Skillsoft Blog

Are you ready for web standards in advertising?

We’re pleased to
bring you a guest post by John Percival, an author featured in the Skillsoft®
Books24x7® ITPro collection. John is the author of a new book, HTML5

By John Percival

you’re a front-end developer or web designer, you know the importance of web
standards. They set a baseline for functionality and aesthetic
that can be achieved within our browsers regardless of vendor and operating
system (OS). But what does this mean for online advertising? You know, the
multi-billion dollar industry of marketers, data analysts and creative minds
that rely so heavily on Flash as their sole technology to deploy ads to their

did you hear me? I said a multi-billion dollar industry:
Seriously, this stuff is important!

2013, one important thing to take notice of will be the imminent shift from
Flash based advertising to open web standards with HTML5, CSS and JavaScript in
order to reach the platforms and operating systems that do not support plugins
like Flash.

is a huge step in the right direction and I’ll tell you why.

Cross platform:
your kids to your grandpa, we all seemingly have either a smart phone or tablet
device in our family and with the vast amount of new devices pumping into the
consumer market at crazy rates, we should expect to see these devices overtake
desktop computing accessing web content in the next 1-2 years (depending
on which research firm you trust).*

this with all the major players in the web space (Microsoft, Google, Apple,
Mozilla, Opera) becoming huge advocates of open web standards and this should
be a clear view into the online world we’ll all soon be taking part in.


this cross platform approach, this means more devices, variable screen
resolutions and higher pixel densities all accessing web content. Which means
our ad content will need to follow suit and adapt correctly in both layout and

single ad tag that will be deployed across all distribution channels, while
handling the feature detection logic before actually serving the ad’s creative

this means for content producers is that you really need to get serious about
your user base and start taking notice of who’s requesting your content. If
it’s all HTML5 compliant browsers and devices, let that be your baseline for
content development and give your users an amazing experience with all the bells
and whistles. If it’s still IE 6, 7 and 8, you’ll know you’ll still have to
cater to those outdated users. Which does suck but you can’t overlook them.


you finally know your user base, you can start leveraging the true power of the
new (open) web. Using all the new and shiny API’s available to us; we can
really cater our web and ad content to do amazing things in the appropriate
environment. This could be the use of device accelerometers, ambient light
sensors or more emerging API’s like WebGL and WebRTC to name a few.

name it; it’s either coming to the modern browser or already here in the latest
versions and if you ask me, this is where it really gets exciting for web
developers since it will open up new worlds of creative opportunities that were
once unachievable.

we can give our users amazing new experiences, we can’t escape the performance
gains and constraints in this new ecosystem. Since we’re no longer confined to
a plugin environment we’ll have to understand that our ads are now apart of the
page markup. This means we need to be conscious of our CSS namespaceing and
scripting so it doesn’t conflict with the page we’re serving on.

the flip side, this does mean performance gains because our ad content is now
relying on the modern browser and leveraging the powerful rendering engines
associated with them. We no longer have to optimize our ad content in a plugin
environment like Flash or Silverlight as well as the rest of the page content.

this means for ad developers is that now more than ever, we’ll need to act more
like front-end web developers. Dealing with feature detection, various levels
of HTML5 compliance, browser rendering issues and performance optimizations.

guys and gals that can achieve this will be in high demand come 2013!

this all means for marketers and more importantly, users?

better web, of course! It’ll be faster, more accessible to users and operating
everywhere regardless of platform, device or browser.

really an exiting time to be developing online advertising and
for the web as a whole.

About John Percival
John Percival is an established creative director and technologist that resides
in the Philadelphia area. He specializes in digital media production,
multi-screen development, interactive design and video creation and delivery.He
currently works in the digital advertising space working for many Fortune 500
clients solving complex problems.

Advertising is available through the Skillsoft Books24x7 ITPro collection and
for purchase here:



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