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Flash Advertising Jargon buster/Glossary of terms

GLOSSARY OF DIGITAL ADVERTISING TERMS | JARGON BUSTER

A list of useful terms to help you navigate your way around the world of digital advertising.

Accessibility
It's important that everyone who visits a website displaying your ad is able to see it. To display things created in Flash (Flash Movies) on someone's computer they first need to install a small program called Flash Player but not everyone is be guaranteed to have it so it is important for designers of online content to consider users who may be viewing a website without the latest software installed and also users who may have disabilities preventing them from being able to access anything other than basic web technologies. There are a variety of ways this can be done and we can make sure it is done properly, and in accordance with DDA W3C guidelines.


Actionscript
Actionscript is a programming language that is built into Flash and primarily used for the development of websites and online applications. In short it is code which is built into a Flash Movie and works behind the scenes with Flash Player to carry out a series of instructions to allow a Flash Movie to function.


Adserver
Many larger websites will have a third party company who manage where their digital adverts will appear, how many times and for how long. This company is known an Adserver - it literally serves the ads to a given website.


Adslot
An adslot is the position on a website that is incorporated to display digital adverts. They are usually a fixed width & height and can only allow adverts of a certain type (banner, skyscraper, MPU, tile or leaderboard) to be displayed. The position of each type of advert is determined by their proportions. Banners and leaderboards generally appear at the top and the bottom of a webpage, & skyscrapers & tiles appear down the side of the content, usually to the right. MPUs are usually positioned either to the side of the main content of a page or are given a position within the main body of the page.


Animated GIF
An animated GIF is a basic animation which takes a series of static images and scrolls through them to give the impression of movement. The way GIF images are compressed makes them all but unsuitable for photographs - the maximum number of colours used in each image is 256. A good way to create simple animations, however more complicated animations will increase filesize greatly. Animated GIFs have been replaced by Flash in most circumstances, although they are still supported by most web browsers.


Banner
A banner is an advert that is 468 pixels wide and 60 pixels in height. It can be a variety of formats - .jpeg (static advert suitable for photographs) .GIF (basic animation or static, non photographic image), or .swf (Flash Animation). Banner adverts sit either at the top of a web page, or at the very bottom, or sometimes in-between paragraphs in the main content of the page.


Browser, or Web Browser
A web browser is a the program you use to view a website. It is a software application for displaying information on the World Wide Web & while they are used primarily for viewing web pages, they can also be used to view images, video, or for navigating private networks or files in a file system.


The main web browsers are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari (designed for the Mac), Opera & Google Chrome.


Button
A button is a small digital advert, also known as a tile, that can be either 160x60 pixels, 120x120 pixels or a number of other sizes, depending on the site on which it is being displayed. It can be a variety of formats - .jpeg (static advert suitable for photographs) .GIF (basic animation or static, non photographic image), or .swf (Flash Animation). Button adverts usually sit in a column to the side of a web page, however, because of their size and shape can appear more or less anywhere on the page.


clickTag
A clickTag is a line of actionscript which is attached to a Flash advert which registers when the advert has been clicked on by a user both taking that user through to the website of the advertiser, and also registering the click to allow the number of clicks to be counted, so that the advertiser can work out how successful the advert has been in driving traffic.


Click Through
A click through is the process where the user sees an advert and is provoked by imagery or copy into clicking on it. The more click throughs the better the advert has performed.


Click Through Rate (CTR)
The click through rate is the number of times an advert has been seen (also known as a page impression) divided by the number of times the advert has been clicked on by a user. For example, if 100 people have seen your ad, and one person has clicked on it, the click through rate of that advert would be 0.01, meaning 1% of all the people who saw your ad were interested in what you were advertising & clicked on your ad to find out more. The average click through rate for a digital advert is 0.03, although if done correctly an advert can achieve click through rates of around 20%, 0.2 click through rate.


DDA
The Disability Discrimination Act is legislation that protects disabled people from discrimination.

It promotes equality of opportunity for disabled people, and allows the government to set minimum standards so that disabled people can use services without difficulty.


It affects all areas of society, not least the web, where it governs things like font size, contrasting colours and that sites are designed with people with visual impairments in mind.


Digital Advertising
Digital advertising refers to any advertising that is created and displayed using computer technology primarily based around the world wide web, such as digital radio, digital video and advertising online, which could involve branded computer games, sponsored or advertising on websites in a number of ways, and branded or targeted communication (email).


Digital Media
Digital media usually refers to any electronic media that is created and displayed using computer technology, such as digital audio, digital video and anything that you would find online, such as computer games, internet technology, communication (email) & social interaction (Facebook for example).


DPI or Dots per inch
See resolution


Filesize

Filesize is how much memory an advert takes up. The larger the filesize, the longer it takes to download when you're viewing a webpage, making the page slower to load. Many websites have a limit on the filesize of adverts of around 40k (an MP3 in comparison would be around 100 times that!) limiting the amount of images, animation & interactivity an advert can contain.


Filetype/Format
The filetype or the format of a file is simply what kind of file it is. Different filetypes lend themselves to different kinds of media, whether it be animation (.swf), photograph (.jpeg), logo (.gif) or video (.flv). There are only a handful of filetypes that are suitable for use on the internet, although many other filetypes can be converted by us for use on the web.


.FLA
When a Flash Movie is created it is saved in a raw .FLA format which is the file the Flash designer will create, work on and amend. The second is an .swf which is a version of the Flash Movie that is suitable for use on the internet. An .swf has been optimised for the web and compressed to the smallest filesize possible. It is this file that Flash Player can process.


Flash
Flash, made by Adobe, is a computer program used mainly for adding animation and interactivity to web pages on the internet. Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, video and other web page components such as games. More information...


Flash Movie
A Flash Movie is the correct term for anything that is created by Flash, whether it is an animation, game, application, video etc.


Flash Player
Adobe Flash Player is a free bit of software for viewing animations & Flash Movies using computer programs such as a web browser. In common usage, Flash Player allows you put animation and movies on a web site and have almost everyone surfing to see it. It runs in the background whenever you look a website containing Flash elements so your computer may be among the 96% of computers aound today that have it installed without you realising. If you're not sure whether you have it, click here to check, and if not download it for free.


.FLV
An .FLV is a video which has been compresses in Flash for use in a Flash Movie. It is converted from other formats of video such as .MPEG .AVI or .WMV


Geotargeting
The owner of a pizza shop in Gosforth knows that most of his business is between the hours of 7pm and midnight, and so can specify he only wants his advert to appear during this time. He only delivers to within 10 miles of his shop and so requests that the ad only be displayed to people surfing at addresses with an NE1, NE2, NE3, NE4, NE5 or NE6 postcode. That way he prevents displaying his ad to people living outside of his delivery area, saving him money on his campaign. This is known as Geotargeting. Limiting where your advertisement is being displayed so you won't waste your valuable page impressions on people you know aren't interested in your business.


.GIF
A GIF is an image saved in a format that is suitable for the web. GIF images are usually optimised in order to keep their filesize down, and so that they display properly online. GIF images are used for logos and graphics but not for photos as they have a limited colour palette, which contains too few colours to display a photograph correctly. GIF images can contain a limited amount of animation.


The Internet
The Internet is a worldwide system of computer networks made up of millions of private, public, business, academic, & government computer networks of varying scales & sizes connected by wires, cables, wireless devices, & other technologies.

The Internet carries a vast array of services & resources, primarily the linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web & the ability to support email, as well as popular services such as instant messaging, file sharing & transfer, online gaming & other methods of communication using voice & video.


.JPEG
A JPEG is an image saved in a format that is suitable for the web. JPEG images are usually optimised in order to keep their size down, and so that they display properly online. JPEG images are used for photographs as they have a much larger palette than a GIF. They are only used for static images and cannot be animated, unless they are imported into a Flash animation.


Leaderboard
A leaderboard advert is an advert that is 728 pixels wide and 90 pixels in height. It can be a variety of formats - .JPEG (static advert suitable for photographs) .GIF (basic animation or static, non photographic image), or .swf (Flash Animation). Because of their horizontal proportions Leaderboard adverts sit either at the top of a web page or at the very bottom. Leaderboard adverts often benefit from being at the very top left of a webpage, which is the natural starting place of the eye when one begins reading.


MPU
An MPU advert is an advert that is 300 pixels wide and 250 pixels in height. It can be a variety of formats - .JPEG (static advert suitable for photographs) .GIF (basic animation or static, non photographic image), or .SWF (Flash Animation). Because of their proportions (similar to those of a television) they can fit almost anywhere on a page. They are the most popular style of advert, and commonly display streaming video.


Optimising for the web
Optimising an image for the web involves reducing the resolution of any images that are higher than 72dpi, compression so that the filesize of a file is as small as possible and converting any file that is of an unsuitable filetype to one that can be used on the web.


Page Impressions
Everytime someone opens a web page with your advert on it, it is equal to one page impression. The adserver counts these page impressions and uses them to manage your campaign and monitor how successful your advert has been. When buying an advertising package with an advertiser you will usually buy a fixed number of page impressions, say 10,000, so your advert will be displayed 10,000 times, perhaps on rotation with another advert depending on the number of page impressions you have bought and the length of time you want the advert to run. Once that number of page impressions has been reached, your advert will automatically cease being displayed. It is important to monitor how many page impressions your ad has received so that the click through rate can be calculated to determine how successful your advert has been.


Page Ranking/Search Engine Ranking
Page ranking is how search engines (Google, Yahoo, Ask etc.) categorise websites before they return a list of them to you based on your search term. A long established, well designed, frequently visited site will almost always finish higher on any list of results than a personal website designed for a school project, because the likelihood is that that is what people are searching for. There are a number of ways you can optimise your site from a search engine perspective that will increase your search engine ranking, therefore making it easier for people surfing the net to find.


Pixel
Graphics online are made up of a grid of tiny squares. One of these squares is known as a pixel. The smaller these pixels are, the sharper the image is. The size of these pixels is known as resolution; the smaller the pixels the higher the resolution, measured in dpi (dots per inch). Everything online is 72dpi.


Resolution
Everything you see on a website is made up of tiny little squares called pixels. Whereas in other media, cameras for example, pixels vary in size (the smaller the pixel is, the sharper the image is) online they are always the same size. If you measure one inch of a website it is equal to 72 pixels. Resolution is measured in DPI (dots per inch) so we say everything online is 72dpi. Any website you see will be about 1000 pixels wide. Banner advertisements are 468 pixels wide and so extend to about half the width of a web page. Leaderboard adverts about 70% of the width, and MPUs about 30%. If we receive a graphic or a photograph that is a higher dpi than this, which they usually are, we have to reduce the dpi so that it can be the 72dpi it needs to be to be displayed online. This is known as optimising.


Rich Media
Any advertising that is done above and beyond the traditional ad slots (banners, leaderboards, MPUs, tiles & skyscrapers) is known as rich media. This could involve adverts that expand to fill the screen over the top of any page content, Flash games, forms that collect data from the user from inside an advert, video or any number of interactive elements.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Everything that appears on a website contributes either negatively or positively to the search engine ranking of that site. The higher the search engine ranking of a site, the nearer the top of the results it appears when someone searches on Google & other search engines. Search engine ranking depends on a wide range of factors including how the text on a website is written, the design of a site, how much traffic it receives and links to and from the site. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves making sure all these elements are put together in such a way that Google approves of.


Server or Webserver
A server is a computer where data can be stored and given public access. A web designer would build a website on his computer in his studio, and so that everyone with internet access can view it he connects via the internet to the server he has bought space on, and puts all the pages and files associated it on there. He then tells you, the client, and search engines the URL which points to those pages, and when you type that URL into the address bar of your Browser, you are taken there.


Skyscraper
A Skyscraper advert is an advert that is 160/120 pixels wide and 600 pixels in height. It can be a variety of formats - .JPEG (static advert suitable for photographs) .GIF (basic animation or static, non photographic image), or .SWF (Flash Animation). Because of their tall narrow proportions (hence their name) Skyscraper adverts will only fit to the side of the main content.


Streaming Video
Streaming video can be incorporated into a Flash Movie and displayed as part of an advert. Streaming video is video that only relies on a small part of the video to be downloaded before it begins playing, and as it is playing it continues to download, so depending on the filesize of the video you can get uninterrupted video from the second you open the file. YouTube uses streaming video.


.SWF
When a Flash Movie is created it is outputted in two different formats. The first is an .FLA which is the raw format that the designer will create, work on and amend. The second is an .SWF which is a version of the Flash Movie that is suitable for use on the internet. An .SWF has been optimised for the web and compressed to the smallest filesize possible. It is this file that Flash Player can process.


Tile
A Tile advert is an advert (also know as a button) that is 160/120 pixels wide and 600 pixels in height. It can be a variety of formats - .JPEG (static advert suitable for photographs) .GIF (basic animation or static, non photographic image), or .SWF (Flash Animation). Tile adverts usually sit in a column to the side of a web page, however, because of their size and shape can appear more or less anywhere on the page.


Traffic
Traffic is the term used for visitors to a website. The more visitors you get, the higher the traffic is. One of the many benefits of having a digital advertising campaign is to drive traffic to your site, ie. to get more people to visit your site.


URL
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and is the address of a website, eg. www.maddisonmultimedia.co.uk


The World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a huge collection of linked documents that can be viewed online using the Internet. Although many people think the internet and the worldwide web, web or www are the same thing, they are different - the web is an application that is built to use the internet to function.

Accessed using a web browser, users view Web pages which contain text, images, videos, & other multimedia & navigate between them using hyperlinks.

It was invented by Englishman Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 whereupon more & more websites were created across the world, quickly developing into something similar to the web we know today. The web allows the spread of information over the Internet through an easy and accessible format, & has played an important role in the widespread use of the Internet.


If any of the above is leaving you feeling confused don't worry! We understand it all so that you don't have to. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.


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