Stealthy advertising technology developer Adcade has a proposition for advertisers worried about the death of Flash.
Get over it.
The New York-based company has launched Adscript, a programming language that delivers ads on any device using its own proprietary ad-building platform and a coding language the company built from the ground up specifically for digital advertising.
Since Apple effectively sounded the death knell for Flash, advertisers who were at home with the software have been forced to work around its inability to operate effectively on mobile devices, according to Buzz Wiggins, the Adcade chief technology officer and a former Googler in that company’s innovations group.
In fact, the industry’s own nonprofit organization, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, sent an open letter to advertisers asking them to move from flash to HTML5.
“The first initial reaction was to fragment and use some technology for desktops and use different platforms for mobile devices,” Wiggins says in an interview at Adcade’s offices off of Union Square.
Rather than having several different platforms, Adcade’s founders suggest sticking to one programming language — theirs. “We’ve made Flash irrelevant,” says Rob Cromer, the company’s chief executive, in a statement.
Adcade hopes that Adscript will become the standardized language for designers, and is offering companies an all-in-one tool for its use. Combining elements of Flash and HTML5, the company touts Adscript as a flexible language familiar enough to Flash users but adaptable to new technologies as the industry continues to evolve.
The Canvas-based framework is able to reproduce animations done in Flash while also taking into account the additional functions available on devices like smartphones, tablets, digital TV or any connected device. Ads designed using the company’s software are able to adjust across all screens, devices, browsers, placements and sizes, from a single ad tag, the company says.
Financing the company’s continued product development and hiring push is a $5 million series A round which was led by Polaris Partners. Previous investors including ff Venture Capital and Quotidian Ventures also participated in the round.
Currently, Adcade operates an advertising studio for cross-platform ad campaigns as a way to show customers and other advertising firms exactly what its software can do. Ultimately the goal is to transition to an ad server for customers using its programming language, which automatically delivers ads across any platform: tablets, iPhones, and personal computers and laptops.
Interestingly, Adcade didn’t start out as an advertising company at all. The company’s three founders, Rob Cromer, a former analyst at Barclays Capital; Wiggins; and Rob Prentice, a former account executive at Perry Ellis, initially wanted to rid the world of the “captcha” functions that are the bane of every web surfer’s existence.
Initially, the idea was to serve interactive ads that would replace the captcha function to prove that a person was actually present and engaging on a website. It was around that premise that the company raised its seed financing.
Over the course of developing the technology the three co-founders, who also share an apartment in New York’s East Village, determined they were on to something much bigger… the next wave of of serving digital ads.
“Digital advertising is just going to be advertising in the future,” says Wiggins. “If you’re talking about a mobile strategy versus an online strategy you’re already fucked.”