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Tag Archives: Flash

HTML5 Vs. Flash: Will One Platform Finally Win Out?

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Steve Jobs made headlines back in 2010 forecasting the death of Flash as a digital media technology, and ever since the industry has been waiting with baited breath for the fabled end to finally occur. The fact is, despite the dire predictions to the contrary, Flash is still very much a reality of the digital landscape. But is it the best available solution for your advertising needs?

There is no shortage of experts espousing the benefits of HTML5 over Flash. The industry, as a whole, seems to agree that HTML5 has significant advantages over Flash in part due to the meteoric rise of mobile web usage and the continued decline of desktop computing. Adobe, the creator of the Flash infrastructure, has even come out in favor of HTML 5.

Danny Winokur, Adobe’s VP and general manager of interactive development, wrote, “HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.”

Brand Benefit of HTML5 Over Flash

Flash requires a Flash player in order to function, thus the user’s device must have a current install of the latest Flash player in order to fully experience your creative. When a device does not have flash enabled/player installed, a still image (.jpg) serves in place of the expertly crafted interactive experience. This still image is usually the last frame of the flash sequence, hardly the desired user experience. This results in poor brand exposure and less value to money spent. In some campaigns, this still image is served in 15-20 percent of the total purchased impressions.

In contrast, HTML5 can run across all devices and browsers without requiring an installed player in order to function. This guarantees the delivery of a consistent creative experience to all audiences, building better brand exposure and user experience.




Requires player to function Does not require player to function
Animates on flash enabled devices only Animates on all devices
Browsers must install flash updates periodically No updates needed
Requires a swf and jpg built per size One creative file per size


The end of the era of Flash is seemingly evident and yet it persists. Why?

Theories abound but most tend to center around the creative side of the business holding us hostage. One popular theory is that the agencies and designers responsible for building ad executions continue to prop up the Flash format because the infrastructure for its development is already in place. These agencies have the talent pool for development in Flash creative in-house or readily available and moving to HTML5 would require retraining of existing resources or the development of new creative/code resources. In truth, Flash does provide some advanced animation capabilities that are still not available in the HTML5 universe, however; short of full video executions, these advantages rarely come into play in digital advertising executions.

Use of the HTML5 format is vital for the continued growth of the digital advertising industry and HTML5 is becoming the expected format and best practice for creative.

It’s time to turn the page as an industry and embrace the future. Will you join the fight?


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