In the on-going war against Flash, Google has announced that its Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DCDM) platforms will start to phase out the use of Flash ads from June 30th 2016.
The move means that advertisers will no longer be able to upload Flash ads into AdWords or DCDM. Further to this, starting January 2nd, 2017, any existing Flash ads will cease to function on any of Google's ad networks. For the time being, this change only applies to static ads. Flash-based video ads will not be affected, but it is more than likely that Google will start targeting these ads sometime in the near future. In short, advertisers will now have to make sure that their ads are converted to or rebuilt using HTML5. Here's the message Google had on their Adwords Google+ page:
We've spoken a lot about the switch from Flash to HTML5 as there has been a lot of industry developments during the past twelve months, including browsers such as Chrome and Firefox pausing all Flash banner ads, and other Internet giants such as Amazon phasing out the use of Flash ads on their website. While these changes have impacted significantly, this latest move from Google will directly affect the advertisers and agencies rather than just the viewers, and will force those who haven't already made the move to HTML5 to adopt the most up-to-date technology.
Takeaway: race for the new standard
The Google Display Network and DoubleClick products are used by a vast portion of digital advertisers, so this will impact a lot of brands. While Flash has been dying or, rather, dead for a long while, marketers and advertisers are still trying to catch up. Without Flash, the online advertising industry is left without a universal standard platform. Naturally, this gives Google the opportunity to push their own web designing tool. However, marketers and advertisers should expect more from their banner ad production platform, and expect something that will take away much of the manual work that banner production requires. Slow banner production has been one of the biggest problems in the creative world for a long time, and yet again advertisers, agencies and brands are being presented with another opportunity to change this industry for the better.
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