It was the summer 2015 that saw Mozilla FireFox withdraw support for Adobe Flash and in doing so begin the irreversible move towards HTML5 within the advertising community. Up to that point most agencies had done their upmost to avoid adopting this new technology, siting investment costs and lack of perceived support across browsers. It was considered that HTML5 was only really necessary where Flash couldn’t be used, such as mobile advertising, where Apple had a huge market share.
In truth, people felt safe within an encapsulated environment that ran consistently across all browsers and had done so for a decade.
We couldn’t say we didn’t see this coming, Apple were lambasted for their refusal to offer Flash support on any of their iOS devices due to a perceived security risk, eventually conceding after petitioning by Adobe to allow app development only via Flash Air publishing which was considered more secure.
The whole reason for the shutdown was Adobes admission that at least three unpatched Flash exploits had been used by a group in Italy to steal around 38 million usernames and encrypted passwords. FireFox and Google soon after decided enough was enough and shut the plugin support down. Between them we are looking at around 50% market share globally of all browsers so this was always going to be big.
The chain reaction was huge, agencies desperately trying to find resource that not only knew how to code in HTML5 but also understood development for advertising which comes with it’s own set of rules and idiosyncrasies…
6 months previous to these events, TWO had been approached by a key client to look at producing HTML5 content for mobile advertising. Traditionally they had only deployed animated GIFs to this platform on the advice of their advertising agency, but being leaders in their particular sector they were looking to break new ground and so approached TWO to explore the possibilities as a global digital partner. After some period of R&D a frame work was developed along with a development methodology. In all this took around a month to perfect. In the coming months we were also invited to produced two campaigns in Flash off of the back of our willingness to support HTML5.
When the news came through about Flash our hard work of the previous few months paid huge dividends, as we were able to support our client and their advertising agency in transcoding more than 150 ads in the space of a month, ensuring maximum engagement whilst many competitor brands had to revert to animated GIFs for the interim period.
Today HTML5 plays a huge part in our business offering, and we now offer an interactive platform free of charge to our clients that allows them to amend content live on their published ads and collect live data.