Reckitt uses condoms for recruitment campaign

Reckitt Benckiser is clearly working on the principle that if you've got strong consumer brands, you might as well make the most of them....

by James Taylor
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
Selling a graduate recruitment scheme with condom packets? Might seem a bit odd - but that's one of the tactics consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser is using in its new 'multi-million pound' attraction campaign, in which it has apparently decided to use its consumer brands to sell its employer brand. So it's come up with some 'rather cheeky' slogans to put on ads styled around the likes of Durex, Vanish and (we can only hope) Cillit Bang. And in fairness, although Reckitt's a huge company, we imagine these names will be a lot better known around campuses than their almost unspellable parent..

The campaign, which will run online and offline in various different countries, includes such gems as 'Stimulate your career' emblazoned on a Durex condom wrapper, the rather ungrammatical 'Vanish boring jobs' next to some Vanish branding, and so on. You get the picture. It's aimed at graduates and young professionals, and the idea is to build on the theme of the 'power behind the power brands' that it came up with a couple of years ago.

Reckitt's problem is clear. Rivals like Unilever and Procter & Gamble have much higher-profile employer brands among young professionals - indeed, their graduate recruitment schemes are among the most renowned and successful in the industry. Whereas Reckitt - well, we suspect that lots of graduates won't even have heard of it, despite its size.

As such, it makes perfect sense for Reckitt to utilise its most famous brands - which are, after all, its biggest assets - to connect with potential recruits. OK, so we can't see many undergrads harbouring a desperate desire to sell condoms or household cleaners or air fresheners. But at least it makes the point that you get to work with big international brands.  

What's more, this kind of light-hearted approach also says something about the kind of employer Reckitt wants to be seen as - slightly different and quirky. Its UK boss Camillo Pane reckons the company's culture is 'very different to that of most organisations... We are not only truly global, but also entrepreneurial, offering challenging and stretching opportunities at every level.' OK, so everybody says that. But not everyone puts recruitment slogans on the backs of condom packets...

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