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 (HD)

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 (HD)

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 (HD)

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.

  • Richard Cole

    These are unequivocally the most funny, entertaining, and yet effective commercials put on TV, perhaps ever. No matter how often they were to run, I still enjoy; I don’t switch channels, and knew within the second time I saw one that it was CareerBuilder ( that silly name id/ association thing).
    Don’t let the tight asses @ PETA bully you or CB into not creating/running them. Keep em comin…one of the only worth a damn on TV today!
    Rick Cole
    Tucson, AZ

  • Cameron Parrish

    This is a brilliant ad campaign with plenty of life left in it. Chimps just dont get old. The best thing is its not just monkeys for the sake of cuteness. Its monkeys illustrating a great point. Keep these things coming.

  • THOMAS SMITH

    THESE ARE THE BEST ADS OUT THERE. IF I NEEDED A JOB I WOULD USE YOUR SERVICE. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

    TOM

  • Denise

    These are hysterical. I applaud PETA for their organization, but feel it should focus their efforts on baby seals, or furs. These monkeys don’t appear to be mistreated…they have better suits than my husband. Seriously, I don’t think any animal should be mistreated, but I also believe God put things on this earth to make us laugh, and monkeys were one of them. (p.s. These meetings are JUST like corporate America…I love it!)

  • Bob

    I’ve never seen an abused child in family court that “appeared to be mistreated.” The beatings and mistreatment that the Careerbuilder apes have endured all happened off-camera, prior to the commercials, and the decades that these chimpanzees will spend in isolation and neglect once they reach puberty and can no longer be safely managed speak louder than the hysterical laughter of football fans. Let’s try to remember that people used to laugh at lynchings believing that some people had no feelings based on their outward appearance. It’s about time Careerbuilder dumped this tired “monkey” concept and tried to be creative in its advertising.

  • mel

    This is just sick i cant believe you published it or let the people do it

  • Bill Zearfoss

    The Career Builder Chimp Commercials are TRUE ART WORK, I don’t believe these animals are mistreated in any way.They appear to BE HAPPIER THAN MOST HUMANS I KNOW!!!!! If they were in the jungle they could get killed by poachers or whatever, if they were being mistreated I would oppose THAT VERY FORCEFIULLY!! Enjoy the commercials, God created the chimps for our pleasure and to be our friends, Remember God created ALL THINGS, including the chimp commercials, laugh and enjoy because if you can’t laugh at these, you need to lighten up. Laughter is THE BEST MEDICINE AROUND. GOD BLESS THE CHIMPS THEY ARE FABULOUS!!!!!!!!! Bill Zearfoss

    • john649

      haven’t read more bs than is in my entire life.
      GET A LIFE and leave the animals alone!

  • John

    Where can I view the Craig Helmholz who hosts ‘Monkeys’ as a 5.1 mb quicktime file?

    I clicked on it but it won’t open. Any other alternatives? John

  • Chris

    All chimpanzees that are used in entertainment were taken from their mothers shortly after birth and raised in isolation, usually in small cages. Chimps are the smartest animals besides humans. To deprive them of their mothers, and also contact with other chimps, through no fault of their own, is a terrible thing, and it leads to mental distress and resignation.

    What people think is a chimpanzee “smile” is actually a fear grimace. When chimps are happy they open their mouths wide and take very short grunts. When they are scared, they keep a closed mouth and show their teeth. In the wild fear grimaces are observed during fatal skirmishes with neighboring groups, and during agressive encounters within a group, usually by individuals being physically punished by more dominant animals. The chimpanzees in this commercial are terrified, probably of the trainers who are on the set with them.

    People like Bill Zearfoss are the chimps biggest enemy. They believe, like most people, that chimps exist only to make humans laugh. As long as people believe this, and there is demand for it, the entertainment industry will continue to keep these intelligent beings as slaves.

  • J. Howard

    If you idiots don’t think performing chimps are abused, read the undercover investigation about one of Hollywood’s most famous chimp trainers, who settled a lawsuit by sending his chimps to a sanctuary and promising never to work with apes again. It only takes a little homework to learn the truth. http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/cruelcamera/baeckler.html

    Why do you think some adults chimps become killers?

  • john649

    You idiots who think its funny to rip babies away from their mothers, force them to learn stupid human tricks and them languish in cages when they’re too old to do stupid human tricks need to WAKE UP!
    They get sold for more stupid human experiments when they are no longer viable….all for a stupid human laugh.

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