The trio of ads that comprised CareerBuilder.com’s Super Bowl debut introduced big game viewers to a hapless human (Griffin Creech) and his chimpanzee officemates at Yeknom Industries -- “monkey” spelled backwards -- a theme that would continue for years.
"Monkeys," "Titanic" and "Whoopee Cushion" by Cramer-Krasselt in Milwaukee won three of the top 10 slots on USA Today’s annual Ad Meter. Viewers who found their way to yeknominc.com would find a site waiting for them as part of the effort. "We're going after 20-somethings with a viral campaign," Cramer-Krasselt President-CEO Peter Krivkovich told The New York Times, "and if they spend time on the site, it eventually bounces them back to careerbuilder.com." But the use of chimps would eventually become a source of controversy as other major marketers and ad agencies swore off the practice (E-Trade concluded its big-game chimp run with "Monkey Musical" in 2002).
Careerbuilder entered the Super Bowl just as rival Monster.com decided to sit the game out after six consecutive appearances. "It's the single biggest avenue for advertising, and it is a great way to reintroduce our brand to the public," Richard Castellini, VP-consumer marketing for CareerBuilder, a joint venture between Gannett Co., Knight Ridder and Tribune Co., said at the time.
While the Super Bowl was instrumental in building Monster's name recognition, appearing in the big game was no longer a necessity for the company, John Kelley, Monster's senior VP-marketing, told Ad Age that year. "We have tremendous brand awareness, and we are the category leader," he said. Monster planned to continue to advertise nationally, with a presence during the NCAA men's basketball tournament, for example, and spend more in local markets.
HotJobs.com was another online recruiter that built its name with Super Bowl spots, but it skipped the gamel for the second straight year in 2005. Monster would stay away until 2009, where it would go head-to-head with CareerBuilder, by then a Super Bowl vet with spots in 2006, 2007 and 2008 under its belt.
Director: Bryan Buckley. Production company: Hungry Man. Director of photography: Scott Henriksen. Producer: Kevin Byrne.
Executive creative director: Marshall Ross. Creative director/copywriter: Pat Hanna. Creative director: art director: Ted Jenkins. Agency producer: Ben Latimer.
Editorial: Mad River Post. Editor: Jay Herda.