Flash is dead, long live HTML5!

Flash is dead, long live HTML5!

Affiliate Marketing

Written by

Papa Whale


November 23, 2016


Affiliate Marketing


Remember how in the early 2000s, Flash was all the rage?  

Back then, Flash was… well, let’s just say as cool as the other side of the pillow!

At the time, it revolutionized the web’s digital advertising landscape.

It allowed graphic designers, Webmasters, and of course, Advertisers the ability to incorporate animation, audio content and other nifty effects into everything from Internet applications to the very first awesome Web Banners.

Flash was indeed a step up from some of those horrendous .GIF banners of the ‘90s!

But unfortunately for Flash — its own limitations and the rise of a new Mobile world meant only one thing:  its eventual death.

Let’s take a deeper look at the decline of Flash and explore what this “post-Flash” world looks like!

But First... A Walk Down Memory Lane — A Memorial to Flash

More interactive, more versatile, and definitely more eye-popping…

These are just some of the things that can be said about Flash-based banner ads compared to the “old school” — banners of ‘94, ‘95, and ‘96 — static, plain text & animated-GIF banner ad counterparts.

Let’s face it:  Flash enabled greater creative license for just about anyone who was using it.

Adobe Flash played a pivotal role and laid the foundation for the surge in online rich media advertising around 2004, during a period what is now referred to as “The Web Banner Revival”.

Back to the Basics… Rich media is a term to describe highly engaging content in web advertising. It frequently contains audio, video, or other elements that increase interaction and engagement. The use of rich media has been one of the better ways of combatting banner blindness and increasing clickthrough rates (CTRs) compared to more standard and conventional advertising. Rich media paved the way for those innovative “site takeovers” you frequently see on all the big sites.

Indeed, Flash was also the first tool to allow the animation of an entire website - which was actually attractive to some users. For some users, it was like watching a short movie.

Some companies — such as Pringles — pushed the envelope even further utilizing Flash in their digital Advertising campaigns to engage customers at unheard of levels!

The Pringles Banner Ad that got people to click again, again, and then again some more…



This Pringles campaign not only won numerous awards -- but their "Can Hands Endless Banner" campaign contained 97 different frames of funny dialog that "drew people deeper into a conversation with every click.”

According to the company, 20% of the people who clicked on the ad clicked through ALL 97 creative frames to view the entire ad!

But then the Flash honeymoon ended...

You know the story…

The rise of the smartphone and mobile device meant the decline for Flash.

Flash usage declined slowly but constantly ever since.

As we all know, Flash just wasn’t created with Mobile in mind and with it came some serious security concerns (among many other drawbacks).

The Killshot

The last of a long series of final blows against Adobe came from none other than Google.

Google recently announced that its Chrome browser would start blocking Flash animations completely in December 2016.

So — if you guys still have Flash campaigns running — now’s a good time to phase them out.

HTML5: The Alternative to Flash

Does Google’s decision signal the end of interactive online advertising? Absolutely not!

Despite web banners in general seeing declines since 2008 due to increased Adblock usage & banner blindness — their effectiveness & CTR remains stable and effective with HTML5 campaigns — regardless of the vertical promoted.

If you'd like to go one step further in your analysis and gather valuable data, we recommend using Thalamus — a search engine with an extensive database for the online advertising industry. With over 50,000 vendors worldwide, it's a very neat ressource. Plus, the fact it's 100% free really seals the deal.

Digital Advertising Continues to Shift More & More to HTML5 Everyday

The use of HTML5 banners are not only effective -- but HTML5 has overtaken Flash as the “new standard” established by the IAB concerning the use of Rich Media.

And there are numerous reasons for this…

  • HTML5 is cross-device compatible. It allows you to use a countless number of ad formats in an interactive way. This freedom offers flexibility in your campaigns like never before.
  • HTML5 requires no plugins to embed videos.
  • HTML5 requires no plugins to embed videos.
  • HTML5 is lighter than Flash. For example, you can display a video in an ad that will be as light as 3kb.
  • HTML5 improves viewability & memorability by showing interactive ads that can be set with autoplay and full screen capabilities if desired.
  • HTML5 is ideal and optimized for dynamic content!

Go With the Flow

As you can already tell, the whole Industry is now swimming in the proverbial “HTML5 pool” and enjoying its awesome benefits.

Needless to say, we definitely recommend you do the same!

Just to give you a quick glimpse at all the possibilities that HTML5 has to offer, take a look at this Google Rich Media Gallery and prepared to get inspired!

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