Sex changes orientation of Monster.ca

This year's Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia may have been something of a bust for Canadian athletes, but the folks at Monster.ca are feeling like they came away with gold....

This year’s Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia may have been something of a bust for Canadian athletes, but the folks at Monster.ca are feeling like they came away with gold.

The popular career site aired three new television spots in heavy rotation on CBC during the Games, and experienced a significant increase in traffic as a result.

The exact impact of the advertising has yet to be assessed, says Jennifer-Lee Thomas, communications director for Monster.ca. But in the 16-day period that the spots aired, the site experienced a 90% increase in new job-seeker accounts, and a 107% increase in resumes posted.

Not bad, when you consider that the campaign had a pretty tough act to follow.

Monster.ca is one of the 13 ‘Monster’ sites owned by Massachusetts-based TMP Worldwide, a global online career network. Most Canadians first became aware of the brand when a memorable spot for the U.S. flagship site, Monster.com, began airing last year. The award-winning ad featured young children discussing their ambition to be yes-men and middle managers when they grow up.

There’s only one thing that can top killer creative like that.

Sex.

Not that the new Monster.ca spots created by Montreal-based Publicité Martin show anybody doing the wild thing. But they do endeavour to get their point across by comparing career decisions to relationship choices.

One spot, aimed at newcomers to the workforce, features a young man in a restaurant gazing longingly at a table across the room, where an attractive woman sits with her mother. Eventually, he walks over with a rose, and offers it…to the mother. ‘If you’re trying to get experience,’ the voice-over says, ‘that’s cool with us – especially when it comes to your career.’

Another targets workers who are fed up with their current employment and looking for a job where they’ll be better appreciated. In this case, a woman in sexy lingerie tries unsuccessfully to arouse the interest of her couch-potato husband, then turns her amorous attentions to the pizza-delivery guy.

The third in the series depicts a man leaving his wife to move in with the next-door neighbour, who just happens to be…another man. This one is geared toward people in mid-career who are looking to change their ‘orientation’ by moving into a different field.

‘We want people to know that a career change is a life-affecting decision that should be taken as seriously as changing [sexual] orientation,’ Thomas says.

One of the goals of the campaign, she explains, is to establish Monster.ca in consumer’s minds as an entity unto itself, distinct from Monster.com. To do this, the site needed advertising created specifically for the Canadian marketplace. ‘People remember the name ‘Monster,’ but they go to Monster.com,’ Thomas says. ‘We want them to come to Monster.ca.’

This particular campaign, she adds, probably wouldn’t fly in the U.S. market, where there’s less tolerance of references to homosexuality or infidelity in commercials.

Once the Olympics ended, the spots went off the air. For the rest of the fall, Monster.ca will concentrate on smaller, grassroots marketing efforts, but will resurrect the TV campaign – with print support – early in the new year.

Thomas says the goal, ultimately, is to put a face on the company, and help it stand out in the crowded dot-com marketplace. ‘In terms of branding, Monster has been seen as an innovator. We need to reinforce that reputation. And we need to differentiate ourselves from the other job sites out there.’

Credits:

Client: Monster.ca

Agency: Publicité Martin

Account Director: Caroline Paquet

Project Manager: Sonia Bergeron

Creative Director: Michel Van Houtte

Writers: Mélanie Girard, Liette Bernard

Production House: La Fabrique d’Images

Director: Alain Desrochers

Media: Television

Start Date: September 15

End Date: October 2