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Sep 23
Avoiding common HTML5 creative issues with Alex Ten Eyck

Avoiding common HTML5 creative issues with Alex Ten Eyck

User experience–one of the most important factors of a successful digital advertising campaign–should never be underestimated by marketers. We’re all tired of the static banner ads that share nothing of interest or relevance.

As marketers look for new ways to engage with users, many have tapped into HTML5 creative as a way to drive engagement. While the choice between various creative formats depends on the target users and the campaign’s objective, HTML5 creative is proven to attract more traffic to websites than standard static banner ads.

A recent study showed that click-through rates for rich media ads are 267 percent greater than those of static ads. This is because a website visitor may never even glance at a static banner, but the movement is almost impossible psychologically for the eyes to ignore. Animated banner ads are the wiser investment because they ensure people are actually viewing your ads.

We chatted with Alex Ten Eyck, from the Choozle Technical Support team, to better understand HTML5 creative and its use in digital advertising campaigns.


Megan Sullivan-Jenks, Senior Director of Marketing, Choozle: To start, can you explain what HTML5 creative is?

Alex Ten Eyck, Technical Support Lead, Choozle HTML5 creative is the code or language used to animate pieces of banners or the entire banner itself. This can include the fading of an image or words flying across the banner ad. It can also be referred to as “responsive design.”


MSJ What is one of the most common issues associated with HTML5 creative?

AT A common issue with HTML5 creative is adding the click tracking script necessary to track and auto-optimize towards clicks. In many cases, it’s completely missing from the HTML code of a creative asset.

A click-tracking < script > code must be somewhere between the opening < head > and closing < /head > tag in the .html index file of the creative.


MSJ How are click tags used in HTML5 creative?

AT Click tags define landing pages for each exit on your creatives with HTML5 assets. An exit is any area that can be clicked that directs the browser to a landing page. Each click tag defines the landing page for a different exit.

When an exit gets a click, the creative calls for the landing page associated with that exit. You can set this landing page in your creative or your ad, depending on your needs.

You can change the landing page your click tag uses anytime, even after you export tags. That’s because the click tag is a standard variable, a placeholder for the landing page rather than a hardcoded value.

There are some best practices for setting up your click tags since the ad-level overrides the creative-level settings in display creatives. Make sure your creative uses the click tag variable as the click destination. The click tag should be easy for the ad server to read—no minification or obfuscation, though you can use minifers in the rest of your code and in other files.

We do not recommend hard-coded URLs in your asset because that prevents your demand-side platform from tracking clicks and prevents traffickers from updating the URL. In Choozle, If you are hardcoding the click-through URL, the clicks will still be tracked if set up and uploaded correctly by checking the utilize hardcoded URL box on upload.


MSJ So, not having the click tag in the creative means your creative won’t track clicks and not be approved, correct?

AT Yes. When the advertisement is clicked on, the creative must direct the user to the correct click tag page in a new window.

At the end of the day, the easiest way to make sure the tag will work correctly is to refrain from hard-coding a click tag into your HTML5 file. Also, the click-through URL can be added inside of the upload field, so these don’t need to be hard-coded either.


MSJ Are there any other common problems that marketers should be aware of when working with HTML5 creative?

AT We also see a fair amount of ZIPs within ZIPs, and including a compressed ZIP file inside another ZIP file is not allowed.

If you are using an HTML5 creative builder, you shouldn’t have this problem, but it is something to be aware of.


MSJ What should be included in the ZIP file for HTML5 creative?

AT The primary asset of your HTML5 creative is the HTML index file, and it should always be included in your HTML5 file. This is the entry point for your creative. It must be a complete HTML document that includes at least one click tag and can load into an iFrame.

It is equally important to cover what not to include, such as do not include any ZIP files within your HTML5 ZIP file. However, if you have several separate HTML5 ZIP files for several different HTML5 creatives, you can zip these files together and batch upload them.

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About The Author

Megan Sullivan-Jenks is director of marketing & communications at Choozle – Easy Digital Advertising®. A self-proclaimed tinkerer, Megan's a problem solver for marketing and advertising strategies and execution. From nonprofits to consumer goods and software, she's an expert at creating online and offline marketing & communications strategies that are engaging and results-driven. Outside of the office, Megan rolls up her sleeves to enjoy all things DIY like sewing and woodworking.