Or is it?
I am less and less involved in the placement of banners and buttons on the UK job boards now, especially as my role is much more focussed towards the delivery of our website builds here, but every now and then I get asked to join a client, or sit in on an internal meeting, with some of our friends from the world of online recruitment.
Knowing what we can now deliver via our websites, and understanding the penetration of broadband within the UK – last I heard it was over 60% of the population and still rising, I am occasionally led to question why, in this day and age, we are given such limiting restrictions on the type of file we can supply to promote our clients on the majority of the traditional online job advertising platforms.
The animated gif for example – a file format so restrictive that you can only do so much – especially with the file size limitations we work within. So basic, yet still the benchmark and, in most cases, the standard deliverable for the majority of ads placed on UK job boards.
Some allow Flash, but only in limited circumstances. Some don’t allow ‘recruitment advertisers’ to use Flash in certain places, yet directly below that slot are Flash banners being run by product advertisers, and so the story goes on.
The work currently being developed by our counterparts in the product market can at times be described as fantastic – integrating video, audio, interactive functionality, linking within banners to different places, tracking this usage, measuring the success of the components of a banner, etc., etc. You know, really USING the available technology to enhance the message being presented.
And, there don’t appear to be the same restrictions we are presented with. These seem to be available almost across the board, with a reasonable file size limit, and at the same time, they do not seem to ‘spoil’ the user experience.
So come on ladies and gents, I’d like to better understand why we are still being presented with these draconian restrictions on the type of file we present.
And, if anyone deems to bring up ‘download times’ as an excuse, I would seriously like to understand why. Surely, whether it’s a Flash file, or a gif, the download time of a 12K banner is almost the same.
And yes, I know people will come back with tales of ‘not everyone has Flash’ or ‘’our users don’t want to be distracted’, but I often find this difficult to believe – especially as they are already being distracted by the 4/5 frame animated gifs that pepper our job boards.
So, my request is this, can we start to stretch ourselves a little more – technically – and perhaps bring the available advertising platforms up to the standards of those our product agency peers seem to be able to utilise on most lifestyle sites.
I’m sure not all of our clients will want to utilise these ‘new technologies’, but for those that do, I think it’s about time we offered them the option.
I’d be really keen to hear the point of views of some of our friends in the online recruitment media industry on this, and perhaps get a discussion going here about moving into the new generation of in-site promotional materials.
If, as a site, this does not apply to you – and you are embracing leading edge technologies and advertising practices, then just enjoy the opportunity to show the rest of the market what can be done – we’d still be interested to hear your opinion.
Cheers folks, and it is a Friday afternoon after all…
Oh, and sorry Matt, got impatient -