Employer brand and content marketing – Dentsu Webchutney aims to shape the digital culture of work


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A digital agency, Dentsu Webchutney recently turned to the client and released 14 branded shorts called minisodes, enhancing the working atmosphere in the company. Typically lasting about a minute, each film interviews or captures a number of employees during a work conversation. It might sound boring and corporate in theory, but the execution does nothing of the sort.

Interviews do not follow a formal costume set up with the subject placed behind a desk in a separate room to involve leadership and authority. They surprise senior employees who pivot in the same chairs as their junior colleagues, as they find their thoughts while answering questions that seem to be asked of them at work. Discussions take place in comfortable offices and busy hallways and are more reminiscent of college roommates thinking about an upcoming project than employees thinking about the next proposal.

And so you don’t confuse Webchutney with anything other than a modern digital agency, all clips are consistently characterized by understated humor and entertaining randomness. Much like the hit TV show The Office (we’re not the first to make this comparison).

Minisodes are a rare example of B2B branded content in the HR space. But it is not this participatory effort that makes them interesting to study. It is the success with which they have upset the standard approach to employer branding. Through branded content, they brought creativity and entertainment into an otherwise functional space that runs on job postings and office visits – in other words, nothing more than what serves the goal.

How well do they hold up as branded content?

As branded content, they’re not that different from the conventional type designed for B2C. According to our conceptualization of branded content – “Make branded content more content and less advertising”, they only raise one contradiction, that of sharing the seller’s point of view. But that goes without saying since they were designed to draw attention to an employer brand.

Other than that, the episodes aren’t about any of the tangible elements associated with the commercials. They do not discuss gaps and needed solutions, product benefits and functionality, consumption and use situations, or brand updates. Shared as Post on LinkedIn company, they don’t interrupt their audience’s continuous flow of consumption: a social media stream full of posts about workplace experiences, recent developments in the industry, personal updates, company news, etc.

Instead, they reinforce the impractical reasons why those looking for a job should apply – the values ​​of the brand, the type of people who work there and the dynamics between them, not salaries or benefits. They take a stand in a cultural conversation by showing what a positive work atmosphere looks like. As branded content, they try to win the hearts of consumers.

Why create branded content, to begin with?

Since brands have gone digital, digital agencies have been selling by the dozen in India. And since each seeks to become an exceptionally creative power and to seize the big brands, each agency wants to have its selection of the best talents on the market. This obviously means that everyone needs a differentiating pull factor, something besides highlighting successful projects and clients.

Today’s employees are looking for more than impressive professional references. They want an engaging work environment – original decor, facilities that go above and beyond, a dynamic employee, and stimulating mentors. Influenced by global giants like Google (which garnered attention for installing a slide in its office space) and popular media figures with fictionalized jobs, they want more than the previous generation of workers.

If an agency provides some or all of the above, it should make them visible to its potential employees. And only posting a job posting, office visit, or ad won’t do. It must flesh out its identity as an employer brand and make it convincing. How does it follow the codes of a digital agency: young, creative, easy-going, cheerful and passionate? And how does he authentically do it?

Branded content can help meet these demands.

How do the minisodes bring out the codes of a digital agency?

Webchutney has ensured that job seekers see their agency as inherently young. In “Ab Cannes Ho Gaya”, as an employee talks to the camera about what it feels like to see a rejected idea, employees can be seen in the background finishing a game of table tennis.

Many minisodes feature serious and serious conversations on less serious topics. Like when two employees debate when the customer should celebrate Harry Potter (in “What is not clear? “). Or the minisode, “Ishtaarth needs a nickname” who sees a discussion of how short names like Stuti and Ayub don’t need nicknames but something serious like Ishtaarth does.

This youth continues in a relaxed atmosphere.

Employees are shown working and chatting while seated in comfortable postures (such as with their legs folded up on a sofa). They are shown casually swearing as part of the frank expression, with one such occasion finding a reference in a minisode title (“We were able to win IKEA! “). It is proven that senior employees do not take themselves too seriously. As in “Interaction on consumer behavior” where the head of the arts group jokes when asked to describe what he does instead of sharing his designation and sincerely describing his KRA.

But it’s not always fun and playful (not quite anyway). The code of creativity – essential for a digital agency – can be found in “What’s the joke?” “, a minisode entirely centered on a brainstorming session. We also see it in “Ab Cannes Ho Gaya”, which shows three employees who won the Cannes award. And, of course, this is reflected in the making of such a series to promote the business.

Another important code; Webchutney makes it easy to say that employees are passionate. While one explains that it is worse to have a rejected idea than to be rejected in love (in “Ab Cannes Ho Gaya”), another speaks of not feeling satisfied with the work-life balance. structured in a previous job because “people didn’t.” t feel what they did there ‘like they do in Webchutney (from “It’s just sad”).

It is above all through the editing and camera work that the authenticity of these codes shines through.

The slightly inconsistent conversations and interviews give the minisodes an unscripted feel. They open in media resolution in imitation of real life, thus emphasizing that these moments were not put together. This approach not only brings authenticity, but the lack of context also ensures that one, the viewer pays more attention / watches the minisodes, two, wants to join the organization to fully understand the context, and third, realizes that the organization is ‘a world apart’ and unlike any other of its kind.

This random authenticity is also achieved by attaching thematically similar but non-linear snippets of code. As seen in “Why we are in advertising” it starts with a guy singing to loud music while he works, then a girl explains why she works in advertising.

The shaky work of the camera further helps to rid the setup of artificiality. The camera is pointed at the subject with a free hand and often enters the focus, unlike the stable and sophisticated recordings usually prepared for large companies. Thus, the scene does not seem orchestrated but captured as it is.

Key points to remember

Webchutney’s minisodes aren’t just about facts and bore their audiences. They merge reality with branded content and turn real people into characters in a show. They tell the storylines just enough to be both entertaining and believable. In addition, they are breaking the boundaries between marketing and HR by introducing branded content to the latter. And for these two reasons, they must be recognized for their innovative character.

A big caveat should be kept in mind, however. Being innovative and pioneering is not enough. The creators of this branded content in the HR space need to be doubly careful with the creators of B2C content. They need to make sure their culture lives up to how they present themselves in their branded content / miniseries.

Their relationship with their customers – as employers and employees – is much more intimate than that of a brand and a buyer. The employer brand must remain true to its promises. Otherwise, as they say in advertising, a good advertisement kills a bad product faster. And the employer brand can fall prey to stories of “whitewashing and creating” PR to save its bad reputation in reality.

For employers who are successful in balancing the promises made through branded content and the reality of the work culture in the organization, branded content gives them a great opportunity to shape conversations around the culture of the company. work and attract the right talent.

About Donnie R. Losey

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