Better third-party tag support

We have made some improvements to the way we handle third-party tags.

The new feature is called automatic third-party tag detection. What it does is that it allows you to post multiple tags in a text area and we will automatically find each individual tag and create a separate creative for it.

This is a time saver if you get huge text documents with multiple tags for multiple dimensions and placements. With this new feature you simply copy the content of the document, paste it in to a text area and click submit.

Pretty neat.

The problem with Flash ads and CPU usage

In order to keep the file size of Flash ads as low as possible developers are increasingly turning to action script to generate animations. While this keeps the file size down it might increase the CPU usage on the computer displaying the ad.
Running one or several Flash ads that use a lot of processing power on the same page view will degrade the user experience significantly.
To help detect these ads we have added monitoring of CPU usage in Advalidation. To get results that are as realistic as possible all creatives are tested in Internet Explorer 7 on virtual machines running Windows XP.
Below is a screenshot of how we display the CPU usage of Flash ads in Advalidation. This ad clearly uses too much processing power and would slow down the web site significantly.

In your validation settings you can choose from three levels. Tolerant, moderate or strict.

Getting there

Almost ready for some beta testing.

15 ways of reducing CPU usage in Flash ads

The complexity of images, gradients, slow animations and detailed animated objects in Flash ads increase the number of calculations the users processor must perform for each frame. Here are 15 ways of reducing the CPU usage of your Flash ads.
  • Use fewer animations based on mathematical calculations in Action Script
  • Remove unnecessary keyframes from the animation and use the Tween function instead of "frame-for-frame” animation.
  • Lower the frame rate, i.e. the number of frames per second.
  • Minimize the use of gradients, transparency, masks and animations.
  • Images used more than once in the movie should be transformed into symbols. Symbols are stored in the file once and used again later. It can reduce the file size and CPU usage.
  • Minimize the changes between each key frame.
  • Minimize the information stored in the first frames. Add complex logic later in the movie if possible.
  • Features that are activated by the user is preferred. For example: Start a complex animation on mouse over, not on load.
  • Avoid unnecessary timer functions and loops. This is the biggest problems in terms of CPU usage.
  • Solid lines require less memory than dotted / dashed lines or the brush tool.
  • Group objects and make calls to the group.
  • Minimize the number of fonts.
  • Use vector graphics instead of pixel graphics.
  • Optimize vector graphics. Select Modify - Smooth, Straighten or Optimize to reduce the number of vector points.

A clicktag that actually works with ActionScript 3

if (root.loaderInfo.parameters["clickTAG"]) {
    var clickTAG:String =
click_btn.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_UP, getUrlfunction);

function getUrlfunction(ev:Event = null): void {"", clickTAG, "_blank");

click_btn is the name of the link button. You can change it into every name / label you want.
It is possible to embed the clickTAG via external files.

The command has been tested with Windows XP and various browsers: Internet Explorer 6 and 7: It works (it overrides the pop-up blocker). Firefox: It works (it overrides the pop-up blocker). Opera: The browser asks the user to open the pop-up window manually.