Gusto Launches First Brand Campaign

San Francisco start-up Gusto is introducing its first brand campaign and it features comedian Kristen Schaal. 

The human-resources services provider is working with Erich & Kallman, a new San Francisco based creative agency founded by veteran creative director Eric Kallman and Steven Erich, the former president of Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

The campaign concept underscores the company's Silicon Valley roots by using data to drive its creative decisions. Gusto conducted focus groups and surveyed hundreds of HR administrators to understand what they like and dislike about their jobs, and how they wish their day-to-day responsibilities could change.

“As we listened to everything HR admins do for their office, we realized they are truly the CEOs at work – the ‘Chief Everything Officers,’ " says Josh Reeves, CEO/co-founder, Gusto. "The inspiration for the campaign was an HR person who juggles it all and does just about everything at the office, including watering the office plants and organizing birthday parties. You’ll see elements of our research reflected in these videos."



Thus, the creative recognizes the many hats HR professionals wear in humorous ways. For instance, the “So Many Zoes” online ad showcases Schaal as she pretends to be different staffers to respond to an employee's various questions. 

The campaign includes a series of short videos on Facebook and YouTube, out-of-home billboards in the Bay Area and a microsite 'business card' generator that hosts an interactive quiz in which HR managers can discover what their job title should actually be — from Cat Herder to #OfficeBoss.

Why Schaal? The agency explains she was the right to represent the modern HR person — warm, approachable and "naturally exudes the energy of someone who does everything without skipping a beat."

Gusto's platform serves more than 40,000 small businesses across the U.S. by simplifying HR, payroll and benefits. Founded in 2011, the company has raised $161.1 million in funding to date and competes with ADP, Paychex PAYX. 

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