Mark Rhodes, Marketing Director at Reed.co.uk
Mark Rhodes, Marketing Director at Reed.co.uk, tells Figaro Digital how the online recruitment site came up with the ‘Love Mondays’ campaign, in the process creating the UK’s most successful TrueView ad on YouTube
Nothing says Monday like an overcrowded train full of fed-up commuters. If there’s a moment in the working week when people are most likely to visualise themselves in other jobs, it’ll be while stood elbow-to-elbow at seven thirty in the morning. In fact, according to a study by Reed.co.uk, an easy daily commute is top of the list when it comes to factors influencing job satisfaction. Insights like this helped lay the foundation for the recruitment agency’s brand-defining ‘Love Mondays’ campaign.
‘Love Mondays’ kicked off in 2007 and the messaging was immediately clear: use Reed.co.uk to help find a job you’ll enjoy. “The idea was really simple and positive,” Marketing Director Mark Rhodes told delegates at the Figaro Digital Content Marketing Seminar. “Anybody who’s ever had a job in their life knows exactly what it is.”
The campaign began with outdoor advertising aimed at commuters. “These are people who are working—they’re getting up every day and are going to be in a state of mind to respond appropriately to the ‘Love Mondays’ message,” says Rhodes. From a rail-side billboard asking ‘All work and no pay?’ to road signs reading ‘Stop faking it… Try a new position’, Reed.co.uk’s messages painted the UK’s commuter routes with lively and provocative outdoor ads.
“We did some iconic stuff and spent big on our outdoor. It was really well received. This, along with the obvious direct response activity, became the staples of what Reed.co.uk did.” Amplifying the message meant getting the campaign online and reaching new audiences, wherever they might be. “In the mid-noughties we started doing homepage takeovers for companies like handbag.com and thetimes.co.uk. We played around with it for a while, and in 2012 we started to do television advertising.”
It was at this point that the character ‘James Reed’ was introduced into the campaign: a mock-superhero (who happens to share his name with Reed’s Chairman) capable of zapping job seekers into their dream roles. Currently portrayed online and on TV by actor Rufus Jones, the original idea came from a winning entry in Reed.co.uk’s annual short film competition. Filmmakers Jonathan Brooks and Mat Laroche were prize winners in 2011 and 2012 and the duo, collectively known as CHIPS, not only went on to create the official Reed.co.uk ad, but signed to Mistress Films and have since worked with Volvo, Mazda, Allinson and won a British Arrow award for their Save The Children campaign.
Think outside the (TV) box
To reach a growing market of digitally-native jobseekers, Reed.co.uk needed to integrate their various channels.
“YouTube was a fairly obvious playground in which to extend the brand campaign,” says Rhodes. Reed.co.uk’s own research indicated that 93 per cent of Gen-Z users visit YouTube once a day, and more than half that demographic visit multiple times a day. In fact, notes Rhodes, “It’s debatable as to whether this is an audience that watches TV regularly.”
Reed started off with some 30-second pre-roll YouTube ads which reflected the TV campaign. Not happy with the ads’ performance, the brand brought together all its agencies to work on something fresh. The first innovation was to make use of TrueView—YouTube’s ad format which allows users to skip ads after five seconds.
“We decided to scrap everything we’d learned from doing TV, park the script and create something specifically for the TrueView format. We thought long and hard: how are we going to make people sit up, notice and actually click on our ad? One thing that everybody loves about YouTube is kittens. In a sense that was our insight—that people procrastinate and watch videos of puppies and kittens there.”
With this in mind, Reed.co.uk created an advert featuring four seconds of mewing kittens, interrupted by ‘James Reed’ bursting through the image. It was simple but it effectively tapped into the habits of procrastinating YouTubers. The campaign allowed Reed.co.uk to reach an entirely different audience to that of the outdoor or TV advertising. It’s still YouTube’s most successful UK TrueView campaign.
Click to apply
“There were lots of different scripts,” says Rhodes. “We had one about unboxing for tech people.” (In the playful spirit of the channel, the boxes were actually empty.) “That was a great opportunity for us to start targeting tech candidates.” From there, the brand could start looking into which users were responding to which adverts and what their YouTube habits were, allowing them to develop user profiles, personas and lookalikes.
“The real beauty of YouTube is, being part of Google, you can build some really meaty remarketing lists based on what your audience is doing. People who had been served the unboxing video would be fed a gadget-focused ‘Love Mondays’ paid search ad if they did a search for ‘tech support’ on Google. They could then go to a tech support website and see a display ad with the same creative.”
As the ‘Love Mondays’ campaign develops for 2015, Reed.co.uk are looking at taking sector-specific targeting further. Rufus Jones has developed the character of James Reed into a delightfully odd recruitment guru, appearing across TV and YouTube. The brand has created light-hearted, tailored landing pages to reflect the creative that users see elsewhere on the internet. The campaign has also gone mobile to target on-the-move commuters (a takeover of London Underground’s wi-fi took place during January and February this year).
‘Love Mondays’ has become an iconic multichannel brand campaign, delivering a seamless experience for jobseekers. By building for the platform and thinking channel-agnostic, Reed.co.uk have created a brand-defining campaign that has reached beyond their established market. “Take a risk,” says Rhodes. “You need to be prepared to stand up and be noticed.”
Feature by Estelle Hakner