Flash ads still showing on mobile devices, losing advertisers money


A global review of mobile advertising, the Sizmek Mobile Index 2015, is raising eyebrows with claims that in Q1 2015 some 5.35 billion ad impressions were wasted. The reason? Advertisers have been slow to adopt the HTML5 ad format, and Flash ads are being shown on mobile devices, most of which no longer support Flash.

Flash ads, when shown on phones that don’t support the format, revert to a single static image. HTML 5 is supported across mobile devices, but the format was used for less than half the rich media ads shown in Q1, according to the report.

Apple iOS phones have never supported Flash and only about 11% of Android phones in current use do (these are Android phones still running early versions of the Android OS).

Why should you care?

Mobile ads tend to get more clicks than desktop, but usually result in lower engagement and conversion rates than desktop. There can be many reasons for this, including the fact that some conversions are more easily completed on desktop, and that mobile ad clicks are often inadvertent.

If you are running ads on the Google Display Network, Flash ads are automatically converted to HTML5. If you are designing ads in HTML5 for use on the Google Display Network, you need to be aware that only ads created with Google Web Designer are supported.

If you’re running rich media ads on other networks, it’s best to create them in HTML5 from the get-go.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer & Mark Sceats

Jeremy and Mark are two of the partners behind SureFire Search. Despite their deceptively youthful appearances, both have worked in search marketing for many years. To put that in context, Google didn't even exist when Jeremy started.