html5 vs gif
4 minutes read

Let’s get something straight right from the beginning. The whole process of planning, creating and monitoring a Banner Ad campaign is a hassle.We know it, you know it, everybody knows it. And that’s fine. Nothing that’s high quality and has great ROI isn’t easy. And if some life-coach told you that it was, he was lying! So, now that we settled that banner ads aren’t an easy job, let’s see how we can make the experience more pleasurable and aimed for success. 

One of the most important things you need to do first and foremost is to decide what kind of banner ad you need. And no, I’m not talking about the medium on which you’re planning to put it on nor the size, but what type of banner you want to use based on your campaign objectives, ad messaging, and budget. Today, we’re talking about two of the most important categories.

HTML5 banner ads and GIF banner ads.

House of HTML5 banners

To start right from the beginning let me tell you more about HTML5.  HTML5 is the latest update of HTML, the web language that browsers use in order to display web pages. This fifth upgrade of HTML helps designers and developers better take advantage of it and create animations and videos directly into the code of one page,  that in the past needed plugins like Flash. HTML5 ads can be displayed on desktops, smartphones and tablets removing the need of creating different sizes and version of the same banner ad.

Why HTML5 and not Flash?

Ever since 2010, Apple has stopped supporting Flash on any iOS device while newer versions of Chrome started to pause any Flash elements that aren’t essential for your website, like ads. We can say that Apple was the one showing the door to Flash. Flash represents a huge security risk these days. I once read a description of Flash on a thread about the battle between HTML5 and Flash. It said something like this. “Flash is like a ship that has been on the water forever. If you took it out of the water you would see insane amounts of barnacles and rust. It’s an old system that needs to go away. It hogs system resources, is a security problem and is unstable.” Thank you Reddit user IceWarm1980 for this visual description.

Benefits of responsive HTML5 Banner Ads:

HTML5 is part of the growing popularity of online advertising. It has given banner ads a lot more flexibility on any device and eliminated the need of creating multiple versions of the same ad in order to adjust to different devices.

Here are some benefits of using HTML5 to create your banner ads:

  1. HTML banner ads are really easy to be accessed from any device
  2. Banners can use dynamic server-side scripting and databases if necessary
  3. Banner serving is often similar to web hosting
  4. You can play videos, music, and animations without requiring any plug-ins
  5. HTML5 can be easily updated
  6. HTML5 allows you to create responsive mobile ads

With Creatopy you can later convert a banner created as an HTML5 into a GIF banner. It’s easy and free.

House of GIF Banner Ads

When GIFs became popular a few years ago, I used to play a game with my friends. We were trying to have entire conversations only through GIFs. No text, no emoji, no recordings. And it was incredible how deep those conversations could get and for how many hours they could go. As one of my friends once said

[Tweet ““If one photo is worth a thousand words, a GIF is worth a million!””]

I couldn’t have said it better. And that’s exactly why they became popular so fast. They’re saving us time while being a mark of pop culture and coolness at the same time. And in a time of millennials and post-millennials (or Gen Z), when the attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s, managing to send valuable information in a short amount of time is gold.

What is a GIF banner?

Well, GIF animation banners are created within a GIF file format in which a series of frames are played in a sequence. They support a total of 256 colors and if you want to get high quality GIFs on all monitors, you must always choose this color palette.

Tip: Most photos use more than 256 colors, so when inserted into a GIF banner ad, there is the possibility of losing quality.

Benefits of animated GIF Banner Ads:

  1. GIF format is one of the most used and supported by web publishers
  2. You can control timing on an animated GIF banner ads
  3. It’s really easy to create animated GIF
  4. The use of animation in a banner ad increases CTR
  5. GIF banner ads work well on mobile devices
  6. GIF banner ads are cool and interactive

How to design a GIF Banner Ad for your campaign?

Well, first you need to find a reliable banner ad and GIF creator. And lucky you, here we are! If you want to create GIF ad online, the best tool out there is Creatopy. You only need to follow the steps below.

  • Step 1 –  Select if you want to create a single banner or a banner set
  • Step 2 –  Choose a banner size or more sizes
  • Step 3 –  Start from a ready made template or create your own design from scratch
  • Step 4 –  Add elements on your banner ad and then play with the slides
  • Step 5 –  Add transition on your elements – Just click on any element you want to animate and an editor will appear where you can click on the transition icon and edit the animation.
  • Step 5 –  After your design is ready, click on the Save button and name your banner.
  • Step 6 – Download your banner as a GIF format and choose 256 colors

In the video below you can see how to create a GIF Banner Ad from scratch in Creatopy:


If you already created a HTML5 banner with Creatopy and you want to convert it to a GIF nothing is more easy.

Regardless of where you stand on the HTML5 or GIF team, it is impossible to ignore the benefits of both of these formats. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, you only need to know what your purpose is and think about your audience. In the end, Banner Advertising is a game and in order to win, you must know the rules. 

Content Marketing Specialist at Creatopy

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