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Best practices - Advertising with Animate

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Use the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) guidelines to set dimensions for your Animate advertisements. The following table lists the recommended Interactive Marketing Unit (IMU) ad formats measurements:

Type of advertisement

Dimensions (pixels)

Wide skyscraper

160 x 600


120 x 600

Half-page ad

300 x 600

Full banner

468 x 60

Half banner

234 x 60

Micro bar

88 x 31

Button 1

120 x 90

Button 2

120 x 60

Vertical banner

120 x 240

Square button

125 x 125


728 x 90

Medium rectangle

300 x 250

Square pop‑up

250 x 250

Vertical rectangle

240 x 400

Large rectangle

336 x 280


180 x 150

When you create a FLA file from a template (Select File > New, and click the Templates tab), you see many of these sizes.

Creating SWF file advertisements

Use these guidelines when you create advertisements:

  • Optimize your graphics. Make SWF file banner advertisements 15K or smaller.

  • Create a GIF banner advertisement in Animate that is 12K or smaller.

  • Limit looping banner advertisements to three repetitions. Many websites adopt the standardized file size recommendations as advertising specifications.

  • Use the GET command to pass data between an advertisement and a server, and do not use the POST command. For more information on GET and POST, see the getURL function in ActionScript 2.0 Language Reference.


 Provide control to the user. If you add sound to an advertisement, also add a mute button. If you create a transparent Animate ad that hovers over a web page, provide a button to close the advertisement for its duration.

Tracking advertisements

Several leading advertising networks now support standardized tracking methods in Animate SWF files. The following guidelines describe the supported tracking methodology:

Create a button or movie clip button

Use standardized dimensions outlined by the IAB. For a list of standardized dimensions, see the IAB website. For more information on creating a button in Animate, see Creating buttons.

Add a script to the button

Executes when a user clicks the banner. You might use the getURL() function to open a new browser window. The following code snippets are two examples of ActionScript 2.0 code you might add to Frame 1 of the Timeline:

myButton_btn.onRelease = function(){ 
    getURL(clickTAG, "_blank"); 

You might add the following code to Frame 1 of the Timeline:

myButton_btn.onRelease = function() { 
    if (clickTAG.substr(0, 5) == "http:") { 

The getURL() function adds the variable passed in the object and embed tags, and then sends the browser that is launched to the specified location. The server hosting the ad can track clicks on the advertisement. For more information on using the getURL() function, see ActionScript 2.0 Language Reference.

Assign clickTAG code for tracking

Tracks the advertisement and helps the network serving the ad to track where the ad appears and when it is clicked.

The process is the standard way of creating an advertising campaign for a typical Animate advertisement. If you assign the getURL() function to the banner, you can use the following process to add tracking to the banner. The following example lets you append a variable to a URL string to pass data, which lets you set dynamic variables for each banner, instead of creating a separate banner for each domain. You can use a single banner for the entire campaign, and any server that is hosting the ad can track the clicks on the banner.

In the object and embed tags in your HTML, you would add code similar to the following example (where is the ad network, and is the company with an advertisement):

<EMBED src="your_ad.swf?clickTAG=">

Add the following code in your HTML:

<PARAM NAME=movie VALUE="your_ad.swf?clickTAG =http: //">
<< this HTML stuff may need to be updated
to account for the Active content fix, which likely will cause users
to edit .js files instead of html files - JayA >>

Testing your ads

Test your SWF file ad on the most common browsers, especially the browsers that your target audience uses. Some users might not have Flash Player installed or they might have JavaScript disabled. Plan for these circumstances by having a replacement (default) GIF image or other scenarios for these users. For more information on detecting Flash Player, see Specify publish settings for SWF files. Give the user control of the SWF file. Let the user control any audio in the ad. If the advertisement is a borderless SWF file that hovers over a web page, let the user close the advertisement immediately and for the duration of the ad.

For the latest information on Flash Player version penetration for different regions, go to

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