LinkedIn launches biggest UK campaign to help shake off ‘stiff’ brand perceptions

LinkedIn is running its first TV ads as part of a campaign focused on the job search experiences of its members as it looks to show a warmer and more human side to its brand.

LinkedIn is launching its biggest UK campaign and running TV ads for the first time as it looks to shake off “stiff” brand perceptions and show a warmer and more human side to its brand.

The campaign, created by BMB and called ‘What are you searching for’, explores the many reasons people look for a new job. It features the stories of real people who have found a new role via LinkedIn, including a firefighter and a man who was made redundant.

It also aims to show the reason why people are looking for a job, from wanting a pay rise to having the money and independence to move out of home or more flexible working options.

The campaign idea is based on research conducted by LinkedIn in the UK which found barriers that jobseekers often face. In a consumer survey, 40% said they lack confidence in themselves, while 44% lack confidence in their experience.

We want to create this new warmer, more human feel to the brand.

Darain Faraz, LinkedIn

“It felt like people were settling for roles that basically weren’t right for them,” LinkedIn’s head of brand in EMEA and LATAM, Darain Faraz, tells Marketing Week.

“[It’s] really powerful when you’ve been told real stories of real people who have used the platform to land those jobs. And often it isn’t for big lofty reasons, it is just to get a pay rise, have a lie-in, for everyday reasons.”

The TV activity is supported by digital, social media, outdoor, print and radio, and will run for seven weeks with a focus on major UK cities including London, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.

Changing brand perceptions

The campaign is part of LinkedIn’s broader ‘In It Together’ positioning, as it looks to better tell the stories of how its members use the platform. Faraz’s team is responsible for ensuring that the marketing is relevant in local markets, hence this latest campaign and its month-long Grimsby United campaign, which uses a local fisherman and café worker to show how connections can help transform lives and livelihoods.

Faraz admits the brand needs to shift perceptions, with the focus on the stories of its members in local markets aiming to change this.

“A lot of the usage of LinkedIn and the way our brand is perceived tends to be quite stiff,” he admits, adding: “We want to create this new warmer, more human feel with our member base at its heart.”

Faraz took on the role as head of brand at the start of the year, having joined the marketing department almost three years ago. Prior to that he worked in LinkedIn’s communications team and admits it has been a “steep learning curve to get to grips with the function”.

However, he believes there is plenty marketing can learn from comms and vice versa. And with the head of brand role including responsibility for marketing, communications and social marketing, there is an opportunity to really think about the brand’s positioning across channels.

“[We are] looking at ways, with this campaign and beyond, to really enhance how we demonstrate the power of truly integrated campaigns,” says Faraz. “To really tap into the vast array of marketing levers that are at our disposal and make sure we are really delivering campaigns that get out into all those channels in interesting ways.”