As September approaches, Ad Tech world has one more thing to look forward to besides fall colors—HTML5. Just as the daylight hours shorten and veins that carry fluids to the leaves are blocked off, browsers are turning on power saver plugins that will further diminish the audience for flash—giving way to a new canvas to paint with HTML5 Ads. It will usher in a new era of media rich and responsive ad units that will be seamlessly served across devices, platforms and browsers.
Since the publication of WHATG Living Standard for HTML5 in 2012, publishers have been migrating to HTML5. Today, only about 10% of all websites use Flash for client side technology. IAB has provided support to the industry in this transition through best practices guidance via HTML5 for Digital Advertising: Guide for Ad Designers and Creative Technologists and by making HTML5 a cornerstone for Make Mobile Work initiative. But the pace of change has never been faster and the resolve to push this transition has never been more intense. Since the W3C’s release of HTML5 as stable recommendation in October 2014, IAB Display Creative guidelines Workgroup has been testing a diverse range HTML5 ad units for load performance and optimization.
Several initiatives are underway or about to take off at IAB Tech Labs to help the industry take advantage of all that HTML5 has to offer.
Updated Creative Display Guidelines released for public comments to embrace HTML5 based standards and allow for higher file weights, multiple file requests, use of code libraries and make use of canvas and video elements. This is a direct result of extensive testing for load performance of HTML5 ad units. The new guidelines will help publishers and advertisers standardize HTML5 ad specifications to deliver seamless experiences to consumers. In future, the display guidelines will be converted into a technical specification that will advance iteratively and can be easily integrated into Ad Tech vendor products to comply with faster change of pace
Revision of the HTML5 for Digital Advertising: Guide for Ad designers and Creative Technologists with more specific information and actions that you can pursue in transitioning to HTML5. This covers a diverse range of topics like optimization of assets, use of code libraries, click tag implementation, common tools and platforms, animation and video, ad server compatibility and effectively applying related technologies like CSS3, JS, SVG, Web Fonts, 2D WebGL, and more.
Revising the HTML5 for Digital Advertising resources Wiki to make it a continuously updated page reviewed quarterly for constantly changing compatibilities as well as repository of tool, libraries and platforms with data on how to evaluate the tools that best fit an advertiser’s needs
Building an HTML5 Ad Validator to support publishers and creative developers in validating ad assets against IAB display guidelines compliance for file weight calculations, number of requests, initial display and subload guidance as well as load performance data
New Webinars from leaders in HTML5 adoptions on the most pressing questions about a successful transition
Events for deep dives into HTML5 creative technology to provide a hands on guidance as well as opportunity to ask in depth questions
Flex Ad standards will revise the ad portfolio and display guidelines into responsive ad units that take full advantage of canvas element to create rich, immersive, and interactive brand experiences, while at the same time responding to the device size to blend seamlessly into fluid and responsive modern websites and apps designs. These standards will be revised on a continuous basis to keep pace with the fast changing markets and maintained as versions to enable smoother adoption in smaller iterations.
Dynamic Ad Standards for truly dynamic content optimization for digital ads that will allow creative to catch up with ad tech’s ability to target, render, and serve ads based on dynamic audience and context variables
Simplifying the IAB Standard Ad Portfolio to provide the industry with winning ad units across all devices
Its going to be an exciting Fall as it sets the stage for bidding adieu to Flash ads that have been the mainstay for Display Advertising for over a decade and chart a new path as we learn, adopt and welcome the age of HTML5 Ads.
About the Author
Participants will learn how to develop a successful competitive strategy and to position their brands and digital products, as well as how to avoid common pitfalls that many media companies have made. They will amass a set of practical tools and important questions to ask of their teams across sales, data, and measurement. Our faculty of instructors is comprised of experienced business and thought leaders who have successfully navigated the digital landscape and they love telling war stories of what worked or didn’t and why.
Eric is the creator and Head of Digital Leadership Programs, IAB as well as President of EG Consultants, LLC, a educational and marketing consulting firm focused on providing brand management and customer centric strategies to Fortune 100 clients.
Prior to IAB, Eric served as the Managing Director of Executive Education for Rutgers University, in which he created, managed and taught executive education programs to Fortune 100 executives in four continents. Email him at [email protected]
1) Is there a Primary Disclosure Statement of any kind? (e.g., Sponsored by, promoted, etc.)
- If yes, what is it, where is it found in the ad and is the type size larger, smaller or the same size as the ad copy type size?
- If yes, how is it disclosed - logo, name or both?
- If yes, is it dark, medium or light?
- Of the 55 web properties that did not have in-feed ads, some sites have no advertising at all (e.g., Apple.com - ranked #13 most visited), while others may have had different types of native adverting formats on their site such as Search, Product Listings or Recommendation Widgets. A link to the comScore list is seen in the Methodology section below.
- Statements that include some variation of the word “sponsored” are used by over half of all in-feed ads evaluated (55%)
- Twelve percent of statements included a variety of words/terms including “Brought to you by”, “Advertisement presented by”, “In association with”, “Content from”, “In partnership with”, “Supported by” or language that is unique to that site (e.g., BrandVoice). That tabulation appears in the infographic below as “Other.”
- When the brand sponsor is disclosed, there is wide variation of how the brand/sponsor is disclosed. The most common presentation is with the name only (no logo) at 36%
- Publisher websites were evaluated on desktop only focusing exclusively on in-feed advertising units, regardless of who powered the unit (e.g., custom or third party).
- Excluded were In-Game ads due to their unique features. More information on In-Game ads can be found in the IAB Game Advertising Ecosystem Guide. Other native ad formats identified in the IAB Native Advertising Playbook (Search, Recommendation Widgets, and IAB Standard Ads with Native Elements) were thus excluded as disclosure practices for each format can vary.
- In-Feed Native ads were identified on each webpage using a similar technology methodology as Ad Block. For each site, every homepage and any article page that had a feed on them at the time were evaluated.
- Note: This methodology cannot detect in-feed ads delivered from the same server as the content, using the same formatting; however, in instances where in-feed native ads were not detected with this methodology, a manual review of the site was conducted to determine if in-feed native advertising was present on the site.
- The ad’s coordinates on the webpage were grabbed and a screenshot of the area was taken using a programmable web browser.
- August 26: How can you showcase your brand through mobile video?
- October 14: Understanding cross-device measurement
- December 9: Tactics for mobile app promotion campaigns
As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.
- For now, think of Advanced TV as supplemental to the standard broadcast plan. The current scale and capabilities of Advanced TV advertising opportunities are a great supplement to, but not yet a replacement for, your traditional TV buy.
- Take advantage of precision targeting, but don’t get too excited about this capability and take it too far. While there is great audience targeting and re-aggregation possible, scale audiences at this time can’t get too specific - e.g. club-footed home-office radiologists in Michigan - or you will lose the ability actually to impact your brand.
- The currency of the space is largely impressions-based, for now. But watch this space, so to speak, for evolution in that area. And channel any feedback you have to the IAB regarding currency and measurement needs, as many of these standards and best practices are being worked out at this time.
- Multiple modes of distribution mean multiple channel contacts are necessary for planning and buying. It’s still worth it, but be prepared to manage this process.
- Agencies should be prepared to allocate additional resources to address the technical needs of Advanced TV and have specific workflow in place.
Elaine Boxer is the Director, IAB Digital Video Center of Excellence.
- Significant upgrades that improve the programmatic workflow buyers and sellers
- An indicator for mobile optimized sites, helping to ensure the right creative is available
- Support for signaling supported image dimensions/resolutions, allowing bidders to make smarter buying decisions
Melissa Gallo is Director of Product, Programmatic Automation and Data in the IAB Technology Lab, at the IAB.
Stephen Jenkins is VP, Global Marketing & Communications, at Millennial Media.