When we began working on our iPad ads (see: Building Advertising on the iPad) we of course needed to understand the possibilities of HTML5. We are aware that it will not immediately replace Flash, or maybe never will and just be an additional technology.

But it has some features that are worthwhile exploring a bit deeper. Plus: Since flash is not working on the iPad, nor the iPhone, ads displayed when surfing websites are usually GIF fallbacks or just plain JPEG files. Wasted impressions – and this number is growing every month with the number of iPads sold.

So we began to come up with ideas that could be executed using HTML5 and built a campaign for our client germanwings using the geolocation feature implemented into HTML5. A first in Germany.

Pinpointing the location of the user with this feature, the banner dynamically looks for the nearest airport germanwings flys from and pulls only the relevant destinations for this specific airport from the germanwings database.

Upon choosing a destination (by clicking on it – of course, the airplane “flies” to this destination in the banner, too) the banner pulls the best rate for the next 14 days, displays the result and leads the user to the booking engine after the click.

True, this could also be achieved using the IP targeting feature of an adserver – but it would lead to the fact that one would have to build a different banner for each location. Nice additional income for the agency – but might also result in the concept being killed by the client, depending on the number of banners needed. Using HTML5, all this can be done with just one banner, as the banner is being built dynamically upon “activation”.

Here are some screenshots from an iPad:

Only negative side effect (so far – campaign is still running):

The ad needs permission to use the geolocation, and that’s not really that sexy, to be honest. Especially as the URL that requests the permission is the URL of the adserver which has nothing to do with the ad displayed. We are working on that issue – but so far the number are better than expected (CTR is close to normal and we are awaiting feedback regarding the bookings) and the publishers involved did not receive any negative feedback. Nor did the client. Fingers crossed.