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Why the IAB New Ad Portfolio is Mobile Advertising’s Dragonglass

IAB released the IAB New Ad Portfolio, which replaced all the previous creative display guidelines for mobile and desktop in June 2017. The portfolio’s ad units integrate aspect ratio-based flexible ad sizes, and also incorporate the LEAN Principles of lightweight, encrypted, AdChoices supported, and non-invasive advertising within all of its mobile, display, and native ad formats. This new ad portfolio is based on HTML5 technology and also includes guidelines for new digital content experiences such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), social media, mobile video, emoji ad messaging, and 360-degree video ads. Designed with the consumer in mind, the new portfolio helps provide users with an optimal ad viewing experience.

Gefen Lamdan, SVP of Product, Celtra, who is also a Supporting Member of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, shared her thoughts on how the IAB New Ad Portfolio benefits both the mobile advertising industry as well as the end users, reinforcing why the industry needs to adopt the new creative ad portfolio.


If ad blockers are the army of the dead, we now know we have a bigger battle to fight, and we need to fight it together. The new IAB ad portfolio is mobile advertising’s dragonglass.

The IAB New Ad Portfolio acts as the force we need as an industry to successfully apply these changes to the media landscape – specifically in the creative domain of mobile advertising.

Here’s what I believe are the key values for brands adopting the new standards:

Facilitating Creative Portability

For marketers, the new standards for flexible, ratio-based ad display are a crucial next step toward comprehensive creative/content portability. We essentially see the vertical stack philosophy diminishing and being replaced with a horizontal layer approach when a marketer executes creative strategy and production across the entire media buy, as opposed to a siloed creative production per channel.

In such a landscape, portability becomes essential on the creative level. Once this consistency is achieved, it lays the groundwork for more advanced creative practices, such as creative automation and dynamic creative applications.

Elevating Brand Equity and Integrity

By enforcing flexibility for different device sizes and multiple resolutions, the new ad sizing standards offer advertisers and publishers a truthful definition of the word “native”. Instead of being a relatively poor ad disguised as content, ads can now use canvases that sit endemically and elegantly within content. This new direction lets publishers control the canvas and usability context, while elevating the brand impact to its full potential.

Looking at Video Strategy with Fresh Eyes

The new sizing standards are driving the industry to use video in a new and more relevant way than before.

From a production standpoint, video has always been an aspect ratio-based creative medium, so the new portfolio is bringing video and display standards closer together. The new portfolio also tackles the use of sound and video length recommendations. While these seemingly appear as restrictions, they actually present an opportunity to plan, film, edit, and treat video in a whole new way that is more appropriate for the mobile age.

Cutting Production Costs

It goes without saying that flexible sizes are good for maximizing the real estate on multiple devices, as well as operational efficiency. Moreover, in terms of a social network and “walled gardens” distribution strategy, these new standards make the need to re-purpose assets an easier task for marketers, especially around video ads on mobile.

Winning Trust

Marketers invest time in creating beautiful and engaging ad content, but if the ad is too heavy to be displayed quickly, that effort is lost. As more marketers demand viewability as a standard for buying media, LEAN principles of lightweight, encrypted, AdChoices supported, and non-invasive advertising will play a crucial role in the way publishers and ad tech vendors work to upgrade existing processes and technology, especially for mobile.

In summary, the new IAB standards benefit all parties involved and serve to drive value back to the user experience. For marketers, creative portability, elevated brand equity, cutting production costs, and winning trust should be reason enough to adopt the new portfolio; but my prediction is there is much more to gain by adapting to these guidelines. With this new premise, ads and content can truly live together in perfect harmony, like fire and ice.

Rendez-Vous with the IAB New Ad Portfolio: Sign-Up for the Webinar on 10/26


IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, an independently funded and staffed unit inside IAB, focuses on driving the growth of mobile marketing, advertising, and media. Under the guidance of a Mobile Board of Directors, this Center pursues initiatives including the improvement of mobile creative, creating a reliable and accountable measurement regime, smoothing supply chain problems, advocating for the industry in Washington DC, and educating buyers and sellers of advertising alike as to how mobile and cross-screen consumer behavior is evolving and impacting the mobile ecosystem.  To learn more, contact [email protected].

The IAB New Ad Portfolio is an output of the IAB Tech Lab, a nonprofit research and development consortium charged with producing and helping companies implement global industry technical standards and solutions for the digital media and advertising industries. The goal of the IAB Tech Lab is to reduce friction associated with the digital advertising and marketing supply chain while contributing to the safe growth of the industry. The IAB Tech Lab is governed by an independent Board of Directors, which oversees its agenda and funds allocation. The Tech Lab’s governance structure allows it to become a truly global body and to accept member companies from outside the U.S. In addition, marketers and agencies, as well as other companies with interests in the digital advertising and marketing supply chain, are invited to join. Companies that are already IAB General Members in the U.S. are automatically members of the IAB Tech Lab, at no cost beyond their IAB dues. To learn more about membership, contact [email protected].