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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Why yes, Ms. Fossey, we do have a job for you"

In preparation for #BZBowl, I’m experiencing as many of the SuperBowl advertisers’ products & services as possible, comparing whether my service encounter lives up to the promises they make through marketing. Today’s #BZBowl Week post involves CareerBuilder.com.

CareerBuilder is bringing the monkeys back to the Super Bowl. It carries on the line of prior Super Bowl ads, and since simians are comedic gold, I’m sure this one will win rave reviews on Monday. But what is CareerBuilder promising with the monkey ads?

A line from a previous version exclaimed, “It’s tough working with monkeys, and we’ve had enough.” A pretty clear play on empathy with the jobseeker - that CareerBuilder understands what it is like to work in an environment where coworkers are non-supportive, disengaged, and even dumb - and that they can help match a jobseeker with a company where all ones coworkers aren't monkeys. Personally, I’ve never worked with monkeys. (Something Matthew Broderick can’t say.) Sure, there is the infrequent gorilla in my midst, but in my experience, anyone convinced that they work in an all monkey environment is usually the person displaying the ape-like behavior.

Their other tag lines promise a little more, but not much:

From the candidate side, “Want a new job? We’ve got the most.” and from the employer side, “Need better candidates? We’ve got the most”. Abundance is a clear promise, but it conflicts with the monkey theme. If you have both the most candidates and the most jobs, it seems that CareerBuilder would be the most likely congregating place for monkey candidates looking for monkey jobs.

They also add “A better job awaits” onto the line. If you buy the “I work with monkeys” theme, this is a much more meaningful promise, that using CareerBuilder services will improve the quality of your work life by reliably finding a better job fit, or at least one with less flying feces.

The interactive marketing on CareerBuilder.com continues the volume promise, claiming 1.6 million jobs on the site. After I registered, I immediately started receiving updates of positions – both on the site and emailed to me. The quality of fit for almost all would have been suspect, but the activity reinforced the promise that, “hey, there’s lots of stuff here for you to be interested in.” If I were looking for sheer volume of postings, I might be very happy with CareerBuilder. It’s possible I’d still be working with monkeys – just in a different barrel.

Empathy and assurance are key service aspects to a job seeker. So is reliability. Through advertising and interactive marketing, CareerBuilder offered little of any. What they promise, and deliver on, is volume. It’s a flexibility promise that implies because we have the most, we MUST have something for you.

You may just have to get used to monkeys.

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