The HTML5 Revolution is Over: Flash Lost

The HTML5 Revolution is Over: Flash Lost

We’re a mobile world now. You definitely, in no uncertain terms, absolutely must be thinking cross-platform when designing digital ads. And as we’ve noted previously, if you want your ads to be supported on all screens, you should immediately stop using Flash and start using HTML5.

If you’re thinking you can squeak by and avoid the HTML5 revolution, you’re thinking of it wrong. The revolution has been fought. Flash lost. In an open letter published on the IAB’s website, some of the world’s largest media companies are urging the shift:

HTML5 will enable you, your agencies and publishing partners to make your creative ideas captivating on every screen, elevate your brand image, and lower your creative costs. We know this may mean a change in how you develop your ad creative. But there are many tools to augment work with HTML5, such as responsive design, and a multitude of suppliers available to assist.

Signed by the likes of Conde Nast, IDG, Forbes, Google, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, it might as well be a death certificate for Flash.

And it doesn’t stop there, in just a few days on Sept 1 Amazon.com will no longer accept Flash ads across its owned and operated domains:

This is driven by recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limits Flash content displayed on web pages. This change ensures customers continue to have a positive, consistent experience across Amazon and its affiliates, and that ads displayed across the site function properly for optimal performance.

HTML5 for Digital Ads: Don’t be a Laggard

This is going to be a challenge. HTML5 is the province of developers, not of designers. Flash is built with a graphical development tool akin to Photoshop or Illustrator. Designers are used to this, visual workers Flash allowed them to create beautiful interactive ads. HTML5 relies on code to deliver ads. Companies will have to hire web developers to support the transition.

At Madison Logic, we point those who are faced with this challenge to the IAB’s guide, HTML5 for Digital Advertising 1.0: Guidance for Ad Designers & Creative Technologists. According to the document abstract:

HTML5 for Digital Advertising 1.0 offers guidance on optimizing HTML5 ad code for better performance across platforms.This document establishes common ground for optimized HTML5 ads, helping reduce operational overhead that results as companies make the shift from graphical development tools like Flash to HTML5, a nascent standard that requires more manual processing.

As a famous singer once sang, the times they are a’changin’. But at least you don’t have to go it alone, we’re all in this together. It’s going to be an interesting fall.

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