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CareerBuilder.com, That's What!

  |  February 22, 2005   |  Comments

First in an occasional series examining exemplary online media campaigns.

Quick question: Three months ago, did you know what CareerBuilder.com was? Quick follow-up question: Did you know it's the largest job site in the nation? If not, you will. Thanks to some really creative TV spots, a couple of Super Bowl placements, and a well-integrated ongoing campaign, CareerBuilder is about to become a whole lot more familiar.

CareerBuilder has been around a long time; the company officially launched in 1998. But to most people, it's just been the company that powers their newspapers' job sections. It is indeed the engine powering the online job sites of many newspapers, but CareerBuilder also powers MSN's and AOL's job sections, among others.

As you may have seen during the Super Bowl, it's building its own brand in a big way. Its newspaper partnerships have given it local credibility, and its portal relationships have given it the reach to be a serious player in the online job space. But, because it was always "the company that powers...," it hasn't been able to build the brand it wants.

Working with Cramer-Krasselt on the TV campaign, CareerBuilder tapped into something everyone can relate to at one time or another -- that feeling you work with a bunch of monkeys. The commercials explore a handful of really funny scenarios (picture a board room scene in which a junior monkey literally kisses a boss monkey's butt or, better yet, check out the spots for yourself). CareerBuilder uses these funny monkeys to take a humorous look at frustrating office situations and ultimately remind viewers, "A better job awaits."

This well-integrated campaign includes additional TV placements in high-profile events, such as the GRAMMYs, the Academy Awards, and the NCAA Final Four. In addition, CareerBuilder will have an ongoing campaign with local radio, print, stadium, and other outdoor placements, as well as mobile marketing and online advertising. (Full disclosure: my company did some of the online work in conjunction with this campaign.)

In fact, online has played a very significant role. The campaign and spots were launched on the Web prior to running during the game, which turned out to be a smart move that garnered CareerBuilder additional buzz prior to the Super Bowl audience exposure. CareerBuilder took advantage of all that buzz by running pay-per-click (PPC) search engine ads, going so far as to run contextual ads on Google's AdSense network.

Further extending the campaign, CareerBuilder has launched a viral component to the effort that includes a microsite -- Yeknom Industries ("monkey" spelled backwards). The Yeknom Industries site has everything you would expect from a real company's site, only funnier. It has a letter from the CEO, a toll-free number, merchandise for sale, and, of course, job listings (which you can email to a friend). You owe it to yourself to check out the job listings.

The Super Bowl placement was a really smart idea for CareerBuilder, especially considering Monster and HotJobs chose not to run spots this year. Even smarter was launching the campaign online first and extending that campaign with online advertising and viral marketing. It's a great example of cross-platform integration. As a result of the campaign, CareerBuilder has enjoyed major gains in awareness and record numbers in traffic, applications, and résumés. It's seeing traffic surpass its historical patterns, as well as those in the online job segment overall.

Check out the CareerBuilder campaign when you get a chance. Because I've got one final question for you: What do you think of it?

(Rob McGann also wrote an interesting piece for ClickZ that's worth reading: "Some Successes, Some Failures in Super Bowl Ad Integration." The article looks at other examples of campaigns arising from this year's Super Bowl.)

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Pete Lerma Pete Lerma began his advertising career in the traditional side of the business, where he spent six years managing accounts for clients such as Coca-Cola and Subway. He then realized interactive marketing was where it's at and, in 1998, joined Click Here, The Richards Group's interactive marketing division. During his tenure at Click Here, he's forged relationships with major online publishers, networks and technology companies, and these relationships contribute to his perspective on the interactive marketing industry. As Click Here's principal, Pete oversees accounts for high profile brands including Atlantis, Hyundai, Travelocity, and Zales. His group has won numerous awards for their strategic and creative work, including recognition from the IAB, Ad:Tech, The One Club, Graphis, and Communication Arts. Pete serves on the board of directors for the Dallas/Fort Worth Interactive Marketing Association and also contributes to the marketing blog ChaosScenario.

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