HTML5 Banners VS Other Types of Banners: Meet the Winner

Compare HTML5 banners with Gif, Flash, and Static banners

HTML5 VS GIF Banners? HTML5 Banners VS Flash? HTML5 VS Static Banners?

We have put the major banner ad types head to head. Read what we have discovered and choose the best type for your next advertising campaign. 

A couple of decades after the first display ad was published on the Internet, banner advertising remains one of the best and most popular methods to promote brands and generate leads. This is backed up by numbers. For example, Statista projects that the banner advertising market volume will reach $71,553M by 2024.

Increased spending on banner advertising means that it’s effective and brings businesses the desired value by converting consumers to customers. That being said, just displaying banners on various sites doesn’t automatically make an advertising campaign successful.

The Important Characteristics of a Banner Ad

Banners must meet several criteria in order to stir up the target audience’s interest and entice them to respond to a call to action. Here are the most essential characteristics to consider when building an effective banner:

  • Visuals. A banner with poor-quality, pixelated images laid out with no regard to the size of the ad is a big no-no. Only crisp images or videos that support the business message are acceptable.
  • Text. You can’t overestimate the importance of visual materials in a banner ad. Yet, it’s the message itself that is paramount. It must be legible enough. There must also be a clear distinction between the crucial primary information and less important details. Additionally, the message must be short and to the point. Complexity is a display ad creator’s worst enemy.
  • Color combinations. A deluge of non-matching colors within the small area of a banner ad is likely to put a consumer off rather than attract them. Selecting the right colors and how many is a science and an art that calls for professional assistance.

Read one of our previous posts to learn more about the key principles of banner ad design.

Different Types of Banner Ads

The Main Types of Display Ads

Meeting the standards listed above is important for any banner. However, it’s a specific type of a banner ad that also plays a vital role in the success of an advertising campaign. The following are among the most widely used:

  • Static banners. These represent an unmoving image of a particular size with the business message prominently displayed across it along with a call to action (CTA). For instance, a static banner that promotes educational services may have an image of a classroom with the name of the establishment, a ‘Get your degree’ message, and the ‘Apply now’ CTA.
  • Flash banners. While these are dying out (more on this below), they were quite en vogue in the not so distant past. These are animated ads created by using the Flash technology. They can incorporate images and videos.
  • Animated GIFs. These are sets of images in the .gif format that replace each other continuously within the area of the ad, thus simulating movement.
  • HTML5 Ads. This is the most advanced type of display ad that has almost completely ousted the rest of the contenders from the market. In essence, an HTML5 banner is a website in miniature. Therefore, it is capable of doing everything a website can.

Which of these types is suitable for your advertising campaign? It largely depends on how much money you’re prepared to spend and what you have to say to your target audience. Below, we have compared the major banner types and come to one definite conclusion. HTML5 banners are head and shoulders above all of their competitors. Want to know why? Read on.

Today’s Fights: HTML5 VS GIF Banners, HTML5 Banners VS Flash, and HTML5 VS Static Banners

Why HTML5 banners are better

HTML5 VS GIF Banners: Color Dominance

Our first fight of the day is HTML5 VS GIF Banners, and we proclaim HTML5 the winner by a wide margin. Let’s go over the details.

HTML5 Banner Ads

HTML5 is the latest version of the key markup language of the web. With its final specification published around 6 years ago, it’s now supported by all major browsers, including Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.

HTML5 is a perfect option for creating banner ads. Here are the main reasons:

  1. As we said earlier, an HTML5 banner represents a website in miniature. This means the following:
    • Banner ad developers can easily integrate images and videos into a banner
    • An HTML5 banner can use the data from the server. In the code, a developer can use logic to display specific content to different users based on their preferences and behavior. This a great argument both in the HTML5 VS GIF Banners and HTML5 Banners VS Flash battles.
    • Altering the code of an HTML5 banner is straightforward.
  2. Consumers will see an HTML5 ad everywhere and all the time. Since HTML5 is not a proprietary standard and no additional software is required to play an HTML5 banner, you can be absolutely confident that every visitor will see it.
  3. An HTML5 banner ad uses CPU power very sparingly, unlike other types of banner ads.

GIF Banners

GIF banners are just a set of images in the .gif format that run one after another within the area of an ad. GIF banners are still popular thanks to the ease of building and relative inexpensiveness. In addition, GIF banners have these benefits:

  • They are compatible with almost all devices, although they usually look poor on small screens of smartphones.
  • GIF banner ad creators have fine-grained control over how long an ad should play.
  • They enable designers to create quite sophisticated animation effects that engage the target audience. This contributes to higher click-through rates.

HTML5 VS GIF Banners: The Main Distinctions

While both HTML5 and GIF technologies enable developers to build animated banner ads, they differ in these important aspects:

  1. GIF banners weigh more than HTML5 banner ads. The main reason behind this is the way the rendering of frames in the animation process happens. In HTML5 banners, there is no need to reproduce every pixel during animation. Only the parts of images that change across transitions are re-rendered/redrawn. Besides, HTML5 code is stored in the browser cache. That speeds up the rendering process and cuts down the overall weight of the banner.
    With GIF display ads, by contrast, each and every pixel in a new frame must be reproduced on the screen. The result? More kilobytes (one frame may amount to almost 80Kb). This may slow down displaying GIF banner ads. Thus, a user may not even get to the CTA and leave the page.
  2. Limited variety of colors. This is a huge argument in the HTML5 Banners VS GIF clash. While HTML5 provides a rich “menu” of almost 17 million colors, GIFs are very humble in this respect: just 256. This is especially noticeable when you insert a photo into a GIF banner.
  3. GIF banner ads are not interactive. They don’t include separate web elements such as buttons. Users can only click on the entire area of a GIF banner. No interaction is possible. HTML5 banner ads, on the other hand, can contain buttons, radio buttons, checkboxes, and other web elements. The choices that consumers make are transmitted to the server: interactivity at its best.

Considering these benefits of HTML5 banners, GIF display ads are normally used to ‘play the second fiddle.’ Developers prefer creating HTML5 banners first and GIF banners second just in case something goes wrong.

HTML5 Banners VS Flash: The Living and the Dead

Flash Banner Ads: A Glorious Past and Miserable Present

Our next comparison is HTML5 Banners VS Flash. In its heyday, Flash reigned supreme in the digital advertising world. Introduced by Macrormedia in 1999 and later bought out by Adobe, Flash quickly took off as a tool that made video streaming over the Internet possible. It was a real breakthrough.

In addition, Flash action script created by Adobe enabled developers to build high-quality animated banner ads. Flash’s future seemed bright and happy. However, the Internet is filled with rogues of all kinds. Cybercriminals discovered that Flash had many weak spots through which they could break into users’ computers and wreak havoc.

Adobe tried to fix those issues by constantly updating their product. Alas, it led to even more problems. New versions of Flash were incompatible with the previous ones. Banner ads built for one version failed to play in newer ones. Constant updates bugged users and caused frustration.

In the end, the ‘big guns’ in the face of Google and Apple stopped supporting Flash in their products in favor of the new format — HTML5. Now, after the HTML5 Banners VS Flash fight is over, only a small percent of marketers still risk using Flash banner ads in their marketing campaigns. There are other features of Flash that led it to surrender to HTML5.

HTML5 Banners VS Flash: Fatal Weaknesses

The main weaknesses of Flash banners

  • Flash is not open to all like HTML5. The newest edition of the markup language requires no additional software to run display ads in all browsers. Flash, on the other hand, is a proprietary format. An outdated browser plugin or no plugin at all means that users will see no ads.
  • Unlike HTML5 files, which are easy to modify, Flash files are not.
  • Flash is a greedy animal when it comes to CPU power. Using it on mobiles, thus, is problematic unless you have a bag full of power banks to keep your smartphone or tablet running.

Numerous security and performance issues have determined the fate of Flash in the HTML5 Banners VS Flash battle. It’s almost dead and forgotten. Now, let’s move on to the final comparison in this post.

HTML5 VS Static Banners: Energy and Stillness

Static banners are just that: one image within a rectangular or square area that doesn’t move. It has a business message either under/above the image or over it and a call to action. At the dawn of the digital advertising era, this type of banner was the most widely used.
Despite its simplicity, this type of banner ad does have its strong points:

  • It’s unobtrusive and conveys the message clearly. Surprising as it may seem, static banners are clicked on more often than animated banners. This is because consumers see a call to action on static banners immediately.
  • Static banners require little financial investment. Thus, they’re the top choice for starting businesses. At the same time, they’re also good for established brands that offer new products or services.

With all these advantages, static ads are not interactive or engaging enough. Most people love action and motion. Such display ads are remembered well and contribute to better brand recognition. Thus, the HTML5 VS Static Banners battle is also won by HTML5.

To Sum Up

When considering HTML5 VS GIF Banners, HTML5 Banners VS Flash, or HTML5 VS Static Banners for your next advertising campaign, we recommend HTML5. This open format is accepted by all modern browsers and needs no external tools to play ads. HTML5 banners can integrate all kinds of rich media and interactive elements. They render well no matter the screen resolution or platform and are not heavy on computing power.

Regardless of the type of ad you ultimately opt for, the PSD2HTML banner coding professionals are always at your service. Read this post or visit our service page for details on the magic we do. One thing to note is that all our banners meet the requirements of major advertising networks, including IAB, SIzmek, and AdForm.

Reach out to us today and get back your immaculately coded banners tomorrow!

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