Flash is frequently used to make small advertisements called "banner ads." By creating a banner ad with Flash it is very easy to add motion, sound, interactivity and video. You have probably seen banner ads on various websites like Yahoo and ESPN. Try going to http://yahoo.com or http://movies.yahoo.com and right-clicking on an advertisement. While you are pressing the right mouse button down you will see a sub-menu. If at the bottom of the sub-menu it says "About Adobe Flash Player xx.xx.xx" you are hovering over a Flash banner ad, also called a Flash .swf file or Flash movie.
Wikipedia has an interesting page about Banner Ads and their history and how the function as a marketing tool: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_banner the page even mentions Flash.
Banner ads are typically formatted in predictable horizontal and vertical sizes, designed to best catch your attention at various places on a webpage. Here are some typical sizes in pixel dimensions:
- Leaderboard, 728 x 90 (horizontal, usually at the top of the webpage)
- Full Banner, 468 x 60 (horizontal, usually above or below article content)
- Square Pop-Up, 250 x 250 (usually placed within article content or popping-up above)
- Skyscraper, 120 x 600 (vertical, usually placed on the side edge of a webpage)
In these multi-part video tutorials, I cover many introductory Flash concepts while creating a simple banner ad.