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What the Super Bowl Teaches Us About Truck Driver Recruiting Ads

There is an important difference between memorable advertising and effective advertising.

In an interesting article, Fistful of Talent blogger Kris Dunn uses two Super Bowl ads featuring Eminem to illustrate that important difference. Here’s what he had to say:

The Wrong Way: Grabbing Attention Without Providing Substance.
The first ad from Lipton used the likeness and voice of Slim Shady and leaned on the fact that he’s often vulgar. You might remember it now. You won’t remember it in a year.

This just in. Eminem curses. Funny at the moment. But memorable? Hardly.

The Right Way: Making A Genuine Connection.
The most memorable spot from the Superbowl, in my eyes, also starred the Detroit star. It was the Chrysler spot—which you can also see on YouTube.

Dramatic voiceover. Haunting imagery. A story that swells pride in the American way, even if you’re not from Detroit. Music coming in at the end that supports the broader theme – the bootstrap underdog kid getting ready to break out.

It made me want to buy an American car which, after everything Detroit’s been through, is not an easy emotion to invoke.

Moral: Never Aim For The Lowest Common Denominator.
Instead of co-opting Eminem’s “cool” at the lowest common denominator level, Chrysler went for something more complex. They wanted to invoke the emotion of pride. The American work ethic. They weaved the story and imagery together perfectly, so a pop culture starved America could connect.

Some of you will say that’s impossible to do if you’re selling iced tea. I say that’s a cop-out.

The lesson? Don’t downgrade your brand with the equivalent of fart jokes. They’re forgettable. Go for the big prize, be memorable to someone in 10 years. Don’t dance on the pole with your brand.

So What’s The Lowest Common Denominator In Driver Recruiting?
Money. Bear in mind, I’m not suggesting you should never mention pay in your advertising. But if that’s your sole selling message, what’s going to keep your drivers from jumping ship whenever a better offer comes along?

There are plenty of issues that matter to drivers—and it’s a lot easier building driver loyalty on those issues than it is on a strictly monetary basis. Your advertising should reflect that.

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