Workopolis, the morning after

Events, Seasonal and Short-Term (BRONZE)

Client Credits: Workopolis
Nicole Knowlton, Marketing Director
Mathieu Rainville, French Content Editor, Marketing
Peter Harris, Senior Content Editor & PR, Marketing

Agency Credits: Tank
Catherine Sicotte, Group Account Director
Kim Methot, Account Manager
Benoit Pilon, VP, Chief Creative Officer
Alex Gadoua, Executive Creative Director
Jean-François Houle, Creative Director
Christian O'Brian, Copywriter
Olivier Ventura, Art Director
Marie-Pierrle Lemieux, Producer


Worko.en-HD (159 MB)

Total 1208 Words


Business Results Period (Consecutive Months):November 2013-December 2013
Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: November 7th, 2013 (1 day only)
Base Period as a Benchmark: November 2012, December 2012

a) Overall Assessment

Workopolis is the #1 job site in Canada, however this isn’t the case in Quebec where the competitive landscape is largely lead by Emploi Quebec, a government-sponsored site recognized as the best site to assist in job search in Quebec. Other private sites such as Jobboom and Kijijji are holding strong while new entrants such as JobIllico are starting to steal traffic from traditional competitors [Footnote #1]. Since 2010, awareness of the Workopolis brand has remained fairly flat in Quebec, holding at 29% [Footnote #2] in the bilingual Montreal market where marketing efforts are concentrated. This low level of awareness has a direct effect on traffic which has declined in the beginning of 2013 [Footnote #3]. According to Workopolis’ proprietary 2012 Job Seeker research, the Workopolis brand is reputable and trusted in Quebec but seekers do not feel Workopolis has the Quebec based jobs they seek.

With a very limited media budget in the province of Quebec, where the only mass advertising investment comes from a media exchange with the French language daily LaPresse, the agency’s on-going challenge is to drive site traffic while changing the perception that Workopolis does not offer local, Quebec based jobs.

b) Resulting Business Objectives

The Workopolis business model is to generate revenue from job postings, which are driven by site traffic and job applicants, the key metric of consumer response to advertising.

Key measure of success

- Expand and increase engagement of the job seeker base, with a year over year increase of 5% in site traffic. 

Key marketing communication goals

- Maintain brand relevance in order to maintain top of mind awareness levels

c) Annual Media Budget
$100,000 - $200,000

d) Geographic Area
Province of Quebec

Footnote #1: comScore/Omniture traffic report, November 2012
Footnote #2: Workopolis Job Seeker research, November 2012
Footnote #3: comscore data, July 2013

a) Analysis and Insight

The Quebec audience presented us with a special challenge – to convince job seekers that Workopolis had the local jobs they sought. Consumer perception was that the Workopolis brand was not as relevant in the Quebec market? We were going to change that. We decided to take advantage of the extreme media coverage of the Quebec Municipal elections held on November 3, 2013, to create a stunt and make a statement that Workopolis was the right job site for Quebec job seekers to visit. The national communication platform developed for the brand relied on newsworthy events to create a bond with consumers, so the municipal elections were a perfect vehicle to leverage that very platform. 

b) Communication Strategy

To show job hunters just how relevant and in-the-know Workopolis is, the communication strategy was to respond to newsworthy events, pop culture and seasonal topics, relating them back to the advantage of using Workopolis. The creative approach of the newsprint campaign used an editorial cartoon style, and each ad produced throughout the campaign leveraged a current topic to showcase a Workopolis feature and reinforce the position of Workopolis as a reliable job site.

As an extension of the campaign, we created a stunt to generate a buzz on social media. It was a bold move and a well-calculated risk.

a) Media Used

- Images of the stunt were relayed on the Workopolis Twitter and Facebook feeds where they were soon picked up by media and consumers, which resulted in them going viral.

- A full-page ad relaying the same message also ran in the French daily LaPresse on November 4. 

b) Creative Discussion

The thinking behind the creative was simple: we had to demonstrate that for people out of a job, Workopolis was there to help. In the early dawn hours of November 4, after municipal election night, a small agency team roamed the streets of Montreal and placed stickers, guerrilla style, over defeated candidates’ election posters, welcoming these candidates to Workopolis. This stunt was not only in line with the brand pop culture campaign, it was an opportune moment and quite an original product placement for the brand: these candidates were technically out of a job! 

The guerrilla initiative was timely and the simplicity of its execution was key to efficiently relaying the message. What’s more, because we actually placed stickers right under the faces of local candidates, political figures with whom Quebecers were familiar, thus creating proximity for the brand. However it’s the audacity of the stunt that got it noticed. The idea was provocative, and for all the right reasons; It was absolutely relevant for the brand to be there, it was not disrespectful, and the initiative was in line with the overarching communication campaign. The idea was also very simple to execute, which was key in bringing it to life as no media budget was allocated outside of the contra-exchange newspaper buy. 

c) Media Discussion

The whole daring stunt relied on social media to spread the word.

Images of the audacious stunt were immediately shared on the Workopolis Twitter and Facebook feeds the morning of November 4th; They were soon picked up by local media and consumers, which resulted in them quickly going viral.

As part of the contra-exchange visibility Workopolis has with LaPresse, a one-page ad was also booked in the newspaper on November 4th.

Both stunt and ad were tied in their messaging.

a) Sales/Share Results

In 48 hours, the Workopolis  « Morning After » stunt received exceptional media coverage:

  • 2,200,000+ people reached through traditional media
  • 200,000+ people reached through social media [Footnote #1]

In the days following the stunt, site traffic peaked, with a 30% increase YOY (in tens of thousands of new users).

In November and December, overall website traffic in Quebec increased by 20% YOY. 

b) Consumption/ Usage Results

c) Other Pertinent Results

d) Return on Investment

Footnote #1: Morin Relations Publiques press report, media results observed for November 4 to 7, 2014

a) General Discussion

An immediate peak in traffic on the website in the days and months following the stunt is proof that the stunt had an immediate positive business effect.  Throughout the year, with the on-going contra-commitment, newspaper ads were published on a weekly basis, sometimes two times a week, with little effect on traffic. Based on this regular newsprint activity, it is fair to assume that the newspaper ad alone placed on November 4th could not have significantly increase traffic, and no other media or sales initiatives were in place at the time, neither in Quebec nor ROC. Therefore, the stunt is clearly what drove traffic to the website for the two months immediately following it.

To evaluate the media effect, Morin Relation Publiques (MRP) was mandated to produce a report of the coverage received by the Workopolis “Morning After” election stunt. Most of the discussion about the stunt was on social media networks, and including in certain traditional media (Radio-Canada, Journal de Montréal, CTV, LaPresse+, etc.) also mentioned the ingenuity and shrewdness of this flash campaign. It was estimated that total reach was over 2,000,000 for traditional media over two days. The general tone of all the articles was positive and very supportive. On social media it was estimated that over 200,000 people were reached, including over 145,000 people on Twitter alone over two days.

MRP reported the Workopolis “Morning After” stunt was covered widely and very positively in traditional and social media, especially considering the fact it had no media relations campaign support and that the vast majority of coverage spanned only two days. According to their analysis, it is above all the speed of action and the audacity of the stunt that generated coverage in traditional and social media”.

b) Excluding Other Factors
Spending Levels:

The total cost of this initiative was less than $2,000 in production. Posting was done guerrilla style by the agency team at no cost to the client (value estimated at $6,300).



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