Test & validate your HTML5 display ads with new IAB tool

The industry group also updated its HTML5 for Digital Advertising Guide.

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With HTML5 finally supplanting Flash as the creative format of choice for online display ads, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released a new tool to help designers confirm that the ads meet the technical specs for fast-loading, lightweight ads.

The HTML5 Ad Validator helps analyze the contents of HTML5 ads against the IAB’s Display Creative Guidance — released last year — for file weight limits, subload criteria, number of server requests, video files, CPU usage and shared libraries.

The tool also looks at file types in the ad creative, such as images, JavaScript and HTML; all URLs accessed by the ad; and click tags or links to specific advertising landing pages and redirects.

Creators can also look at snapshots of how the ad displays at one-second intervals to show progression over time.

“Ads that are designed with load time, file weight and other key elements top-of-mind will break through the clutter across digital screens,” said Scott Cunningham, general manager, IAB Tech Lab, and senior vice president of technology and ad operations for the IAB in a statement.

In collaboration with the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, the IAB Tech Lab has also updated its HTML5 for Digital Advertising report to offer guidance on developing ads in HTML5 and tips for ad designers and developers working with ad operations to ensure ads will load and work as expected in a live campaign.



Of course, it’s not just about breaking through the clutter. Heavy ad loads are often part of the pro ad-blocking argument that these ads bog down page loads and suck up mobile data. To address the rise of ad blocking, the IAB released its L.E.A.N.  — light, encrypted, ad choice-supported, non-invasive — ads program last October. The HTML5 validator and guidance report are aimed at giving ad creators tools to follow on these new standards.


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About the author

Ginny Marvin
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Ginny Marvin was formerly Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day-to-day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin wrote about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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