GIF vs HTML5: Why HTML5 Is Better


Why choose an animated HTML5 digital display ad over a GIF?

Have you wondered what the difference is between a GIF vs HTML5 animated banner? Do you want to know which you should be using in your digital advertising campaign? Read on to learn the differences between the two and why HTML5 is better for your online digital display campaign.


What is a GIF banner?

GIFs are created within a GIF file format in which a series of frames are played in a sequence creating a looping animation. However, GIFs were not intended for animation. Instead, they were used to compress multiple images inside a single file using a compression algorithm (called LZW compression). This meant they could be downloaded in a reasonably short space of time, even if you have slow connections.


Does a GIF look the same as a HTML5 video?

No. GIFs may be easy to create; however, they are not the same as HTML5 banners. Here are a few things to consider.


GIFs are dull in colour

As GIF files are only 8-bit, this means they can only show 256 colours. HTML5, on the other hand, has roughly 16.7 million colours to choose from. Thus, making HTML5 a more vibrant, colourful high-quality online banner ad option. For instance, when viewing these ads on high-end retina screens, an 8-bit GIF will look very dull, and no one wants a dull-looking ad!


GIFs aren’t interactive

As GIFs are looping animated images, they can’t offer you any interactive possibilities. However, HTML5 ads contain multiple files of code and images. This code and image structure allows you to create engaging animations (not just looping animations).


GIFs have larger file sizes

GIFs and HTML5 ads are displayed completely different. When GIFs are in motion, they re-render every single pixel. So, each frame can easily be around 70KB, and the more frames you show, the larger the file size. For HTML5 ads, you only change one part of the file, such as an element or a single layer. The rest of the HTML5 ad stays the same. Thus, making the HTML5 banner ad file size smaller than animated GIFs.

And although most ad servers might give you 150KB for a GIF, many will still only provide you with 40KB. Therefore, your GIF banner will be rejected and not served if the file size is too large.


What are HTML banners?

HTML5 banners are like websites inside mini containers. This banner format loads like an ad but consists of multiple lines of code and images. In addition, HTML5 banner ads are responsive and fit on a desktop, laptop, or mobile screen.

Let’s take a closer look at why HTML5 banners are superior to GIFs.


HTML5 online ads have more creative opportunities

Developers use different scripts such as CSS and JavaScript to create HTML5 banners. This gives developers much more creative freedom to create more engaging online HTML5 banner designs. On the other hand, GIFs don’t have this capability as they are limited in scope with little room to manoeuvre.


You can include rich media in HTML5 banner ads

Another reason HTML5 banners are better than animated GIFs is their capability to include HTML5 video, audio streams, and rich media content. These rich media HTML5 banners give designers more room to be creative. Not only that, but responsive banner ads can even automatically adjust to the size of the screen and the device that each member of your audience is using. It’s almost like magic! Nearly but not quite; the magic is in the code.


HTML5 ads are the way forward for digital display

So, GIFs vs HTML5, which do you choose? GIFs offer no interactive elements, and the colour is substandard. Instead, HTML5 gives you a lot more creative freedom. You can use all the colours you want, add numerous interactive elements, and keep your file size far below the recommended limit. Since most ad servers or Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) have a limit of 150KB -300KB, you’ll be wise to choose HTML5 over GIF.

When choosing your animated banner ads, it’s important to remember that GIFs are slowly being phased out. That’s why you should enlist the help of an expert to help you create an HTML5 digital display campaign —experts just like TBM.

Want to know what you can do with a 150KB – 300KB file size HTML5 banner? Then read our latest blog here to learn more.


Let’s talk digital display!

Do you want to create unique, impactful animated advertising banners for you or your client? Then contact TBM today!