A Bank Uses Its Ad Campaign To Help Job Seekers

Fifth Third Bank and its agency Leo Burnett are using real job seekers in a new advertising campaign to help people find a job via the client’s reemployment program.

"Unemployment continues to be the No. 1 concern on American’s minds [according to a Gallup poll]," says Mike Ward, creative director, Leo Burnett. "Statistically, the longer one remains out of work, the harder the time they have returning to meaningful employment. Simply put, people need help getting back to work more than ever."

The concept grew from Fifth Third's partnership with NextJob, a national reemployment solutions company,  that launched in 2012. Back then, the Bank identified mortgage customers who were behind in their payments, due to job loss and offered to help them land a new job with NextJob’s comprehensive job search program.

Then, the two companies deployed the full program to mortgage borrowers in 2013 and extended availability of the Job Seeker’s Toolkit to all Fifth Third online customers.

Now, Fifth Third and Next Job wanted to explore how a bank could use its marketing to best demonstrate that it’s helping people get jobs. "The answer," says Ward, "is by dedicating its advertising and social media space to the candidates actually looking for jobs."

As such, three actual job seekers, Katrina Holmes, Elba Pena and Bill Laakkonen, are showcased in the campaign that also features a success story, Fifth Third customer Randall Jackson. This Chicago resident actively engaged with the bank’s reemployment initiative with NextJob; he recently landed a job after being long-term unemployed.

Still, these four individuals are just the beginning, says Ward. The participation platform also features dozens of additional job seekers – both current Fifth Third customers participating in the NextJob program and those who are not customers of the bank.

During the campaign period, Fifth Third and NextJob are opening up access to the online Job Seeker’s Toolkit to every unemployed job seeker interested in finding their next job. Further, Fifth Third will fund up to 53 one-on-one coaching scholarships for people who apply through NextJob’s application tool. The scholarships will include four months of personalized job search assistance and anyone can apply regardless of whether or not they are a Fifth Third customer.

The campaign is rooted with the online hub, 53.com/reemploy, where the candidates’ resumes are shown via short documentary videos and infographics, humanizing and adding dimension to traditional resumes. The campaign also utilizes  video and pre-roll as well as flash and rich media banners across high profile Web sites, networks, and social media, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

The media strategy was created by Burnett sibling media shop Spark and was designed to leverage social media and seeded video to drive sharing of content of up to two minutes long. Messaging is served sequentially based on the sharing behavior of consumers across partners including Unruly, MSN, ShareThis, Kargo, Facebook, and Twitter.  Fifth Third is airing 1:45 pieces of content at theaters to promote the partnership and the campaign, using the videos from the Reemploy.53.com website to introduce people to the job seekers and to give more information about their campaign and efforts to get people back to work.

In addition, paid search is supporting the campaign by optimizing consumers’ searches on YouTube in order to drive views of content. At the same time, the campaign asks consumers to help the candidates reach a wider pool of potential employers by sharing their stories and their LinkedIn profiles across their social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Ultimately, Fifth Third is using its own media to help people get jobs and is asking consumers to do the same using their social media.

The campaign does come with some challenges, says Chris von Ende, creative director, art director, Leo Burnett. "The same reasons that make this campaign special are the same reasons why this effort had its challenges; we are using real people. These are real people that are earnest in their desire to return to work, and they are putting themselves out there. These are also real people who are talking honestly about an inherently sensitive subject," he says.

"To be successful, the team at Leo Burnett and Fifth Third knew that every decision made within this campaign had to be a decision that in the end was in the candidate’s best interest, nothing was allowed to trump that. So oftentimes, our thinking and our approach had to shift so that we did right by our candidates."

Fifth Third Bancorp is a financial services company with locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina.

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