Best Practices in the HTML5 Transition

By Erin Berkenmeier Display Advertising Media Buying Online Advertising April 15, 2016

PETROL believes display ads should always be a complement, not an impediment.  And as ad management tools and publishers facilitate the code bases needed to deliver high-impact ads, we see creative brand experiences on both mobile and desktop delivering better and better end results.

For more context on the pros and cons of this transition, check out our review of HTML5 in 2016.

To help fellow marketers and agencies optimize for HTML5, we’ve put together 4 simple best practices to ensure quality and compliance.

#1  Don’t waste media impressions, build campaigns exclusively in HTML5

The biggest difference we have seen is that HTML5 is much heavier compared to Flash. This often forces the HTML5 version to be served as rich media, and thus cost more, where the equivalent in Flash would fit within standard ad specs. To meet this challenge, PETROL developers have been surfacing new proprietary techniques (where possible) to deliver maximum impact at low file sizes.

#2  Educate and manage expectations early regarding the capabilities of HTML5

By communicating the potential roadblocks and changes to clients at the beginning of the process, expectations can be reset. This includes accounting for longer lead times from both a programming and QA standpoint, as well as budgeting (due to rich media fees) to ensure campaigns launch smoothly. The switch from Flash to HTML5 poses some creative limitations, however the transition will create a better user experience overall. HTML5 is an open format, functions across modern browsers and devices that can auto-update, and is less susceptible to bugs and security issues.

#3  Current size limitations will require conversations with sites

Currently, most sites are still using file size limitations associated with the pre-HTML5 switchover. As a result, PETROL has been engaging publishers to push for standard ads with higher file size limitations, as HTML5 is typically heavier in comparison to Flash. Many of the sites we deal with on a regular basis have begun to agree to allow for some file size flexibility. However, guidelines will need to come from the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) to ensure all sites adhere to the same standard practices.

#4  Look to increase mobile inventory impressions

Over 50%** of web traffic comes from mobile. HTML5 allows for a rich and seamless experience on the mobile platform and has the ability to connect the user on multiple screens (mobile to desktop). For example, consumers can use the accelerometer on the iPhone to move an image




Erin Berkenmeier

Erin Berkenmeier

An avid explorer of internet culture, Erin has spent the past 6 years building successful digital experiences and creative campaigns for social media.