HTML5 Banners: The new Wild West?

April 14, 2015

HTML5 banners place brands and agencies in uncharted territory: They’re so new that nobody knows just how they will change the business. But the benefits of HTML5 are quickly making this technology the #1 choice for digital banners in 2015, and below you can take a peek into why that is.

HTML5 gif


But first: What is HTML, and what is HTML5?

If you think of a website (or a banner, or any other piece of online content) as a house, HTML represents the bricks—the underlying and essential structure. The coat of paint is called CSS—this code controls how everything looks. And the plumbing and electricity—the stuff the house can do—is determined by something called JavaScript.

HTML5 is the latest version of HTML. In addition to more powerful building blocks, HTML5 works alongside new advances in CSS (called CSS3) and exceptionally lightweight JavaScript libraries.*

Now, let’s learn why all this makes HTML5 the new frontier of banner technology:

HTML5 works on mobile

Until recently, Flash was the reigning king of online banners. But, it doesn’t work on iPhones and most other mobile devices. HTML5, on the other hand, works on every device.

HTML5 fits every screen

There’s a heck of a lot of screen sizes out there, and marketers want their ads to look great on all of them. CSS3, a technology that works seamlessly with HTML5, allows banner ads to resize themselves for the screen they’re in.

HTML5 lets you test your messaging

When Flash banners are served, they come in a neat little package with no room for variables. HTML5 banners are much more fluid and can contain virtually limitless variables for copy and images, allowing for dynamic changes on the fly. The targeting potentials are limited only by your imagination—and vendor support, of course.

All right, you’re ready! But, is the world?

There’s a reason not everyone uses HTML5 for their banners right now: not every advertising program accepts them. Some, like BabyCenter, are running HTML5 banners—and they’ve seen amazing click-through rates in the banners BSTRO has created for them using this technology.

BSTRO still creates successful Flash banners for many of our clients and will continue to do so for as long as there is interest. But we see the tides changing in online banner technology—and we predict that brands that dive into HTML5 now will be well positioned for success in 2015 and beyond.

*If you have more questions about HTML5, look no further than our own Digital Director, Lauren O’Donovan! She was part of the W3C working group that put together the HTML5 specification.