Tuesday, 6 December 2011

HTML5 Banners

Imagine this scenario: Flash is definetely dead and it has been replaced by HTML5. I do not support this statement at all, but it could be.

So: What happens in that case with display Ads?

One the big advantages of Flash is that it is a program which can be used by many differente profiles, such as designers, animators and developers. In my work I give support to more than 50 creative agencies to make RichMedia Ads, the more of them are made with Flash. In my opinion all conventional banners are made by designers, and about the 50% of RichMedia Ads also, the rest need more developer/animation skills.

So, if the previous statement happens: What would creative agencies do?
To answer this we should go to the past. We must know that Flash was first a program for designers and animators, then, Flash progressed a lot, so many programmers also began to use it. And also many designers using Flash like me migrated and converted into designers-developers, what they called devigners.

But, to be honest, I don´t see these people moving to html5. Why? Because by now there´s not a wysiwyg program for html5, or is there?

Well, there´s a company called AdVine, Sprout, making something about this. This is called Sproutinc, the idea is this:

let´s see a video:

You can find more info about them in their website or in their blog
Also, Adobe has a word to say about this, as you can check in Adobe Labs 
Also you can have a look at their video channel on youtube

I see this more advanced than Adobe Edge

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Analysis: Google Swiffy: Convert Flash to HTML

About a month ago we had from Google this extension presumely to transform Flash to HTML easily.

If you go to the website you can download it as an .mxp. I shall remind you that if you have more than one Flash version installed you could have a conflict with the Adobe Extension Manager. I had to unistall the previous version of it so as to run this extension.

Easy to install

Download the Swiffy Extension (.mxp file) and open it.Adobe Extension Manager will install the Swiffy Extension, making it immediately available to use from Flash Professional.

Export to HTML5 with one command

The new “Export to HTML5 (Swiffy)” item in the “Commands” menu exports your file to HTML5 and opens the result in your default web browser. Assigning a keyboard shortcut to this command makes it even easier!

Quick feedback

Information about the conversion process, such as features that are not supported by Swiffy, is shown in the “Output” panel, immediately after the export finishes.

So, you have it installed! And now?
Let´s make a simple banner with no Code, only timeline animation, with Actionscript 2 and exported as a .swf, you will have this:

Now, if you go to Flash > Menu> Commands > Export as HTML5 (Swiffy) you will have this advice first:

Later, your brower will open a new Tab, so if your .swf route was this:

Now you will have this:

And if you upload to a server and embed it

So, there´s no difference by now.

Let´s do this in Actionscript 3. You won´t have the Warning, and about the results:
Exported as .swf:

Exported with Swiffy as HTML5:

There´s no difference. I would even say that it´s easier in Actionscript 3 as there are no warnings.

So let´s try now with some code:
Do not try to do it in Actionscript 3, you will have this Warning:

Swiffy Flash Extension for Win v1.0.13 [Swiffy v3.6.1]
- Warnings -
Scenes are not supported.
ActionScript 3.0 is not supported.

In Actionscript 2 you can´t use blend modes.
The good news is that you can use Greensock library

For example in a banner in Actionscript 2 with this code:

import com.greensock.*;
import com.greensock.plugins.*;

function infiniteMovement()
TweenLite.to(textbanner, 1, {delay:1, _alpha:100});

TweenLite.to(textbanner, 1, {delay:3, _rotation:360, overwrite:false});
TweenLite.to(textbanner, 1, {delay:7, _alpha:0, overwrite:false, onComplete:onFinishTween, onCompleteParams:[4,bg]});
TweenLite.to(textbanner, 1, {delay:6, _rotation:0, overwrite:false});

function onFinishTween(parameter1:Number,parameter2:MovieClip)



The result in HTML5 once exported is this:

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Flash is dead, Steve Jobs is dead

Five statements about Flash totally misleading:

1- Flash is the devil, the virus of Matrix: This has become a Credo for fanboys
2- Flash is about games and porn: Not for Apps, Advertising, Websites, desktop applications or RIAs.
3- Flash is dead, Steve Jobs is dead: Probably they are but their memory and work will be always live.
4- Flash developers are mobile developers: Nothing to do, just a few %
5- AIR is the same as Flash: I would say Air has better fame than Flash, perhaps because of Android

Five conclussions:
1 -The death of the multiplatform developer
2- FlashPlayer is death, long live to AIR (remember: The web is dead, long live to Apps)
3- Adobe strategy has been really "strange"
4- Mobile has killed Flash, at least FlashPlayer
5- If you are a Mobile programmer, go to HTML5

Friday, 23 September 2011

Anatomy of the perfect banner

From Dutch Cowboys I´ve found this infographic coming from BuySellAds.

We are strictily talking about design, not about CTR or tech.
So, mainly they say that a good banner shall have: Interactivity, good use of space, compelling imagery, good texts, call to action, branding elements and a bit of humor.

What shouldn´t be on a banner: Lost messages, falses promises, excesive impact and bad colour treatment.

In my opinion, if we talk about sales, I still think the most important thing is the publisher where the Ad goes. Talking about branding is different, that way creativity is much more important.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Google on Display Ads

Two days ago, there was a blog post from Neal Mohan, vicepresident od Display Advertising from Google with the title There’s a perfect ad for everyone

Who is this man and what did he say?

For the second answer, this is Google and in my opinion they are launching one of the biggest campaigns of the year with Watch This Space. Everyone of us has seen it even on print. It´s not a prize winning campaign but its omnipresent.

Some time ago Google was too centered on AdSense and others. So, what would happen if the bigger advertiser would jump on Richmedia display ads? Well they first bought Double Click Studio and then began to work. In fact that´s a good idea, to have an agency making formats for your publisher page, even more if all people are saying again and again that video is going to take the web. Yes I´m talking about YouTube...

So they became one more of the richmedia publishers you should follow, with MSN, Yahoo and AOL.

First question: What did he say?

1 -The number of display ad impressions will decrease by 25 percent per person. I don´t believe so. It´s like saying they will remove Ads from tv. no sense.

2- Engagement rates across all display ads will increase by 50 percent.
Well, I understand video comes strong although maybe not that amount. How do you measure engage? I remember, there was a mobile phone from Nokia, called Nokia NGage. It was for gaming, enjoying time. So now it will be video, hope better than pre-roll.

3- People will have a direct say in 25 percent of the ads they see. This is related to Cookies. In fact there´s a new law coming, at least in Europe, I don´t believe it will change a lot.

4- 35 percent of campaigns will primarily use metrics beyond clicks and conversions. That´s logic. Richmedia and video bring new metrics against CTR. Anytime you want your customer to be engaged you can give him a lot of metrics.

5- 25 billion ads per day will tell people why they are seeing them. You can also ask Steve Jobs what does he thinks about cookies and his iAd. Also Zuckerberg, I look forward to seeing the day when display ads go to Social Media king (FB).

6- Over 40 percent of online Americans will name display ads as their favorite ad format. The other 60% must be watching the superbowl Ads video.

Well, we don´t have the data that Google has but same intuitions had already been said

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Life of a banner. RichMedia Workflow

This the tipical scheme of a banner life, it could also be a richmedia workflow life:

First step: A customer who wants to sell something or just make branding or so, decides to make a Media campaign on the Internet. Usually they´re launched just after you see the TV ad.

So customer meets his Media Agency. There´s a man on that agency called the Media Planner. He is in charge of negotiating and making the best out of the budget customer has. So, he could do SEO, SEM, Social Media or a Display Campaign which is our case. Probably the final product of this man is a planning.

Next step: There´s a Tech agency in charge of keeping an eye so everything is fine. They know the specifications of every format for Publishers, they are in contact with creative agencies, and they are able to solve any issue related to the campaign (creativity, traffic, tracking, implementation). I work in one of these ;)

The technology agency contacts the creativity agency, they give them templates and tell them what they can and can´t do acording to publishers´specs. So they work hand by hand with creative agencies. These ones usually have a design or programming department.

When the creative agency has the campaign ready, there´s a proccess called validation which has three steps:
- Technical level, in charge of the Tech Agency
- Creative level, usually for the customer
- Publisher level

This one is the final step. Publisher checks all tags are ok and insert the ads in its website.

Well, this is a very reduced and simplified view of how it is. A banner life or a campaign life could last a lot of time, or have different steps. These five are main characters of a banner story.

Main skill to improve this workflow is communications between the five parts.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Display Ads Lift Branding Metrics - eMarketer

Display Ads Lift Branding Metrics - eMarketer

The lift in likelihood to recommend was nearly three times as high for entertainment industry campaigns as for other campaigns.

Average Lift* in Likelihood to Recommend Advertised Products Among Internet Users in North America Exposed to Online Display Ad Campaigns, by Campaign Type, 2011

Campaigns that feature expandable rich media ads performed best, with a 34.4% lift. Flash banner campaigns underperformed compared to the average. None of the campaigns studied featured only static banners.

Average Lift* in Likelihood to Recommend Advertised Products Among Internet Users in North America Exposed to Online Display Ad Campaigns, by Format, 2011

This research also confirmed earlier findings by Lotame that showed that the likelihood to recommend stat correlated positively with other metrics of brand lift—meaning that the boost in intent to recommend went hand in hand with a boost in other branding metrics.

The closest correlation was with intent to view—for campaigns that advertised a show or movie—followed by purchase intent. Ad recall, clickthrough rate and interaction rate also rose with likelihood to recommend.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

New RichMedia Formats from IAB

It´s on the news from last week. IAB Interactive Advertising Bureau, has made public the winner formats from "Rising Stars". The main criteria for this was Branding, User Experience, Funcionality, Integration and Adoption. Let´s have a look to the new Richmedia formats approved!

It´s a 970x250, the one we see everyday on YouTube. By now, this format is exclusive for DoubleClick Rich Media.

This format comes from MSN, a Sky of 300x600 masking a 300x3000 where we can insert video, photo, animation, 3D, anything.

from AOL, also a superSky. Comes with integration with video, working with modules. I haven´t seen this format on action yet, at least in Spain. Very detailed specs

A 970x90, we are used to seeing this one working on media. The Ad pushes down all the content, usually in home pages. The video makes special attention on Social Media integration (quite easy from Flash)

Usually it´s seen on MSN home. It moves all content to one size, usually to the left, working with Javascript. Works specially fine if you combine it with a leaderboard and a great wallpaper.

Similar to SideKick with limited time on animations

So, what can we say about these formats? It were about 24 companies taking part on the meeting, some of them really great and known for their creativity as TheBarbarianGroup. Besides there will be some formats out of date.

This is a good initiative for the most important entity on online advertisement. We have already seen some of this new formats.

In my opinion innovation on formats is a key point, specially for publishers as they can have advantage over competitors. Perhaps it´s time for IAB to revise all specs for Richmedia Ads (Richmedia Creative Guidelines are from May 2008)

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Flash Love Letter

On the way to 2011 I found this. Just fun!