‘Mr. Employer, I’m Ready for My Close-up’
Retail executives are always saying that store-level employees
are their most important asset because they are the ones interacting with customers
day-in and day-out. Now, chains are taking the importance of workers one step
further by featuring them in television commercials and other customer-facing
According to a report by Brandweek, the practice of
using workers in ads is on the upswing. It points to recent campaigns from
Domino’s Pizza, Lowe’s and Zappos as examples.
The Zappos campaign makes use of
puppets known as Zappets to portray actual employees of the e-tailer. Aaron
Magness, director for brand marketing and business development at Zappos, told The
New York Times, “The goal is when you see the
ads, in TV, print or digital, you’ll say, ‘That’s the Zappos I know,’ or ‘That’s
a company I want to do business with.'”
commercials use actual employees in stores helping shoppers properly prepare
for home improvement projects. “Consumers’ mind-sets have changed,” Tom Lamb,
vp, consumer marketing, told Brandweek. “It’s forced us to
rethink our offerings. There’s a return to sweat equity and expense control.
Customers are looking for a lot more advice.”
Domino’s found that using franchisees
and employees in its spots had greater benefits than it expected. Russell Weiner,
Domino’s evp, CMO, told Brandweek, “The campaign became great ‘invertising’
as well,” he said. “Our franchisees and employees loved seeing themselves.
It was compelling to consumers and motivating to our staffers.”
Discussion Questions: Is the use of employees in ads any
more or less effective than other creative approaches? What company’s advertising,
current or in the past, do you think used employees most effectively?
Employees Get Their Tribute, Even if It’s in Felt and Polyester – The
New York Times
- Employee Benefits – Brandweek