Your Employment Brand: You Don’t Need a Super Bowl to Make Your Pitch

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Living in Michigan, Chrysler’s last two Super Bowl ads have been big news in our part of the world (check out last year’s ad with Eminem here).

In case you didn’t see the most recent one from last Sunday’s big game, starring Clint Eastwood, check it out below.

Super cool right! Makes you feel good about America. If you’re from Michigan and/or Detroit, it makes you feel good about that fact – which believe me isn’t an easy task, recently! It is branding at it’s best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PE5V4Uzobc&feature=player_embedded

A perfect ad concept

No one actually likes Chrysler. Well, not if you’re from Michigan. Chrysler is like the Big 3?s ugly redheaded step brother. Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, etc. would all be considered a better car buying option by most. It’s arguable that Chrysler wouldn’t be in the top seven car buying choices of the majority of Americans. Yet, with branding like this, they probably will be fairly soon!

The concept of this year’s ad is almost perfect: a classic American actor from a time gone by, a focus on a growing economy and jobs, America’s best known industry (automotive), and an American city rising from the ashes. Heck you don’t even know it’s a Chrysler commercial until the last 10 seconds! It’s marketing the way it should be.

It’s not thrown in your face – look at our cars, look at our cars, look at our cars — and it connects with an emotion inside of you, a willingness to want to be a part of something bigger, pride in country, pride to be the best, then BAM – Chrysler.

The last connection – the hook – is that you’re going to go out and buy a Chrysler. Don’t say you won’t, because they already have your subconscious wired to buy. There isn’t anything you can do at this point; you’re just an unwilling participant in something much bigger than yourself.

Your employment brand can also invoke emotion

Does your employment brand invoke this type of emotion? Probably not, and let’s face it, this isn’t easy to do. Millions of dollars were spent to get Chrysler to come up with this Clint Eastwood ad concept. You don’t have millions; you have hundreds. So, how can you get there?

Do the same thing — using your own people.

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Every company has leaders and employees who have bought in. They wear the company logo jacket, have the company tattoo, and are willing to get into an argument with a fellow employee who dares to bad mouth the company. These are your brand messengers. These are your Clint Eastwoods. Let them sell your company. Get your iPhone, shoot a video, and put it up on the employment page of your website (just ask the 22 year-old kid in IT, because he’ll know how to do it).

It’s hard for HR folks because we always want to control the message. We want to clean it up and make it perfect.

Stop that. It’s all right if it’s a bit dirty, a bit unpolished. It’s all right that the person might use some language or words you wouldn’t use. This is you – your company, your brand. Embrace it and others will, too.

I’m proud to be from Michigan, and I’m proud of The D (Detroit for all you non-Michiganders). Thanks Chrysler for helping remind us of this. I probably won’t buy your cars, but many will and you did good regardless.

Tim Sackett will speak on What Your CEO Wished HR Would Do at the TLNT Transform conference in Austin, TX Feb. 26-28, 2012. Click here for more information on attending this event. 

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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1 Comment on “Your Employment Brand: You Don’t Need a Super Bowl to Make Your Pitch

  1. As a fellow Michigander (for the first 57 years, anyway), I concur. 100%

    But I’m still not buying a Chrysler. I grew up in western Wayne County. Ford country. Old habits die hard.

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