Careerbuilder.com Recruits Monkeys for Marketing

Careerbuilder.com, the USA’s largest online employment network, continues to both entertain and annoy the viewing public with its four ‘monkey ads’ first shown at the 2005 SuperBowl. The campaign is designed to appeal to people who are frustrated in their work, rather than those already looking for new jobs.

Whoopee cushion in Careerbuilders.com commercial


Monkeys

An office worker walks out of the elevator into the offices of Yeknom Inc. (Monkey spelt backwards). He’s accompanied by chimpanzees in business suits. In the office a worker is reading ‘Chimps’. Our office worker reads through a colleague’s report. “It’s doesn’t make any sense”. The chimp picks up the phone. “It didn’t ring.” “You’re not talking to anybody.” In the photocopier room a chimp’s taken his pants off to copy his behind. Our office worker is on an outside phone line… “I apologize. I’ll correct it myself. It’s just that I work with a bunch of monkeys.” Voiceover: “Visit the largest job web site careerbuilder.com. A better job awaits.”

The title for this ad is a misnomer. Chimpanzees are classified as apes rather than as monkeys.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

Whoopee Cushion

Our office worker is heading into the board room, late for a meeting. The waiting chimpanzees are building up to his arrival. Finally he sits down and discovers he’s been set up with a whoopee cushion. The chimps erupt into their own form of laughter. Once again we see the face of the office worker, clearly ready to search for a new job.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

Titanic

Our office worker emerges from the elevator, coffee-to-go in hand. He heads to the boardroom to take part in a discussion on a new project. “It’s very creative but sir I just think it’s a bad idea to name a product ‘The Titanic’.” The boss grunts and the rest of the staff throw banana skins and papers at our man. One of his colleagues leans over and kisses the ass of the boss. Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

Polite

Chimpanzees in the tea room chatter away, appreciating the female talent walking past. “Hey guys I can hear you from over there and I don’t think it’s polite. So I want you to think about it. No judgments.” He walks back to his seat which has been booby trapped with a whoopee cushion. “Good one”.

Credits

The monkey campaign was created by advertising agency Cramer-Krasselt, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, whose team included executive creative director Marshall Ross, creative directors Pat Hanna and Ted Jenkins (copywriter and art director) and agency producer Ben Latimer.

Filming was shot by director Bryan Buckley via Hungry Man with producer Kevin Byrne and director of photography Scott Henriksen.

Editor was Jay Herda at Mad River Post, assisted by Kevin Southey and post producer Heather Gibbons.

Music was composed by John Adair at Admusic (now Emoto Music). Sound was designed by Stephen Dewey at Machine Head and mixed at Crescendo Studios by engineer Craig Helmholz.

Text animation was done at Somersault by graphics animator John Montgomery and producer Ross Woods.

The Cast

The office worker is played by Griffin Creech, part time actor and copywriter from Helotes, Texas. The key performers in the Careerbuilder advertisements are clearly the four chimpanzees who are trained at Bob Dunn’s Animal Services in Sylmar, California. Camera work and digital editing enabled the director to give the impression of an office full of chimpanzees.

Public Response

The American public as a whole seem to be attracted to the antics of monkeys. Recently the spot was named the top ad in “The Funniest Commercials of 2005.”, a TBS special hosted by Kevin Nealon. In the USA Today coverage of the monkey campaign, in February 2005, Careerbuilder publicist Richard Castellini said that he was blown away by the public response.

However not everyone is happy.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has awarded Careerbuilder with a ‘litterbox’ award – given to companies that show a lack of compassion for animals or handle animals irresponsibly. PETA encourages people to write polite letters to CareeBuilder and Cramer-Krasselt voicing concern about the commercials that use chimpanzees. They suggest using CGI and animatronics for future commercials and movies. The No More Monkey Businesss campaign is backed by the Jane Goodall Institute and the Chimpanzee Collaboratory.

The Companies

Careerbuilder.com is one-third owned by three publishing companies, Knight Ridder, Tribune Company, and Gannett.

In a tongue-in-cheek twist Cramer-Krasselt set up a web site for the imaginary company Yeknom Industries. Chimps on the site call visitors to boycott careerbuilder.com because of what they call a “slanderous television campaign that uses editing tricks and disinformation to make Yeknom Industries the butt of their jokes.” The site is no longer active, with the logo for ‘Cybertonic – Internet Marketing’.

2006 Monkey Ads

Careerbuilder.com monkeys commercial

Pointer

Pointer features our poor officer worker attempting to present an audiovisual presentation to an auditorium full of monkeys. They’re more interested in what they can do with laser pointers.