Yash Bhatia

Naukri tackles Gen Z workplace challenges in new spot; earmarks 65% of IPL ad budget to C-TV

Sumeet Singh, CMO, Info Edge (India) talks about the objective behind the campaign, IPL strategy and more.

Gen Z workers have a bad rep among employers. This lot of workers born between 1997 and 2012 get labelled as “entitled”, “ask for too much money”, and “bad at communication” are not the first picks for open positions. 

A January 2024 study by Resume Builder, a resource for job seekers, found that 31% of surveyed managers avoid hiring Gen Z, preferring older workers instead. 

Naukri saw an opportunity here. 

The job portal’s latest campaign Naukri For Ambitions wants to position the platform as the preferred destination for these young professionals, by recognising their demands from employers. 

The job-finding platform has released two ad films, conceptualised by Lowe Lintas addressing the aspirations of Gen Z workers who are unwilling to settle for  the usual fare.

While unbridled ambition from this generation  at the workplace is often perceived as a negative trait, Gen Z workers see this as an essential attribute to get ahead in their professional journeys. 

Sumeet Singh, CMO, Info Edge (India), says when the job portal was designed in 1997 it was catering to millennials (born between 1981 and 1996). Twenty-seven years later, the company is catering to people with very distinct wants and needs that are unlike the generation before them. 

She adds, “Our goal was to speak the language of Gen Z that’s quick, crisp and snappy. The essence of the campaign is that Gen Z also values ambition as much as older generations. It is crucial to understand this generation, despite its desire for frequent job changes and higher increments, is serious about its careers.” 

Sumeet Singh, CMO, Info Edge
Sumeet Singh, CMO, Info Edge

While the campaign revolves around the notion of refusing to settle for mediocrity and striving for greater aspirations, could the timing or treatment of the message been different? 

Afterall, can the current tight job market that is rife with layoffs be the right time to suggest that people seek new jobs if the current one is not fulfilling their wants? 

Singh says that the timing is not off, and adds, “non-IT sectors are still booming, growing and hiring. I believe, for smart and capable people, there are always job opportunities, and the campaign is about a generational shift in expectations. While earlier generations might see 15% hike as a decent one, Gen Z expects more, even in a market that is not booming.”   

She highlights, “the campaign reflects their desire for change and their readiness to take the necessary action. It’s about portraying an attitude.”

In the second ad spot, the protagonist is seen using cricket terminology; test (the long game) versus a T20 that delivers quick validation. While framing the ad, the Noida-based company prioritised cricket, aligning it with IPL 2024 and the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup.

Additionally, the quarter coincides with appraisal season, so the company decided to be on air during that time.

“The appraisal season was important for us, during this time IPL is the biggest property to get the eyeballs,” she highlights.

For IPL 2024, the company is taking a digital approach to target Gen Z by only partnering with JioCinema by allocating 65% budget to connected television (C-TV) and 35% of the budget to mobile. 

On mobile, the platform is targeting specific cohorts based on age groups, and mobile handsets. For C-TV, the company bought ad spots sans targetting. 

Demographically, the campaign targets the top 40-50 cities of the country. The company has made vernacular edits for different regions.

The company designed the ads to be just 20 seconds long due to the high cost of media during cricketing events. The brief to the ad agency was to not exceed 15 seconds. 

The campaign strategy
The campaign strategy

The company founded by Sanjeev Bikhchandani company teamed up with IPL team Royal Challengers Bengaluru for this edition of IPL as part of which it posted a Fan-In-Chief ‘Job’ on its portal. 

It was a quirky selection process through a seven-episode Instagram video series. 

Other strategies 

On YouTube, the job search portal also puts out awareness videos, and standup comedy videos featuring Anirban Dasgupta and Sapan Verma. 

The company targets white-collar job seekers through these content pieces. 

“We aimed at the target group who’s looking to enter the workforce or has 3-5 years of experience that largely constitutes Gen Z. This generation engages with the creator economy, and we decided to partner with Dasgupta and Verma,” she mentions. 

Category code

The job portals in India have not toyed with celebrity endorsements, and it is seen that the category doesn’t rely on celebrities either. 

Singh says that the brand never felt the need for celebrities in its ads. She adds, “as the dominant job portal, we don’t require celebrity endorsements to build awareness, people are already familiar with our platform.” 

According to a recent report by Analytics India Magazine, Naukri.com has the highest market share of job postings in India, with over 60% of job postings in the country. LinkedIn and Indeed follow with a market share of around 10% each.

The category relies on humour in its communication from Naukri’s Hari Sadu campaign in 2005 to Indeed’s campaign in 2023. 

Being the category leader, Naukri believes that this tone of emotion is working effectively for them, and others tend to follow the same suit.

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