Today marks the one year anniversary of a new IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) supported digital ad serving specification called SafeFrame. The standard helps advertisers and publishers with serving expandable rich media ads on (non-mobile) web pages in a more secure, more reliable and more measurable way.
The advantage of SafeFrame for advertisers who look to serve engaging and expandable ads more easily is significant, especially for those who seek to execute campaigns through programmatic means. Without this standard, enabling expandable ad formats is mostly handled by publishers as a one-off using a so called Pub File or iframe buster. This Pub File alternative is not easily manageable, is not scalable and thus not possible on programmatic inventory. Another advantage when advertisers use SafeFrames is the support for viewability measurement. In other words, better assurances that the impressions that the advertiser buys are actually viewed by someone.
For publishers, who have to do most of the heavy lifting to implement IAB SafeFrame, the advantage is better control over their user’s privacy and less risk that the ad content will interfere with their web content. This is significant improvement over a slightly different iFrame best practice called Friendly iFrames that only simplified the traditional practice of iframe busters.
One year after its launch, SafeFrames are supported by Yahoo!, who is the main publisher driving the development of the specification. However, very few other major publishers have support for it. But now that Crisp and 22 other vendors have already made their technology compatible with SafeFrame, why is there still so little support from publishers?
A negative comment I have heard in the ad tech community is the supposed questionable need for changing anything. I heard similar feedback from the industry when the team here at Crisp was pushing for MRAID - the mobile counterpart to SafeFrames - several years ago. Over the past three years, MRAID has been adopted on about 80% of all mobile app ad inventory. Just like with MRAID, the initial reaction to stay-the-course is the wrong one. Instead, publishers that are able to embrace SafeFrames will be ahead of the curve and able to profit from the standard.
In terms of the timing for the SafeFrame specification and adoption, MRAID mobile did beat SafeFrames display on such things as expandable rich media via programmatic channels, publisher control and viewability. It is also likely that mobile and display standards will converge some time in the future. But for the next few years, we think it will be very productive for publishers to implement SafeFrames instead of sticking to the old Pub File approach.
Privacy and security, viewability, scale / programmatic delivery and richer more engaging ads are all key priorities for advertisers, for Crisp and for many other vendors. SafeFrame is designed to meet these priorities, so my best bet is that IAB SafeFrame is here to stay.
Today the IAB made an exciting announcement that we've been anticipating for the last 10 months, which was to release the 1.0 version of the new MRAID standard for in-app advertising. MRAID, put as simply as possible, enables in-app ads to expand. The features that such an 'expansion' unlocks for HTML5 advertising is quite significant. MRAID by creating a recognized standard implementation for mobile advertising is ensuring that mobile will remain a hotbed of advertising innovation.
We are happy to announce that Crisp is launching support for MRAID v.1.0, the common ad creation API for mobile rich media ads. Crisp played a pioneering role in the creation of this necessary digital advertising standard, and with MRAID the industry has made the essential step of agreeing to principles and guidelines that make mobile rich media ads compatible with ad serving SDKs.
In support of MRAID, ad units that are hosted on the Crisp Rich Media platform can be served in any mobile application that is MRAID compliant. These ad units can include amazing HTML5 animations and the full spectrum of Crisp's rich media serving and tracking capabilities. Details on MRAID can be found here on the IAB website.
Crisp is now supporting both MRAID and ORMMA. ORMMA is an open source group that laid the groundwork for MRAID and continues to develop leading edge features that are not yet ready for approval as industry standards. Anything that is specified in the MRAID documentation version 1.0 today is fully supported and compatible if not identical to the ORMMA specifications. ORMMA will continue to introduce new features to be reviewed with new MRAID versions as they are approved in the future with the goal of keeping ORMMA and MRAID on the path to total convergence as quickly as possible. In fact, Crisp will provide technical support for MRAID implementations via the ORMMA open source community to its customers. SDK vendors or app developers who want to test their MRAID compliance can also request test ad units from Crisp.
We thank the IAB, many key players in the industry and the ORMMA community for their active role in the development of MRAID.
To find out how to develop and deploy rich media advertising for MRAID compliant mobile applications on iPhone, Android and iPad contact us for more information.
For a little more than a year, Crisp has partnered with mobile stakeholders including publishers, ad networks, creative agencies and other rich media companies for the creation of a standard interface definition for mobile rich media ad units.