Mar 31 2016
Anthony Loredo

Basis DSP Spotlight: HTML5 Ads


The use of HTML5 to code and create dynamic ads (over Flash) is gaining popularity. While Flash is used for ads with animation, video, and other creative elements, HTML5 also comes with the same benefits and much more. HTML5 is open source, which allows the developer community to quickly improve on it by fixing bugs, adding new features, increasing capabilities, and more. Flash is proprietary software and doesn’t benefit from the backing of the wider community. It is therefore more susceptible to malware and viruses, which could endanger publishers and users loading pages with content and ads that are animated by it. The industry has begun the shift toward HTML5 as a standard format of creating ads.

What’s happening?
Basis DSP is one of the first programmatic advertising software providers that enables users to upload and host HTML5 ads free of charge, without the need for a third-party ad server. HTML5 Ads allows users to directly upload HTML creatives as a Zip file in My Ads and link them to any of their campaigns. Users that have ad tag access will have the ability to upload HTML5 ads directly to the platform or as an ad tag.

DSP Screenshot 1

Why is this important to users?
Unlike Flash ads, HTML5 ads can run on all platforms (desktop or mobile) and don’t require additional plugins to render correctly, thereby providing customers with a better experience to engage with ads. Additionally, HTML5 not only loads faster than Flash ads, but it also takes up less data when loading, which makes it more favorable on mobile devices. This is one reason iOS no longer supports Flash ads. Furthermore, HTML5 is not exposed to the same security vulnerabilities as Flash (as mentioned above), so both advertiser and internet user are better protected.

How would a user utilize this?
Users have two ways of uploading HTML5 ad tags in CDSP: 1) Upload the HTML5 zip file directly to Basis DSP or 2) upload a regular ad tag (just like they do today).

Hosted by Basis DSP: Uploading an HTML5 ad directly in Basis DSP means the user will be uploading a Zip file containing all the files necessary for the ad to display properly on a publisher’s site. Additionally, users would set the destination URL, determine if all the ad or just parts of it are clickable, and declare the ad’s SSL status. For detailed tips on creating ads in HTML5, the IAB provides some guidelines.

Third-party ad tag: Users can work with a third-party ad server to supply the HTML5 ad as an ad tag. This can be uploaded directly to My Ads. It is worth noting that unlike an HTML5 ad hosted by Basis, a third-party ad tag cannot be modified through Basis DSP — the destination URL and clickability functions of the ad will all be controlled by the ad server.  

DSP Screenshot 2

With Chrome now pausing Flash content that isn't “central to the webpage,” Flash ads, by default, will be paused on the first frame. Marketers using Flash in their ads (served in Chrome browsers) would be paying for a static ad unit that users would have to manually activate to see the creative. To bypass this hurdle, users can instead use HTML5 for their ads.

If you’re interested in HTML5 ads, give it a try on Basis DSP today.