is going to have a substantial detrimental impact on how ads appear to users 

Source: W3

How will HTML5 make a difference?

As a result of these developments a new medium was needed to build ad creative, which has come in the form of HTML5. HTML5 is the latest version of Hypertext Markup Language that provides the structure of web pages and it is this language that is now being used to build ads, replacing the adobe flash software previously used.

HTML5 addresses all the issues that flash could not overcome. Unlike flash, which requires plugins to work, HTML5 can run across all major mobile operating systems and browsers. Moreover, it relies upon the power of the device (hardware acceleration) rather than software to run effectively and therefore doesn’t impact browser speed or battery life, which is especially important for mobile devices. As a result HTML5 has become the standard for web technology.

In addition to the technological developments above, research has revealed that PC ownership is decreasing. Over 4 in 10 households own a tablet and people are spending more time online via tablets and smartphones. Combine this with the fact that 61% of people owned a smartphone in the UK in 2014 compared to 51% in 2013, and it is clear that the adoption of mobile technology is significantly increasing. Advertisers need to adapt to changing consumer habits if they want to be able to reach their target audience across desktop, tablet and smartphone. (source: Ofcom).

On top of this, HTML5 hosts the capability to create dynamic ad creatives. This means that mobile ads in particular no longer have to be static and opportunities from a design standpoint can really open up. There are also a lot of tools available such as Google Web Designer which allows you to build HTML5 creative without manually writing code (although the option is available of course).

As a result the combination of technical and social developments has driven a change in the way that ads are created. HTML5 is here to stay and is driving an industry-wide revamp.

Planning ahead

Here at equimedia we want to ensure that our client’s creative continues to be as impactful as possible, therefore we have engaged with our clients on these changes and provided recommendations, to ensure that any required changes to creative is scheduled in ahead of the September deadline.