Career Site Unleashes Monster Campaign

Online career site Monster (Quote, Chart) is launching a $125 million brand campaign to celebrate its upcoming tenth anniversary in 2004 — and to compensate for the loss of two major partnerships.

The company’s global marketing budget will go to television, radio, print and online advertising with the new tagline, “Today’s the Day.” The campaign was produced by Monster’s new advertising agency, Deutsch of New York.

“Monster has to do [the campaign] because they recently lost their partnerships with AOL and MSN,” said Charlene Li, principal analyst with Forrester Research. “Consumers will no longer automatically see them when they visit AOL and MSN. They shouldn’t have let them get away.”

Li was referring to August deals in which rival CareerBuilder nosed Monster out of its relationships with the two big portals. CareerBuilder inked a five-year deal with Microsoft’s MSN (Quote, Chart), to provide the content for the MSN Careers channel, previously Monster’s province. CareerBuilder also signed a four-year deal for jobs postings with America Online, the online arm of Time Warner (Quote, Chart), replacing Monster.

“We did not renew with AOL and MSN because we found we could get much more qualified traffic to the site in a far more cost-effective manner,” said Kevin Mullins, a Monster spokesman. “By not doing that, it frees us up to do more online marketing ventures as well as broadcast advertising, which we found to be an effective medium to reach both job seekers and employers.”

Despite the MSN and AOL losses, Monster isn’t shunning portal deals altogether. Wednesday it revealed a new strategic alliance with Lycos, which makes it the career content provider for Lycos.com, Wired.com and several other sites within Terra Lycos. The deal involves the promotion of a co-branded site at www.lycos.monster.com, which will be accessible from the Lycos.com and Wired.com homepages.

“This is a fully integrated campaign,” said Erica Schnall, senior vice president and group account director for Deutsch. “We’ve got tons of online ads running on sites including Lycos, Weather.com and iVillage.” The online advertising will mostly consist of banners in various sizes and units, Schnall said.

The jobs site will also have “an aggressive presence” in the search arena, focusing on geographically targeted and industry-specific keyword buys. The company will also ramp up its affiliate marketing activity and conduct several online promotions.

Monster has historically been successful in using television to brand its services. The firm, founded in 1994, is known for its aggressive advertising, especially its Super Bowl spots. While many dot-com companies have dropped the big game from their marketing plans since the much-hyped Super Bowl of 1999, Monster has consistently ponied up the dough for the high-profile spots. The company has often used the occasion to debut new creative, and this year is no exception.

The latest Monster campaign will involve ads running throughout the year, starting with a 30-second spot on Dec. 26 during the College Bowl Championship Series. The Super Bowl XXXVIII on Feb. 1 will see the debut of the next 30-second spot. Spots will also air on network television and national cable, including ESPN, VH1 and Comedy Central.

The new tagline, “Today’s the Day,” conveys a message to job seekers and employers about making goals and aspirations a reality. The College Bowl TV spot uses this theme by showing everyday people getting ready to start their day.

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