Content Promo

What do HTML5 digital banners actually cost!

This topic may be a bit challenging to tackle as the industry is a bit fragmented in pricing for digital banners.  There are a few things we have to consider before we get to breaking the pricing down.

First off there are several different types of banners for many different platforms and ad servers, all of which have different requirements & specifications which require vastly different amounts of time to build.   There are static banners, standard banners, rich media banners, expandable banners and in-banner video banners just to name a few.  All of which range from having little-to-no animation in them all the way up to the highest engagement animation that almost mimics the look of video or full featured interactivity.

Second, who’s making your banners.  Have you hired an agency?  Do you have on-site creative staff?  Or have you opted to work with an off-site freelancer.   At the top of the price list are digital agencies, these are the companies that offer full service campaign management.  They often run with a campaign comprising of multi-faceted approaches.  Commercial video, print or digital key art, billboards, bus wraps, radio spots and of course banner ads.   They often also offer management of the media buy for all these types of content.  Less so now that programmatic bid exchanges are becoming a staple.  While the agencies try to provide breakdowns of how the money will be divided up, working with such large sums allows a lot of wiggle room.  They can sort of shift the budget from one area to another to cover occasional unexpected expenses.  You have to also consider that with this route you are funding the payroll for senior management and their entire hierarchy of employees.

Now, you could bring creative staff in-house and save a ton of money but it’s important it’s understood what the pros and cons are with this direction also. Designers that are capable of producing HTML5 rich animation, video or fully interactive content are in high demand.  There is far more work then there are people to create it right now.  The industry took a very swift switch from Flash to HTML5.   Virtually eliminating more than half the industry designers that were not able to comprehend code in addition to the design aspects newly required of them.  So now the industry talent pool is fractured with cheaper HTML5 developers, that are more suited to front-end development of apps and websites, building ads that are overly basic because they have no prior design or animation experience. Then there are designers that can only do print work because they are lacking any coding background what so ever.  Ultimately what you’re after, is a universal digital art director/producer that can do it all.  Not only can these multi-talented producers be pricey to hire but also to retain.   You have to consider that you will have to pay for all the overhead costs as well associated with a in-house designer or team.  And let me tell you, the software utilized for corporate accounts is not cheap.  This option holds the most value for large companies that are running digital campaigns on the daily.   Consistently rolling out one or more campaigns every week, the only problem is that you run the risk of quick burn out of the staff.  Especially in the millennial generation as they tend to need work that continually challenges them and makes them feel they are contributing to a higher purpose.  Replacing your in-house HTML5 designer a couple times, you’ll soon understand the pains and absorbent costs of this route.

So the third option, is to work with a off-site freelancer.  Typically per campaign you may pay a bit more per hour than you would for an in-house full time employee, but still far far less than a digital agency.   Plus, you only have to pay them for the time you need them, not year round.  You don’t have to pay any overhead costs or have management for them the way you would an internal employee.  Often paying a flat quoted price based on hours to complete a project/campaign.  When a freelancer presents a quote for work being done the advertiser needs to understand the quote includes more than just the actual work time.  The freelancer is acting as a production house.  He/she performs all the functions that are normally distributed amongst a team at an agency.  So in addition to the actual work, you are also being quoted for pre-emptive revisions, administration, communication and package/delivery time.  

Alright so now that you have a basic understanding of the alternative types of banner ads and production avenues, we’ll get the meat of this article.  With the information provided above you can deduce approximately where in the price range each avenues associated costs land.

STANDARD ADS (300×250, 728×90, 160×600, 300×600)  : range between 
$125 – $500

RICH MEDIA IN-BANNER VIDEO / RICH ANIMATION (300×250, 970×250, 300×600) : range between $200 – $1200

RESPONSIVE FLEXIBLE ADS (Size automatically changes according to placement) :  range between $800 – $2400

As for time spent.  I can only speak for myself.  Below I’ve provided a breakdown of time spent.  As a someone with 12 years experience creating digital advertising, I can only assume those with less experience take a great deal longer.

STANDARD ADS (300×250, 728×90, 160×600, 300×600) : WITH BASIC ANIMATION – SLIDES/FADES

Master design mockup @ 3-4hrs   (includes revision process)
Additional sizes based on approved master @ 1-2hrs each 

Initial HTML5 development @ 3-4hrs  (includes revision process)
Additional sizes based on approved initial HTML5 development @ 2-3hrs each 

RICH MEDIA (300×250, 970×250, 300×600) : WITH IN-BANNER VIDEO / RICH ANIMATION

Master design mockup @ 4-6hrs  (includes revision process)
Additional sizes based on approved master @ 2-3hrs each 

Initial HTML5 development @ 3-4hrs   (includes revision process)
Additional sizes based on approved initial HTML5 development @ 2-3hrs each 

RESPONSIVE FLEXIBLE ADS (Size automatically changes according to placement)  

Master design mockup @ 4-6hrs  (includes revision process)

HTML5 development @ 16-24hrs (includes revision process)

I understand that I haven’t given you exact dollar amounts.  There simply isn’t standard regulated prices for digital advertising.   The only true way to get a fully transparent quote is to request one with a thorough creative brief in order to evaluate what your campaign needs are.

Should you be interested in having a free custom quote for your next digital campaign, contact me today!HTML5 pricing*Prices above will cover 90% of HTML5 ad developments. For ads that are too simple or overly complex costs may need adjustment. Your custom quote based on creative details will provide an accurate firm quote. Art direction & design available for additional fees. HST not included.

Additional References