“Extreme Branding” — sounds like hype, right?
It’s not. It’s simply saying that great recruiting ads do what branding ads do, but in a more extreme way.
Here’s what I mean:
A good branding ad will always be crafted to speak to the vast majority of the audience who are not currently in the market for a given product or service.
So great copywriters tattoo on their brains that they’re really talking to people who must be seduced and entertained.
“Disinterested bystanders” that might be turned into an attentive audience — IF and ONLY IF — the ad is truly unignorable.
Believe me, one writes differently with that goal in mind.
What About Branding Ads that “Make An Offer”?
This remains the case even if the branding ad in question presents some kind of evergreen offer to the public.
Yes, every Geico commercial promises that “15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance.”
But those commercials are NOT direct response ads.
They’re entertaining branding ads meant to burn that offer into your brain for the next time you pay your insurance and think you’re paying too much.
Hence the need for the caveman and the gecko and all the other funny schtick for which Geico ads are justly famous.
Why Recruiting Ads Take This to an Extreme
Recruiting Ads are an extreme version of this dynamic.
If the percentage of the audience looking to buy a new car is small, think about how much smaller it is for, say, plumbers interested in a new job?
Now, the audience is larger than just potential job applicants.
You’re also trying to reach the extended social network of all those plumbers (or HVAC techs or Customer Service Reps, etc.)
‘Cause if you reach and persuade a candidate’s spouse, parents, friends, then your message for a great job opportunity will get passed along.
Still, your recruitment ad’s actual offer will only be relevant to an astonishingly small percentage of the listener or viewership.
So do you waste your opportunity to talk to the 98%+ of the audience who can’t take you up on your offer?
That would be monumentally stupid.
You have to craft an ad that will be entertaining and persuasive to the vast majority of the audience who aren’t interested in your job offer.
That’s what makes it an example of extreme branding.
Here’s an example of what that would sound like:
Miller’s Radio Ad
A Unique Opportunity
There’s one more reason why recruiting ads are “extreme branding.”
Those indifferent bystanders won’t know or even suspect that the recruitment spot they think that they’re “overhearing” wasn’t actually written directly to and for them.
Somewhere in their minds, they subconsciously feel as if they’re eavesdropping on a conversation between the company and the prospective candidate.
And that provides the copywriter with a unique opportunity.
He can use the recruiting spot to sneak messages into the minds of eavesdroppers that might have “bounced off” of skepticism had they appeared in a “regular” ad.
And, yes, this phenomenon can also be used in reverse — directly speaking to the audience at large in order to sneak messages into prospective employees’ minds.
That “reverse technique” sounds like this:
Griffin Radio Ad
The Proof Is In the Pudding
But how do I know this is true?
How do I know recruiting ads can actually drive branding results with customers?
I know because I’ve recently had two different clients tell me about major sales they picked up from customers who came to them specifically and self-admittedly because of a recruiting spot we ran for them.
They even quoted the spot back to the owners when talking about why they bought from them.
Here’s a screenshot of a recent text message with one client saying exactly that:
And these kinds of results aren’t unusual for my recruiting spots.
What’s In YOUR Recruiting Ads?
But when written properly, a recruiting ad can also attract customers to you even more powerfully.
And that’s “extreme branding.”
More importantly, if your recruitment spots aren’t being done like this, then your regular branding spots are probably falling short as well.
Because one is just a more extreme version of the other.
If you find that idea a point of concern (or an opportunity for improvement), you might consider hiring a new advertising consultant.