Dozens of Brands Will Advertise Their Job Openings Instead of Sales This Labor Day

With millions of Americans out of work amid the pandemic, more than 50 brands will use their marketing channels to promote any job openings they might have instead of the usual blowout sales or discounts this Labor Day weekend.

The companies, which include General Mills, Burger King and New Balance, have pledged to do so as part of a campaign launched by Minnesota-based Red Wing Shoes and Droga5 called #LaborDayOn. Red Wing itself is also turning more than 500 of its stores into jobs centers for people looking to find local trade jobs. It’s also transforming its customer service phone number into a job search hotline.

Red Wing kicked off the campaign with a full-page ad in the New York Times this week in which it appealed to other brands to join the effort. The retailer has also released a minute-long film that cycles through its job openings with clickable links embedded into the video for each one.

“We don’t believe that this is an effort that we can entirely own and nor do we want to entirely own it,” Red Wing CMO Dave Schneider said. “The best brands take a cultural issue that happens in society, and they accommodate for it and reflect it in how they market and so that’s a big part of what this brief was.”

While the Labor Department has not yet released its employment report for August, previous estimates have pegged the number of unemployed Americans at somewhere between 18 million and 30 million as the economic recession continues to cause layoffs across many industries. But Schneider said the initiative is partly premised on the idea that many skilled trade jobs are not being filled at the moment because of a lack of an established network for easily finding listings.

“A lot of the jobs that we seek to fill as a shoe company—and that our consumers seek to fill—are jobs in the skilled trades. And quite often, those jobs are not easily findable,” Schneider said. “They’re not always on the popular national job boards, so to speak. So, we believe that it’s an opportunity for us to make these roles more visible.”

Many brands have pivoted their marketing messages to center relief efforts for unemployed workers in recent months. Jimmy John’s launched a campaign to employ out-of-work creatives in June, and meditation app Headspace offered free yearlong subscriptions to unemployed workers in May.


Client: Red Wing Shoes

Campaign: #LaborDayOn

Agency: Droga5 NY

Creative Chairman: David Droga

Co-Chief Creative Officer: Tim Gordon

Co-Chief Creative Officer: Felix Richter

Executive Creative Director: Scott Bell

Creative Director: Dustin Tomes

Creative Director: Jono Paull

Copywriter: Emily Chang

Art Director: Astrid Andujar

Copywriter: Mia Rafowitz

Art Director: Cara Cecchini

Associate Design Director: Kathryn Brylinski

Senior Designer: Rachel Hess

Senior UX Designer: James Garvey

Senior Music Supervisor: Mike Ladman

Executive Producer, Interactive: Shayan Amir-Hosseini

Senior Producer, Interactive: Alyssa Cashman

Executive Producer, Print: Alyssa Dolman

Group Strategy Director: Nick Maschmeyer

Strategist: Britt Lynch                  

Chief Media Officer: Colleen Leddy

Group Communications Strategy Director: Delphine McKinley

Senior Communications Strategist: Clark Cofer

Data Strategist: Daria Koren

Managing Director: Dan Gonda

Account Director: Michelle Villarreal

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