Jobs.com casts career adviser in new TV

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Jobs.com, an online career site, breaks its first TV advertising today as part of a $30 million campaign. But the effort wasn't created by the shop jobs.com chose last fall.

Instead, the campaign was created by 12-person Dallas shop Rizzuti.com. The ads feature Tom Peters, author of such titles as "In Search of Excellence." Mr. Peters has written extensively about job satisfaction and is jobs.com's online career counselor.

McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C. -- job.com's initial selection for creative -- handled media buying. McKinney's creative ideas never saw the light of day because jobs.com had neither the time nor financial resources to produce the celebrity-driven ads McKinney proposed, said Caryn Kboudi, VP-advertising at jobs.com.

`DIDN'T WORK OUT'

"It didn't work out," Ms. Kboudi said of McKinney's handling of creative for the company. "They had a campaign, and when we were a month or two into production we realized we weren't going to be able to pull it off."

About five months ago, jobs.com began developing a relationship with Mr. Peters and decided it wanted to create a campaign around his image and message. Jobs.com turned to Rizzuti.com, an agency that had done radio, outdoor and direct marketing work for the company for about three years.

"Rizzuti always remained on our roster," Ms. Kboudi said. "When the idea about Tom Peters germinated, there they were."

The four TV spots, which carry the tagline, "When you love what you do, you're alive," employ "dry humor" to relay Mr. Peters' philosophy that people should love their jobs, said Guy Lyman, Rizzuti.com creative director.

Radio and outdoor ads that kicked off jobs.com's latest campaign broke Jan. 24, the Monday before Super Bowl Sunday. Jobs.com stopped running radio ads on Jan. 28 and resumed them on Jan. 31, the day after the game.

Ironically, jobs.com said it enjoyed a 34% jump in daily traffic after the game in the wake of all the buzz over Super Bowl ads for HotJobs.com and Monster.com.

"We took the traffic from our competitors' advertising on the Super Bowl, and we spent nothing," Ms. Kboudi said. "It was our little ambush."

Jobs.com started in 1992 as a career fair company under a different name. By 1994, it had evolved into an online bulletin board for employment in Texas. In 1996, the company became Resumail.com. In March 1999, it bought the URL www.jobs.com and renamed itself jobs.com.

AN EVOLUTION

"We've evolved from a posting site to a career destination," said Ms. Kboudi. "With a name like jobs.com, people expect you to provide them with a wealth of information."

CBS Corp. in August traded $60 million in media over the next five years for equity in jobs.com. "That gave us the ability to go out with a much broader message and a national campaign," Ms. Kboudi said.

Jobs.com's TV ads will run in five spot markets: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. There also will be some placement on the CBS network nationally, Ms. Kboudi said.

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