#InnovationMonth: Using AR and VR for creative recruitment

Augmented and virtual reality (That's AR and VR to the uninitiated) are making big waves in the creative industries - BBDO shows how they can also be used to add fun to your next Millennial recruitment drive.
The past few months have seen a flurry of businesses latching on to the new o2o online-to-offline trend, largely due to the Pokémon Go craze. I wrote after Comic-Con 2016 that AR, not just VR, looks set to shake-up business as we know it.

It’s not just an international phenomenon either, as just three short weeks after the app went live, which is before it was even officially available in SA, 140 BBDO launched BBDGO…

A video posted by 140BBDO (@140bbdo) on

They started small with a social post on the 140 BBDO feed, alluding to the fact that more was in store, and followed up with carefully placed communications announcing that while students were at the next PokèHunt, there would also be the opportunity to find and “catch” a job by capturing 140 BBDO’s ECD Alexis Beckett and some of his agency team, including creatives, account management and strategy.

Here’s more from the 140 BBDO creative team of executive creative director Alexis Beckett, creative director Liam Olding, art director Paddy Pearson and strategist Josh Platt on how they hopped onto a burgeoning trend and used it to attract talent in an innovative way.

1. Explain the concept of ‘140 BBDGO’ and how it came about.

Pearson and Platt: The concept behind BBDGO was for 140 to engage with students in a meaningful way, creating a connection and showing students what we are all about. First, we had to empathise with our target audience, ensuring we communicated with them using their preferred channels. We then had to ensure our communication highlighted what type of agency 140BBDO is. The ideation started with a focus on being genuine, ensuring that we show we are a progressive agency and that we like to innovate in meaningful ways.

This made Pokémon Go the perfect platform. It’s something supremely innovative that was trending across the world. Our target audience, young clever people who know how the digital and real worlds work, had been utterly consumed by it. Plus, we have a certain penchant for collecting Pokémon!

2. How does it tie into the global phenomenon of companies using Pokémon Go to promote their brands?

Pearson and Platt: Pokémon Go exploded, even before its actual launch in our region, and the work that brands did around it was fantastic to see. 140BBDO took a slightly different approach in using Pokémon Go as a vehicle to meet like-minded people. So our focus wasn’t on Pokémon Go the app, but rather on the concept of using an innovative platform to talk to some interesting young peeps and hopefully create some genuine connections in real life.

3. What was that reaction like from students looking for job placement?

#InnovationMonth: Using AR and VR for creative recruitment
Pearson and Platt: With a simple “meet us, greet us, snap and tag a picture with us” mechanic; we were expecting to see 140BBDO tagged in simple images.

Instead, we were surprised by the level of engagement from students and other Pokémon Go players.

One edited a picture of the 140BBDO team into a pokèball, which she was then holding in her hand.

The mini activation was received well, with all the peeps we met really keen to engage further with 140BBDO.

4. Why the need to innovate the recruitment/job search process for those young ones?

Beckett: Convincing a Millennial you’re more than just a corporate structure means proving to them they’re more than just the 40-hours a week their salary buys...

Pearson and Platt: So 140BBDO put themselves in the Millennials’ world of pop culture enthusiasts and trend chasers and got involved in the biggest fad to hit the earth since the advent of watching porn on your smart phone. It helps that some of us are actual Millennials!

5. Explain the internship opportunity and the importance of training up more young creatives.

Olding: 140 offers internships to talented individuals every year, where the guys and girls get a few weeks to show us what they’re worth working on real stuff. With this idea however, we tried to find peeps who we could get in for a much more protracted period of time. People we knew who would fit within our culture, and would want to be part of a team who loves to soak up the new stuff that’s happening in our world. We’d want these guys to help shape our thinking too, to bring in their “Millennial” programmed brains and help us get an even better grasp on how consumers are thinking.

Beckett: Our industry needs more young people who can change the world. And these guys and girls were literally doing just that. Even if it meant turning it into an augmented reality play-pen. In the end, in whatever we’re doing, I think we all just want to achieve that.

Looks like it’s time for all businesses to revise their recruitment strategy. Click here for more on 140 BBDO, and follow their innovative ideas on Twitter and Instagram.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.
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