Digital Advertising Team

Digital Advertising Team
March 17, 2016 Adam

This is a very simple example and all the pieces of artwork have already been made ready. In a real life example this sort of ad would probably take a designer approximately 30 minutes.

What do we do?

The Digital Team create ads for all of Archant’s websites – this work is divided into three main areas of the business: Regional, Life and Specialist.
We also produce the advertising for Archant’s newsletters. This includes Leaders, MPUs and Feature Listings.

How do we do it?

For a long time we have used Adobe Flash CS to produce .swfs. We produce a .gif backup, which is an image of the ad, which will show on devices that do not support .swfs. When the ad is flighted the .swf and the .gif are uploaded together and the appropriate one is served.

However, with the ever changing digital landscape we are now using Adobe Edge and Adobe Flash CC to produce our ads in HTML so that they will show on mobile devices too.

Will HTML5 ads show everywhere?

Support for HTML5 varies between browsers and generally speaking the newer the browser the more HTML5 elements it will support.

For instance, adding a shadow in Flash and outputting a .swf would have shown in every browser apart from on some mobile devices like ipads. Adding a shadow in HTML5 is only supported by Chrome 10.0 and above, Internet Explorer 9.0 and above, Firefox 4.0 and above, Safari 5.1 and above and Opera 10.5 and above. Support for other animation techniques will vary too and may be supported by older or newer browsers.

Consequently, until more browsers catch up, we are trying to keep our HTML ads simpler and with less effects so that they render properly in more browsers.

You can look more into browser usage statistics and trends here at w3schools. The figures are listed by browser name, but if you click on these it will break the numbers down into browser version too – so you will see that 7.1% of people use Internet Explorer, but if you click on that you will see that only 0.8% of that 7.1% use IE8 or below.

TIP: How to find out what version of a browser you are using varies, but in most browsers you are looking for a question mark in the tool bar which should reveal an ‘About Internet Explorer’ or ‘About Firefox’ option.

How long does it take to make a digital ad?

This is an extremely difficult question to answer and depends on what the advertiser wants in the ad. Generally speaking, the more complicated the animation, the more time we will need.

However, we can get two ads that have, on the face of it, very similar instructions, but have been supplied in different ways. For instance, two advertisers want to use many images of cars and they will need to be cutout to go on a coloured background. If one advertiser supplies the cars already cut out it could save hours of work for the designer. And so, it is very difficult to accurately predict how long a job will take until the designer gets to have a look at everything in detail.
TIP: We aim to have every ad back out within two full working days.

Can I get my ad back quicker than two days?

If getting the job back is critical the best thing you can do is call first, before promising anything to an advertiser, and see if we can do it.

Otherwise, it is best to send the job through and then email or with the URN, explaining when you need it for and we will try and prioritise it for you.

Why isn’t my ad animated?

Is it HTML? If you are looking at an HTML ad in an older browser the animation will not work and it will show a static backup image instead (please see notes above under ‘WILL HTML5 ads show everywhere?’).

TIP: To find out if an ad is a .swf from Flash or an HTML ad right click on it. This will show a drop down menu, if it has ‘Inspect element’ at the bottom then it is HTML, if it says, ‘About Adobe Flash Player’ it is Flash.


Why haven’t my amendments been made?

If you have received a proof and sent it back through AdFlow with some amendments, but when you get the proof back it looks exactly like it did before one of two things might have happened.

One, the designer has made a mistake and somehow sent it back to you before making the amendments.
Two, more likely is that you are seeing an old version that your browser has cached. The best thing to do is to clear your cache. The way you this varies between browsers – in Chrome you would go to History and in IE you would use Internet Options under Tools.

TIP: A browser cache is a folder where a browser temporarily stores recently visited webpages to speed up internet surfing so that it doesn’t have to load everything all over again.


Archant maintain over 200 websites


These sites have 84 million unique visitors every year


This compares to a national
CTR of 0.2%


The Digital Advertising Design Team have 5.5 designers

What is this?

This video shows a digital ad being put together using Flash, illustrating how the ad is created using layers and animation effects.