Flash vs HTML5 drama, R.I.P. Adobe Flash, Flash will soon be obsolete – It’s time for agencies to adapt, Chrome block all Flash-based ads and many others…

These are the headlines which have appeared everywhere on the Internet since 1st September. This date will be very well remembered by all advertising agencies as well as digital advertisers and marketers. That day Google made it official and announced that one of the most popular worldwide browsers – Chrome would freeze all Flash ads. The browser will no longer support flash ads like a native format but from now on there will be the HTML5 technology used as an alternative to Flash. It has a lot of benefits (that’s why it’s been introduced!) however the transition from Flash to HTML5 has brought about a lot of changes in the advertising world.

It’s worth remembering that not only Chrome but also Firefox has blocked Flash due to the security reasons, Amazon banned the Flash content as well and Apple has never supported Flash on iOS.


Why don’t these giant platforms support Flash ads anymore?

The reason is using mobile devices with lower processor and hardware needs more frequently. As mentioned, also the security reasons play an important role and essentially responsive design of HTML5 banner ads looks much better than in Flash ads when resizing them in a browser to fit into different screen resolution of mobile devices.

Changes for advertising agencies.
While HTML5 technology brings so many benefits, on the other hand it looks like a nightmare for many advertising agencies, media agencies, publishers and sadly clients too.

  1. Digital production
    From the production perspective the change means  simplifying animations and ads in general. This results in using static ads and videos more often than animated Flash ads.
  2. Flash Designers
    Flash Designers will need to requalify and learn coding in Javascript (HTML5, CSS3, JS). Luckily, Google has introduced Swiffy, a useful online tool helping to convert Flash files into HTML5 formats. However based on my recent experience it is only flawlessly working for simple but not complex types of animation.
  3. Media & Publishing agencies
    These are the agencies who are responsible for displaying the right content so they will definitely need to adjust their advertising systems and be able to process HTML5 banners on their platforms.
  4. Digital Project Managers
    Ultimately, how will this migration from Flash into HTML5 influence project management? 🙂
    Can the change have a direct impact on a PM‘s work and day-to-day activities? Not surprisingly, I have found out, the change requires significant adjustments on a Digital PM side too! First of all, Project Managers need to adjust projects documentation: media or production plan including the required HTML5 specification. PMs should have strong client-facing interpersonal and negotiation skills so that they are able to explain why not all kinds of fancy animation can be built in HTML5 i.e. super natural raining effect, a car rapidly turning at high-speed etc. Moreover, during the migration period, the volume of work is usually higher. This is caused mainly by clients requesting content in both: Flash and HTML5 technologies. Therefore, Digital Project Managers should support the clients and advise on every part of a project including what technology will be used and what creative and animation effects can be achieved. In addition, they should manage client expectations and ask what they would like their final creative to look like. They need to multi-task in a fast-paced agency environment and never give up 🙂

At the end of the day, the change is necessary and it’s not a drama at all. The new technology is a part of the digital world and advertising agencies including Project Managers as well should influence others to convert their content to HTML5 and help the change emerge.

4 thoughts on “Flash vs HTML5 drama

  1. Davidson Sousa says:

    There is only one thing I’d like to point: One of the problems we face now, from the technical perspective, is pure lack of skills since all this thing is very recent. Since we had Flash going on for many years it’s normal that we have more professionals with such skills. But this is gonna change soon. I remember that back in 2000 we lacked Flash designers for what we today consider very basic.
    For now the DPMs (Digital Project Managers) should basically educate the clients about the difficulties of this transition.

  2. matusrepka says:

    I don’t believe there is anything in Flash what cannot be replaced by HTML5.
    Natural rain effects?
    http://modernweb.com/2013/09/23/creating-a-realistic-rain-effect-with-canvas-and-javascript/
    Forget migration tools, they are the reason why you need to make compromises on animations and features what Flash offers out of the box.
    Just invest money and time to hire proper people to do the job – to prepare solid codebase, to prepare templates and to prepare reusable samples.
    Do you need it now? Well, there was quite enough time to do that so far, not just Google, but also others were announcing this situation quite long time ago.
    Or there is still another way – just wait till advanced creative production tools appear.

    1. iwonawiniarska says:

      Thanks for your comments and sharing your experiences. I completely agree we have known the change is going to happen and advertising agencies should have skilled developers. On the other hand, this kind of change will definitely take some time and the agencies are still adapting.

      Let’s see how the transition will develop and evaluate the results in some time again.

      In terms of the raining effects – in the advertising world nothing is impossible! 🙂
      It’s just a matter when you need to deliver.

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