What Are HTML5 Ads?


HTML5 ads are helping online publishers increase click-through rates when compared to static banner ads. With attractive designs that can move and live within webpages, publishers are finding that HTML5 ads are more subtle and effective than traditional banner ads.

In the early days of display advertising, designers frequently built Flash-based ads when they wanted to include animations in their designs. Sure, Flash ads gave designers the opportunity to be creative. But they were also clunky, and they weren’t always 100% secure. Those issues led some publishers to look beyond Flash and standard static ads. That’s when HTML5 ads were born.

HTML5 has grown to become the default format for banner ads on mainstream websites. Part of the reason why is because of the incredible flexibility that HTML5 provides. Traditional banner ads didn’t adapt to user behaviors or respond to changes in screen sizes. In some cases, older types of ads didn’t even work on mobile devices. With 81% of Americans now owning their own smartphones–up from just 35% when Pew Research Center started its annual survey of smartphone usage back in 2011–it’s no wonder publishers and advertisers prefer an advertising format that displays properly on mobile screens. 

The Definition of HTML5 Ads

With HTML5, developers can write video, audio, and animations into the source code of a website. This eliminates the need to rely on plugins like Flash to create dynamic display ads.

Another benefit of HTML5 is that ads are responsive, or adaptive. That means they look as they’re intended across all browsers and devices, and they run within native apps. Any device that renders HTML5 code can render an HTML5 ad.

HTML5 ads run the gamut from simple to sophisticated. Some ads are subtle, just how certain advertisers prefer. Others are over-the-top in terms of both design and capabilities. For example, ads can be touch-capable, which means that end users can actually interact with the designs using their touch-enabled devices. Three-dimension capabilities are also possible with HTML5.

From a technical standpoint, it’s worth mentioning that HTML5 is actually made up of multiple files. These files might have image components, as well as video components and the .html source file. It’s actually the .html file that links the sources of video and images. Within an HTML5 ad, the text, images, and video are all editable.

With HTML5, publishers can:

  • Scale ads to multiple formats and sizes
  • Quickly develop ad variants
  • Dynamically update ads and data feeds
  • Take full advantage of video and mobile display advertising

Publishers who run HTML5 ads will oftentimes utilize a creative management platform (CMP) to code the ads. CMPs offer more ways to take advantage of the benefits of HTML5, so instead of coding ads from scratch, publishers can simply click a button to make all of their banner ads responsive. That’s one of the big differences between ads built with HTML5 and Flash, and it’s one of the reasons why this ad format has become so popular in the last few years. 

Are you curious about adding HTML5 ads to your website? Reach out to our team and we’ll help you get started today.

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