The ‘worst recruitment ad ever’ plus other attention-grabbing job adverts online
From a running man dance routine to ‘draw the owl’, these are some of the most memorable - and cringe-worthy job advertisements to go viral
“Hey guys, I’m just going downstairs for my paleo pear and banana bread, would you like to join me?” is not a line you’d expect to hear from a video for a graduate recruitment programme.
Yet this is one of the unusual phrases featuring in a video campaign from the Australian Department of Finance for its Graduate Development Program, showing current graduates going about their day ahead of a presentation to the finance secretary.
The “Game Changers” video has attracted headlines such as “Australia: Is this the worst recruitment ad ever?” and has been parodied online, including a response from the Liberal Democrats (Australia) as well as comedian Simon Kennedy.
If the Australian finance department campaign has tickled readers’ fancy, then a salary of AU$60,825 (US$46,179) is on offer, according to its website, and successful candidates can also join SNOG, or the Social Network of Graduates, where they can meet people from other departments. (In the U.K., “snogging” is an alternative term for making out.)
CNBC takes a look at other recruitment adverts that attracted attention online.
Heineken – The Candidate
Heineken’s The Candidate video showed an interviewer taking potential interns by the hand and pretending to faint, and culminated with candidates having to intervene when someone threatens to jump off a building. Finally, the winning intern was told he’d got the job live at a Juventus-Chelsea Champions League match. The ad won a Cannes Lion in 2013.
New Zealand Police - #runningman challenge
This 2016 video features police doing a “running man” dance routine in a car park, and was watched 11 million times on the New Zealand Police recruitment Facebook page in 24 hours, according to the New Zealand police department’s website. “It’s about showing Police having fun and building trust and confidence,” said media adviser Shelley Nahr.
Twitter – At Twitter, The Future is You!
In 2012, Twitter made a spoof serious recruitment ad, featuring people reading from scripts, flapping their arms like birds and enthusing: “Boy, I wish I didn’t already work here, so I could apply for a job.” Join the flock today, it ends.
Queensland – Best Job in the World
In 2009, Queensland advertised for a wildlife caretaker for the Great Barrier Reef islands, attracting more than 35,000 applications from 200 countries, according to the Tourism and Events Queensland website. Although a caretaker was found – Brit Ben Southall – the campaign was actually about tourism, rather than recruitment, and resulted in news coverage around the world as well as 8.6 million website hits over the course of the campaign, the government department claims.
Tourism Australia – Best Jobs in the World
The rest of Australia was so impressed by Queensland’s results that it ran a similar campaign in 2013, recruiting for roles including “chief funster”, park ranger and taste master, to work in different territories in the country.
Shopify – Draw the Owl
One Shopify staffer took his boss’s demand to see whether candidates could “draw the owl” literally, by ordering a stuffed version online and having co-workers reproduce it in this 2013 recruitment video.
Ikea – Career Instructions
When Ikea in Australia was expanding in 2011, it decided to use its packaging to find new hires. The “Career Instructions” campaign saw leaflets enclosed with Ikea flat packs instructing people on how to assemble their futures, and resulted in more than 4,000 job applications.
Cardstore.com – World’s Toughest Job
The world’s toughest job is one with no vacations, long periods of standing up – and no pay, according to a 2014 ad campaign “recruiting” for a “director of operations.” Candidates were interviewed on camera, before it was revealed the job was really that of a mother, and the campaign was actually one inviting people to buy a Mother’s Day card from Cardstore.com. It has been watched more than 26 million times.
CNBC.com has contacted the Australian Department of Finance for comment, but is yet to receive a response.