"Work-Life Balance is an aspiration in most of Southeast Asia": Anshul Punhani, CMO, APAC & Gulf, Monster.com

By Sunit Roy , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Published : March 13, 2019 05:49 AM
Job portal Monster.com focuses on the reality of over-worked Indians in new spot by Famous Innovations.

Who can forget Naukri.com's 'Hari Sadu' ad, which epitomised the boss everyone loves to hate. The funny ad where an employee describes his boss using adjectives - 'H' for 'Hitler, 'A' for 'Arrogant', 'R' for 'Rascal', and 'I' for 'Idiot' - was immensely successful and became an icon in the job portals category. It seems that Monster.com too has decided to go the humorous route with a new campaign - #WorkLifeBalance.

The campaign is not just humorous, it also has a satirical approach to the acceptance of the norm where working late, over weekends/holidays and surrendering one's passion, family/friends is almost rewarded. In fact, Monster.com is challenging this perception and asking consumers/job seekers to know about 'Work-Life Balance' and 'Find Better Jobs Faster'. The tonality of the brand message is youthful and aimed at millennials.

The campaign (five films) is live in India, the Gulf, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It has been conceptualised by Famous Innovations and directed by Rajesh Krishnan while Soda Films has produced it. Four films are live with one is yet to be released. Currently, the campaign has been launched on digital platforms with a prime focus on video-led properties. It will soon be visible on other mediums too.


However, before the integrated communication campaign was launched, Monster.com conducted an 'Understanding Work-Life Balance' survey according to which India is one of the most 'worked-up' countries in the world. The report suggested that 60 per cent of the Indian working professionals surveyed, rate their current work-life balance between average to terrible. About 50 per cent in a relationship confessed that the lack of work-life balance makes them or their partners irritable. As opposed to the belief that technology is a facilitator, one-third of the young professionals surveyed find technology a hindrance in managing work and family commitments while 60 per cent of the respondents spend one-two hours travelling to work.

Anshul Punhani Anshul Punhani

"Work-Life Balance is an aspiration in most parts of Southeast Asia. So much so that people are aiming for 'Work-Life Blend' over a balance because they have accepted the lack of possibilities. Our survey in Singapore and Malaysia found that uncooperative colleagues and inflexible managers are the biggest barriers to Work-Life Balance for Singaporeans," says Anshul Punhani, chief marketing officer (APAC & Gulf), Monster.com.

The survey further suggests that working professionals in the Philippines have better 'Work-Life Balance' than Singapore and Malaysia. Forty-one per cent of Filipinos feel 'content' with their balance between personal and professional lives while 59 per cent said having flexible working hours that are suited to their lives and needs is a key aspect of work-life balance.

ALSO READ: Monster.com: Wake-up call

"The lack of 'Work-Life Balance' isn't something new to this part of the world. It's just an accepted way of working and hence, has become a norm. We at Monster.com wanted to pick up a theme for our brand campaign which resonates with every working individual. Good for them if they are working with an organisation or a manager who values balance, but this campaign is the voice of the larger population who is striving to find the balance," says Punhani.

Of course, there is the risk that such a campaign may find favour with job seekers/professionals, but not with employers.

Raj Kamble Raj Kamble

"Monster.com adopted a tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted approach. Once we knew we wanted to stand for Work-Life balance, the stories flowed effortlessly. We chose real instances that young professionals face - which we may have all seen with friends and family at some point - and brought them alive in a humorous way," says Raj Kamble, founder & CCO, Famous Innovations.

The protagonists chosen are endearing and easily relatable. While films are humorous, they aren't exaggerated to an unrealistic level. "The ads make you hurt in a bitter-sweet sort of way. That was our aim," says Kamble.

Claiming to provide better solutions

The Indian online job portal market has some strong players - Naukri.com, Timesjobs.com, Indeed.com and Shine.com to name a few. The need to re-invent and truly up the ante has never been stronger. Hence, Monster.com has been focusing on improving the 'Seeker and Customer' experience. The brand has recently announced its new proposition - 'Find Better, Faster'.

"The #WorkLifeBalance campaign (comprising of five films) has gone live in India, Gulf, Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines."

Some of the new additions to Monster.com are OTP login, direct resume upload and voice search. The job portal has also implemented OAuth 2.0, the latest in the security protocol. For employers, the core services are now enhanced and simpler, powered by Semantic Search 2.0 with a refreshed Job Posting interface along with some new Employer Branding Solutions.


"In this age of recruitment via technology we are also offering a set of 'Better Together' recruitment modules - the automated interview solution called Quinton, Pre-hire Assessments, curated profiles and better profile ration called 'Q Hire' along with Monster Social Jobs, Virtual Career Fair and Hackathon. With all these endeavours, on both the seeker and employer sides, we are ensuring that one will Find Better, Faster," says Punhani.

Well communicated?

The campaign raises social awareness around issues concerning 'Work-Life Balance' humorously. So, we asked the experts if the campaign will succeed in conveying the message and lure job seekers to register at Monster.com.

Navin Kansal Navin Kansal

Prabhakar Mundkur Prabhakar Mundkur

According to Navin Kansal, chief creative officer, 21N78E Creative Labs, the conversation around work-life balance has been around for a while. So, from a category perspective, it is a natural fit and a space waiting to be appropriated.

He says, "Humour has been used to great effect in this category by Naukri.com over a decade ago with it's memorable 'Hari Sadu' campaign - based on a very clear insight that people don't just quit their job, they quit on their bosses. So, in the current context, the pizza delivery film is pretty much performance-driven and gets to the point. The dumb-charades film was a bit stretched, in terms of trying to create humour by referencing corporate jargon rather than staying true to the core of work-life balance."

Brand Consultant Prabhakar Mundkur finds the campaign to be excellent and that someone needed to take up the case of the overworked, vacation-deprived Indian employee.

He says, "We are notorious for not allowing people to take a vacation and making them work day and night. Every study done always shows India among the top 5 in the list of overworked people. I think we have become so brazen now that we don't even try to hide the fact that overwork is a pre-condition to any other conversation."

Mundkur, however, maintains, "Hopefully Monster is not just making ads and will deliver on their promise of finding candidates better jobs. Otherwise, it won't work. I think they are doing a social service by releasing these ads."

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