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
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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