India job portals: kaam ki baat

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With the boom in the Indian economy job portals have taken centre stage lately. Global giants like, and home grown ones like have been in the public eye. This category is one where the possibility of making the communication insightful is high. Compared to say, a soft drink product where the creative idea and execution take precedence, this category communication has been based on powerful insights. this is based on a powerful, universal insights that ‘people don’t quit companies, they quit their bosses’. Very often, it is the immediate boss who plays a role in learning, being a source of motivation and inspiration. He is also expected to shield the junior from office politics, the big boss etc. But when he fails to do any or all of this effectively, frustration sets in. The frustration is even higher when the boss is an obnoxious boor. All this is beautifully captured in the Hari Sadu commercial of It strikes a chord immediately in the viewer’s mind.

Times Jobs: here, the insight is that despite being in a ‘good’ job, the compensation is not commensurate and hence one needs to look for another job. The creative idea of a ‘puffed chest’ is interesting. Many of the outward symbols of a good job are portrayed in the TVC. But I feel that the appeal of this ad is likely to be limited to junior & middle level managers in certain sectors. As one climbs the ladder, the compensation is quite attractive and one need not ‘feel small’ after all. Maybe it appeals to the ‘eternally dissatisfied’ in all of us!

JobStreet: this is a bit confusing. In one ad, they talk of the CV’s posted on JobStreet reaching the top managers in companies and hence you will not be left meeting the small fry. In another ad, they talk of a ‘right fit’ (where a dog is being fed a vegetable). If the idea is to convey that they have ‘relevant jobs’ for you and hence the right fit, it is not consistent in their communication. ‘Caught in the wrong job?’ asks the ad. I believe this is a powerful insight, with a chance to appeal to almost all of us. Many of us feel that we ‘should’ be doing something else – never mind that job hops usually result in us doing the same thing in some other company!


Internationally, ‘listen to your heart’ is a common refrain in job portal ads. It taps into the ‘regret factor’ in all of us that we *could* have been better off than what we are today. takes off literally on the idea of ‘follow your heart’. This was released during the recent SuperBowl, so it had to be bizarre!

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