No Flash? No problem

No Flash? No problem

Summary: Here's why engineers and designers shouldn't worry about Adobe's decision to no longer support flash when building mobile and table advertising campaigns.


Commentary - Adobe announced this week they will no longer be supporting Flash Player for browsers on mobile devices. Though disappointing for sure, it's not terribly surprising either as it never fulfilled its promise of seamless performance and usability. So should you be worried you won't be able to build and deliver rich, interactive mobile and tablet advertising campaigns now? My goodness, no.

It was almost bizarre to see the resurgence in this web standard after Flash had become the de facto format for digital advertising after 2002. But let's jump back to the year 2000 when PointRoll launched the first ever expandable, rich banner ad built for the theatrical release of Erin Brockovich (demo: This was built using...You guessed it. HTML.

Though it was some basic functionality by today's standards with a rollover and a trailer, it still provided a new experience for consumers based on the web standard at the time.

Fast-forward to April 3, 2010. The iPad is released and PointRoll is serving four campaigns in applications that day. Highly interactive, extremely engaging with videos, galleries and things to swipe around the screen- all built with HTML5.

So what does the future hold for Flash? I imagine Flash eventually being used more as a creative tool than a delivery format. As Adobe continues to put more effort into exporting HTML5-ready assets from Flash Pro, it tells me the swf may be slowly dying for desktop, too. Tools like Adobe Edge and Sencha are quickly hitting the marketplace to provide designers an interface that will create experiences in a similar fashion to working within Flash Pro. Even content provider's video players are beginning to support HTML5 while members of the IAB are racing to add definitions to the VPAID standard to leverage JavaScript. And if ITV's and Gaming consoles eventually support the standard with an HTML5-supported browser environment, we'll see the final move away from Flash.

Whatever the outcome of the swf, connecting with consumers is still the end goal. And it should be comforting to know that there are marketing solutions companies, including PointRoll, that enable creativity and measurement in both formats to accommodate your needs.

Todd Pasternack is Senior Director of Creative Technology at PointRoll.

Topics: Software Development, Enterprise Software

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  • RE: No Flash? No problem

    I guarantee no real engineer gives a dead rat's patootie about Flash. It was always a social disease of designers and other such hipster doofuses -- you got it by thinking you were cool.
  • RE: No Flash? No problem

    Sounds like a blessing rather than a curse, Mobile uses do not have to put up with a host of disruptive bandwidth hogging advertizing from auto-play video ads, auto-play audio or jiggle ads from scumbags.
  • We agree with this Article

    Coming from a software background and always hating the notion of having to wait to see something. Flash is something I can do with out. I work at and its nice to see how customers are moving from a flash platform to a more faster site. Which in turns makes mobile a little easier to sell.
  • RE: No Flash? No problem

    and im sure HTML5 wont be used to make annoying ads.... dummies..
  • Smart people HATE flash

    dumbazz people think that Flash is a media player.

    Only a few think that it is needed.
  • RE: No Flash? No problem

    OccupyHTML: The movement to rid the world of HTML purism:
    Both HTML and Flash have it's strengths and weaknesses, developers should use the best tool for the job at hand. Even Google that is a big supporter of HTML5 realizes this. Google Music that they just launched used Adobe Flash, as the HTML5 audio is really quite buggy across browsers and still needs work. Google also used Flash for their Android Market movie rentals, since their is no DRM available in HTML5 video. Right tool for the right job.
  • RE: No Flash? No problem
  • RE: No Flash? No problem

    Funny how flash was used in the Erin Brockovich HTML banner, just as it is used in many of Google's HTML Doodle's for sound. HTML5 simply is not mature enough to replace Flash. Why attempt to force out a technology before it's replacement is ready? If I recall, Before Flash banners we had Java banners until Java was natural replace by Flash. There was no big push, to rid the web of java apps it happened because a better, simpler solution became available. It almost seems like developers want Flash gone so they will not have to learn actionScript (NOT A GOOD REASON.) My last point is: If you hate Flash don't install it or disable it. No one is forcing you to use it, allow the people who like, understand and appreciate Flash go on developing with the tool without having endure a bunch of whining from those who could simply turn it off their machines.
    • Not quite right

      You are forcing us to use it by developing your sites to use it. If I want to view a website that uses flash, I have to install flash. There is no choice there. It's buggy, slow, and you can do anything with html5/css/javascript that you can do in flash.

      I do understand flash and have developed in it quite a bit. I know actionScript. I also know that it is slow, bloated, and buggy. I don't use it anymore. But I have to have it installed because others, like you apparently, do develop in it. Please stop and let it die.
      • RE: No Flash? No problem


        But you fail to consider why he may still program in Flash. HTML 5 / CSS 3 still isn't stable yet. It varies quite a lot across different browsers, and simply breaks on older browsers. Flash is still one of the few web platforms that will render the same across nearly every browser and operating system...
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  • RE: No Flash? No problem

    So then ... a senior director at a Flash competitor tells us that Flash is "dying on the desktop", while his company, in 2010, saw the iPad launched with four (woohoo! a whole four) PointRoll applications!!!!!! Clearly, Flash is finished!!!!!

    Shame on you ZDNet. This is not anything resembling some sort of technical news or analysis - it is pure marketing fluff. How much did PointRoll pay to place this piece?
  • Adobe Flash humor

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