The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


It All Sounded So Good In Theory …
August 29, 2008, 6:39 am
Filed under: Crap Campaigns In History

There’s quite a lot of ads out there trying to attract people to join a particular industry.

The Police … Armed Forces … Finance Industry … they, and many others, are all spending up big in an attempt to get people to sign up.

Obviously with an aging workforce and a declining birth rate, companies don’t want to find themselves in a situation where there is a sudden gap between what they have and what they need – however with ever decreasing numbers entering the workforce [and an inherent snobbery regarding who many organisations will and will not take] the battle for the employee is hotting up.

Some industries obviously find the task of recruitment much easier than others …

The banking sector is in a particularly strong position.

Not only can they offer the potential [students of the World, note the word: POTENTIAL] of untold riches – via ever increasing annual bonuses [even when they lose trillions] – they offer, especially in Asia, the benefit of being seen as a highly regarded and [supposedly] intellectually based career.

For organisations like the Police and Armed Forces it’s much tougher.

Putting aside the fact their jobs involve elements of real danger, they just don’t stand a chance of competing interms of cash … so they counter by talking about things like ‘honour’ and ‘respect’ or any other marketing euphemism that means ‘dodgy pay / dangerous job / terrible hours’.

However there is a huge range of organisations that are stuck in the middle.

They can’t offer the pay of an industry like corporate finance … and they can’t offer the respect of something like nursing … so they focus on the fact their industry is in much demand so by signing up, you could end up travelling the World.

There’s loads of industries that use this strategy – hairdressing, accountancy, building – and they all end up creating crappy and pretentious ads like this …

However recently I saw a rather strange version of this ‘you could end up in all sorts of new places’ strategy … and I have to say I’m not so sure they’ve got it right.

As I wrote a while back, the number of people who want to become engineers is declining, and while there are many programs trying to change this situation [including Dean Kamen’s brilliant ‘Engineering Olympics] a number of the big engineering firms have obviously decided to take matters into their own hands because they’re spending a bloody fortune on a bunch of job/industry recruitment ads.

Now I don’t know if it’s because the Maersk Group originally hails from Denmark or whether they just have a really bad grasp on where people aspire to go, but this is their attempt to show how engineering can take you to all sorts of places …

02072008914.jpg by you.

Sorry Maersk Group, but I really don’t think telling people they could end up in the middle of the sea … hundreds of miles from anywhere … on an relatively small structure … most likely overrun by mass of [drunken?] blokes … dealing with a dangerous and volatile substance … in the freezing cold … day and night … away from your family … with few entertainment options … for months at a time … is going to do it.

But as they say, it’s the thought that counts 🙂


21 Comments so far
Leave a comment

God that shit would be miserable.
Do they have Xbox Live at least!??

Comment by Age

so youve decided to write a serious post again have you campbell? or your version of a serious post. i admire your perseverance but this isnt hollywood so dont expect a point where you suddenly get pronounced king of whatever it is you do, youll be writing there shitty posts till the end of your miserable days.

but dont be downhearted my planning friend im about to compliment you. auntie george showed me some of the other planning blogs that exist and most of them are even fucking worse. no i didnt think it was possible either but it is and then i realised why.

as much as you slip into the odd planner wanker mode every now and then most of your shit is about creativity where most of the other fuckers just talk about the theory of theory with no reference to actually doing anyfuckingthing. in other words advertising planning talking about anything but making better ads. or any fucking ads. not even cliche tv spots they just come across as mini wannabe donald trumps even though most of the fuckers have never done anything off their own back, just what their whimsical fucking clients tell them.

and then i thought of you and realised you were ok and remembered what “you lot” are supposed to be about and realised i quite like you campbell even with your obsession to humiliate me with your fashion, music, film sense.

advertising may not just be about fucking ads anymore but its still about a creative output so all these planner intellectuals should either get some balls and start their own shop, join some fuckers like interbrand or just shut the fuck up.

told you it was a compliment. $10k please

Comment by andy@cynic

i have been seriously enlightened, i still think most of what you write is shit but its a lot fucking less shit than a lot of planners out there.

take this post. you talk about your boring strategy bollocks but link it to ads then take the piss for all the right reasons. i almost cracked a smile at the end and you know how much of an achievement that is for you.

all this nicety shit is making me ill so im off to get some perspective with billy and our watery friend bud

Comment by andy@cynic

youre alright age but then you were a creative till you had your brain problem

Comment by andy@cynic

Have the G boys upset you or something?

I am very touched by your almost complimentary comments [MULTIPLE COMMENTS] but also very concerned – this is so unlike you, what is going on???

George … George … what has happened, what the hell have you done????

[I cannot believe he’s come to his senses, it has to be something medical!]

Comment by Rob

Maybe it’s an age thing with Andy? But I agree with his sentiments even though it’s not just planners who are guilty of an “input only” approach, the agency networks are the biggest culprits of them all.

Really good post Robert, what were Maersk thinking?

It could have worked so much better if they’d kept the visual but had a headline telling people that if this was their idea of heaven Maersk was the company that could take you there. Really bad ad and the big arrow indicating the sky is the limit is straight out of first year art school it is terrible.

Coming a close second is the Australian accountancy ad. On the positive side it captures the excitement of accountancy brilliantly 🙂 but I just am disappointed they didn’t make it more Chuck Norris like, showing a male/female accountant burst through a door and use a calculator to perform a series of complex financial calculations so the bad numbers are kicked out forever. I guess they couldn’t do that as that was Enron’s strategy for success 🙂

Comment by Pete

to me, that ad says that a white border is the limit. hmmm.

maybe they don’t really want to hire people who are able to deconstruct the meanings behind an ad. maybe it’s in their favour to hire people who think a-first-year-ad-school arrow-is-clever -and-i’ll-take-the-money-you’re-offering-thanks.

maybe i’m a patronising cow and should go and do some work, even though the sky is 100% of exactly Pantone 204 U today.

Comment by lauren

Tell me about it Lauren, how nice is the weather today?! Hellllllo warmth, it’s been too long!

Comment by Age

I love Andy Boucher. The End.

Comment by Marcus

I think the shed may have turned Marcus gay. I know for a fact Google has turned Andy that way 🙂

[He’s on holiday now so I know I’m safe. Hey, I’m Italian, it’s in my blood to be careful, ha!]

Comment by Rob

You’re not being a patronising cow Lauren – you’re touching on a hugely important issue.

Too many companies go on about how important they are and how they are worthy of charging huge premiums and then [1] put out cheap, nasty ads which undermine that position and/or [2] expect their suppliers to be cheap and nasty because they don’t really care how they come across, only the price it costs.

I’ve said it before – and Andy has said it more recently – but adland is not a service industry, it’s an active advisory and we realise these little things can often make the difference between wallpaper and motivating messages.

But as of Tuesday, that will all change 🙂

Comment by Rob

careful marcus – them’s fightin’ words.

Comment by lauren

I’m a lover not a fighter Lauren.

Comment by Marcus

Have you been in SF too Marcus?

Comment by Rob

Clearly living in Denmark surrounded by leggy blondes makes this an enticing proposition. Go figure.

Comment by John

There is so much talk about the demographic timebomb and how the population is aging and we are going to run out of people to keep the country going etc etc.

But this overlooks cloning technology – something I am opposed to but I recognise is coming whether we like it or not.

People are already cloning their dogs, and those dogs are running around like normal dogs.

So if the police needs a thousand recruits, they will clone them (to a specification no doubt) and put the babies out to foster homes and in 18 years they are ready.

Same goes with other professions – if banks are short of potential recruits they will sponsor a cloning programme.

Frightening, but you can see it coming.

Comment by andrew

But that means agencies will clone their staff and this will lead to even more ads like this one. It’s a doomsday scenario.

Comment by John

Andrew, welcome to this blog … you just might be the greatest person who has ever commented here and I really, really hope you come back – especially as your namesake is on holiday and the comments that cause debate were on the point of drying up for a few weeks.

Comment by Robert

Fuck me … anyone know where I can get an Angelina Jolie DNA sample?

Comment by Robert

I’ll ask her.

Comment by John

I think honesty is the best policy in ads like this one; being fair about what the job entails is always instantly disarming.

Or, you could talk about the role from the position of someone who does it day to day (as several very successful police recruitment campaigns have done over here).

Comment by Will




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