Tagged 'employment'

In France, McDonald’s airs recruitment ads that emphasize job stability

In France, as many as a quarter of young people are unemployed. The largest employer of young workers in France, McDonald’s is basing its human resources policy on the professional development of these employees with a policy based on three pillars: training, promotion and internal mobility. On the occasion of the Day of Trades, on April 16, McDonald’s launched a massive recruitment drive, aiming for 40,000 recruitments in 2013. The brand aired three TV commercials, an unusual means of recruitment for a private company (normally only public services use this strategy).

The commercials feature a “mate,” a market manager and a manager, who tell their evolution at McDonald’s from their start to their present status. In one, a 21-year-old named Nicholas says he started at McDonald’s two years ago on a CDI contract (a long-term contract), which “has provided me a certain stability.” He says it has allowed him to buy a car and get an apartment with his girlfriend. “We’ll see what happens next,” he says. “I am confident in the future.” Adds the voiceover: “A job at McDonald’s is a stable job.” While the campaign is not particularly interesting in terms of creativity, the message and the testimonial form are smart ways to quickly touch the target audience. Young people can easily identify themselves in this campaign, which represents a true call to action for them.

Campari addresses local youth unemployment with bartending training

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In Italy, about a third of young people are unemployed, making it the third worst country in Europe to be young and jobless, behind Greece and Spain. The historic Italian brand Campari recently launched a social project dedicated to young unemployed people in Sesto San Giovanni, the town near Milan where the company is based. The project, called Passion Works, is the brainchild of a group of employees entrusted with the task of proposing concrete solutions to the problem of local youth unemployment.

Famous for the many cocktails that use it, the brand is opening the doors of its bartender academy to 30 locals between age 18 and 25 who are unemployed, enabling them to turn a passion into a job. Users scroll down the website as if they’re reading a recipe; anyone who meets the requirements can apply at the end of the page. Those chosen by Campari will be admitted to the professional bartender course at the Campari Academy this month and get a bartender degree upon completion of the course in December.

Campari presents a concrete response to the difficulties faced by a workless generation. While it’s a small-scale effort, it shows the big brand’s attentiveness to the realities of its local community.

Image Credit: Campariacademy.it

Ichitan green tea brings Thais a debt-focused hero

In recent years, the higher cost of living, unemployment and drought have pushed many Thai families into long-term debt. In a March 2012 study by the Thai Chamber of Commerce, 80 percent of Thais admitted to problems repaying debt over the previous 12 months. Many Thais, especially villagers and low-income families, lack the skills to formulate strategies to handle accumulating debt. Instead, they tend to simply hope that someone will intervene on their behalf or that a stroke of good luck will provide the needed funds.

For the past six years, the Ichitan green tea brand has responded to this situation with a hugely successful marketing campaign built around a lucky draw promotion called Richie Thunder Jackpot. The latest installment asks consumers to send an SMS with a unique code printed inside the bottle cap. Every day for 60 days, Ichitan selects a winner, who receives a gold bar valued at 1 million baht (just under $35,000). A TV commercial for the promotion features company founder Tan Passakornnatee as a hero whose mission it is to solve debt issues. The spot reminds Thais of the most urgent problems associated with debt: coping with rising food prices (represented through duck, chicken and pig mascots) and the difficulties of small businesses facing bankruptcy.

The commercial is lighthearted but demonstrates that the brand understands consumers’ current anxieties and offers a solution to a lucky few.

Benetton spotlights youth unemployment and spirit

Nations around the world are grappling with high youth unemployment, a cause that Italian fashion brand United Colors of Benetton took up last year in a global campaign. “Unemployee of the Year” aimed to not only draw the public’s attention to the issue but present “a practical response to the problems we’re raising,” as chairman Alessandro Benetton told The New York Times.

The campaign revolved around a contest for unemployed people between 18 and 30 run by Benetton’s Unhate Foundation, which is devoted to promoting diversity in local communities. Contestants submitted ideas for projects that could create concrete social impact in their community, and these were voted on by the online community. The foundation promised 5,000 euros to each of the top 100 projects. In line with the company’s history of raising awareness around socially delicate and controversial issues, Benetton offered an “unfiltered” view of so-called NEETs (young people who are not in education, employment, or training) in a manifesto video. Celebrating the ability of young people to find new, intelligent and creative ways of facing unemployment and to come up with their own unique solutions, the video ends with the line, “A job doesn’t define me—what I fight for does.”

Some questioned whether the company should apportion more resources toward effecting change and fewer into the marketing element, a valid point—but supporting some solutions to social problems rather than simply pointing them out is a good start.

As Spain struggles, Campofrío cheers on Spaniards and their accomplishments

As Spain’s crisis grinds on, more of its marketers have been addressing the situation directly, as Agence France-Presse reported last year, “trying to lure hard-hit buyers by appealing to Spanish values of friendship, family, and proud resistance.” We’ve posted about some of these efforts over the last few years, including campaigns from a radio program, Mahou beer, Carrefour, Coca-Cola and Campofrío, a deli brand. The latest from Campofrío is a sweet, humor-tinged 60-second spot that aims to boost viewers’ national pride and give them hope for themselves and their country.

The spot opens with the famous clown Fofito saying he’s read that sales of antidepressants have reached a record, and that with the joblessness and pervasive news about how badly the country is doing, “it’s only natural that you end up thinking you are useless.” He’s speaking about the country itself. So he goes on to create a “résumé” for Spain, detailing a range of achievements—everything from seven Nobel prizes and Oscars to Don Quixote, Chupa Chups, athletic prowess and infrastructure. “Don’t forget today’s youth,” two young women tell him, assuring that while younger Spaniards are leaving, “we’ll be back.” The oldest generation gets a nod too: A grandma is a “champion” for supporting her children and grandchildren with her pension. Along the way, several Spanish notables make cameos, including tennis star David Ferrer and singer Malú.

“You are smarter and stronger than you think,” says Fofito as the spot winds down. It concludes: “Let nothing and no one deprive us of our way of enjoying life.” Campofrío connects the brand with an optimistic national outlook (much like Chrysler’s “Halftime in America” at last year’s Super Bowl) that’s also grounded in facts and faces that strike a chord—and turns enjoyment of its products into a statement about not giving up on Spain or life itself.

To view with subtitles English subtitles, click here.


Walmart taps into American anxieties by pledging more domestic sourcing, hiring of veterans

With many Americans saying the American Dream is slipping out of their grasp, there’s a role for businesses to play in helping consumers achieve their Dream, one of the findings in our recent report “American Dream in the Balance.” More than a third of the respondents in a survey we conducted said corporations should help people achieve the Dream. And since fewer Americans now see the U.S. as a land of opportunity, brands should showcase the opportunities they’re creating. Walmart provides the latest example of a marketer doing this with its announcement last week that it plans to source more goods domestically, hire more veterans and help part-time workers transition to full-timers.

The company pledged that both Walmart and Sam’s Club stores will purchase an additional $50 billion in U.S. products over the next decade, both by buying more American-made goods and by onshoring U.S. production in several categories. Walmart said a new team within the company will drive the effort and that the company will work with state governors in its bid to create more jobs. Walmart also promised to provide jobs for any honorably discharged veterans in their first year off active duty, projecting that it will hire more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years. See our “American Dream” report for more examples of how marketers are tapping into consumer sentiment around the American Dream.

Corona Beach Bar offers a fantasy alternative for Europe’s unemployed

The global crisis is in its fifth year, and unemployment figures are high as never before. Europe is struggling with an average of 11 percent, while some countries, such as Spain, see numbers as high as 24 percent. The crisis has hit especially hard among younger people, who feel they have lost out on their future and have no prospects. (People joke that there are three ways out of this crisis: by plane, by train and by boat.) Corona Extra, the Mexican beer, is offering a fourth escape route for one lucky European: to leave it all behind and open a bar at the beach, doing what people always say they’d like to do to change their life.

Created by JWT, this summer promotion offers the chance to become “Boss of a Beach Bar” for three months, thus earning a great salary while getting work experience. The promotion will be launched in nine European countries and supported by a campaign on MTV, as well in bars and supermarkets in some countries. Users can apply via the Facebook application, stating why they would leave behind their current life. A jury will select 10 candidates for interviews, then select one lucky winner. Corona Beach Bar is a fun promotion that allows consumers to dream and escape reality, even if momentarily.

Photo Credit:  facebook.com/corona-beachbar

Apply App.ly matches applicants and vacancies on both experience and personality

In today’s economy, the job search is usually a stressful endeavor. While unemployment rates in the U.S. are slowly dropping, applicants still need any advantage they can get. Apply App.ly, a new job search platform, aims to improve the process for employers and employees alike. The idea is to match candidates with vacancies based not only on qualifications and experience but also on personality type. Apply’s application combines a user’s LinkedIn profile with a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment (applicants who have never taken a Myers-Briggs test can do so at a discount through the Apply site). This system can also be incorporated into an employer’s database for internal job switches, enabling employees to search for vacancies within their company that may better suit their skills and temperament.

Apply is following a trend toward greater personalization, making experiences, products and services even more tailored to individual preferences, behaviors and attitudes. Increasingly, consumers expect businesses not to treat every customer the same but to understand exactly how each is unique. In this instance, personalization not only helps match applicants and employers but can remove some of the anxiety around starting a new job, since theoretically you should fit in perfectly.

Pakistan’s Djuice mobile offering tackles social ills

Djuice, a pre-paid offering in Pakistan, has been positioned as a straight talker and to-the-point communicator, transparent and upfront. Its commercials for the service address social issues that drive anxiety—things that tend not to be talked openly about here. The tagline: “With Djuice, boycott society’s silence on this issue.”

One TV spot tackles disrespect toward women, showing a young woman unable to walk in a marketplace without getting hassled left and right. She starts screaming, and another woman asks, “When will there be change so that we start respecting women outside our families and in public?” She urges, “Speak up today or repent tomorrow—your words are your weapon against this moral illness, and with Djuice, just go ahead and voice your reservations and opinions to effect a change today.”

Another spot tackles the fact that many jobs are landed through back-channel connections, an especially difficult fact of life in recessionary times. A young man interviewing for a job is required to provide references. One friend tells him, “You know, my dad is a big shot and he can help.” The interviewer gets various calls from the applicant’s references, but eventually the candidate says, “I think my credentials are my most important reference in life.” As he walks out, the interviewer says, “Young man, you’re basically right! When do you want to join?” A third spot addresses the issue of teachers turning a blind eye to cheating on exams. The ads push a friends and family package, encouraging people to discuss these issues with their close contacts.

Faced with so many issues that seem beyond their control, Pakistani consumers feel hopeless in the face of government inaction. Djuice empowers consumers to believe they can tackle some social issues that are within their grasp, rather than sit idly by and wait for change.

Ben & Jerry’s stands with Occupy Wall Street

American anxiety over the widening class divide and a seemingly entrenched downturn is finding expression in Occupy Wall Street and the similar protests around the U.S. So far one corporate brand has come out as a supporter: Ben & Jerry’s. Although owned by Unilever for the past decade, the ice cream purveyor has always tied its brand identity to the hippie origins of its namesake founders—look no further than flavors like Imagine Whirled Peace and the new Fair Goodness Cake (which touts a commitment to using only Fair Trade ingredients within the next few years). Now, The Guardian jokingly suggests “Choc-u-pie Wall Street” as the next new flavor.

A board of directors statement on the company website shows one of the brand’s signature cows holding an “Occupy” sign and expresses “our deepest admiration” for the activists. The movement hasn’t formulated a coherent message, so Ben & Jerry’s outlines five grievances that it supports, including class inequality, the unemployment crisis and the expense of higher education. Noting that the company “pays a livable wage to our employees,” the statement includes links to Ben & Jerry’s position on issues including “climate justice” and “peace building,” and explains how its lobbying money has been spent.

With more Americans struggling and worrying that better times aren’t ahead, how will brands respond? Supporting what some see as an anarchistic protest won’t work for most marketers, but there are many ways to position a brand as part of the solution. Starbucks, for example, just announced Create Jobs for USA, an initiative to solicit customer donations for a community lending organization.

Photo Credit: benjerry.com/activism/occupy-movement/