Monster boosts ad budget to $125M

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Monster Worldwide last month kicked off a new ad campaign for its online career site and announced it would boost its ad budget by about 20% in 2004.

Monster, which turns 10 this year, said it will spend $125 million on global advertising in 2004, including TV, print, online, direct marketing, promotions and events.

Its new campaign, with the tagline "Today’s the day," is the first work for Monster from Deutsch, New York, which was named Monster’s agency of record in July. "Today’s the day" replaces Monster’s previous tagline "Never settle," developed by Arnold Worldwide, Monster’s former agency.

"We feel ‘Today’s the day’ is a line that will encourage job seekers and employers to seize the day and not put off looking for a new job," said Carole Johnson, senior VP-marketing at "It’s also a very memorable line that can extend across advertising, promotions and sponsorships, both offline and online," she said.

‘Today’s the day’

However, Jupiter analyst Gary Stein said the new tagline is "a bad idea." "It doesn’t have any connection with their product," Stein said. "It takes a step away from their core business, which is focusing on new jobs and never settling."

Stein said he had not yet seen the creative for the new spot.

In the debut TV ad, a 30-second spot that launched Dec. 26 during the college Bowl Championship Series, people are getting ready to start their day as a voice-over poses questions such as "Will today be the day you’re going to put on a suit?" and "Will today be the day they say you’re hired?"

Johnson said the target audience for the first spot primarily is job seekers. Executions and marketing efforts targeting employers will launch this month and run for the rest of the year.

Monster will once again have a strong presence at the Super Bowl, which it has used as an advertising vehicle since 1999. During the CBS broadcast of Super Bowl XXXVIII on Feb. 1, Monster will run two 30-second spots—"Today’s the Day" and a second spot that will target employers, Johnson said. Monster also will run a pre-game spot.

Stein said the Super Bowl is a good forum to reach the job-seeking audience, but added that Monster "will do better [reaching] employers through sales outreach and b-to-b advertising."

Monster is still finalizing its print strategy, but Johnson said the company will run ads in general business publications such as Fortune and vertical trades in industries such as health care.

Online ad budget decreases

Monster also will do more direct marketing in 2004, spending about $15 million on direct mail. However, it will decrease its online advertising budget and pursue more "cost-effective" online strategies, Johnson said. Monster did not extend agreements with AOL and MSN to be their exclusive online career site in 2004, she said. "The cost of unique visitors was increasing, and traffic was declining," she said.

Instead, Monster will make heavy use of search, with a focus on geographic and industry-specific keyword buys designed to generate more targeted reach. Monster also will use online promotions and increased affiliate marketing activity.

"We’re spending less online but we’re spending more offline to drive traffic to our site," Johnson said.

Events will also play an important role in Monster’s marketing efforts this year. The company is a sponsor of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and is the Official Online Career Management Services Sponsor for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team.

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