I’m surfing through FastCompany reading about the Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator when Target’s well targeted (yes I went there) banner ad gets my attention (it complimented me). I clicked, it expanded and we began to have a dialogue; a simple, adobe-Flash, intentionally cheesy, computer lady voice conversation about my favorite programming language, among other things.
The punchline is it’s a clever lead-gen ad for talent acquisition. Now I’m not a dev, but one of my clients is looking at talent aquisition strategies, so hell yeah, I play along and at the end of my conversation with the banner ad I click through.
Hang in there with me for a minute and let me play this back for you:
- I’ve engaged with the banner; in the marketing department that phrase is read something like this “Holy crap, someone clicked on our banner ad!! Woo-hoo!”
- I’ve bought into the style of humor. I actually love intentional, self-aware cheesiness; reminds me of Doctor Who.
- I’ve answered 5 questions or so. In salesman’s parlance that’s 5 agreements in a row, 2 more than the requisite 3.
- And finally I’ve clicked the bright red button that says Current Opportunities.
All caught up now? Great. So here’s where I end up when I press the button. Don’t feel like clicking? Fine, I’ll just tell you, it’s the main Target careers page. First call to action that I noticed: search hourly careers.
Here’s this clever effort by Target (and the agency who put this together) to get the appropriate attention of the (self) qualified prospect, engage her through humor and get her to commit to an action only to then have this qualified engineer come to a landing page encouraging them to jump into an hourly career or perhaps retail management. These are both wonderful and potentially rewarding careers, but it’s not a landing page that presents exactly what the person who just chatted with computer voice Sally would expect to see. The worst part (well maybe not the worst) is that it’s almost certainly just a minor mixup, just that someone missed the email to set up an appropriate landing page.
Just in case someone from Target stumbles upon this, when I was looking at the site, I thought maybe the link to Target.com and mobile careers would lead to what should’ve been the landing page. Unfortunately that link lead me to an Access Denied error message.
I’m not writing this to play the (very lame) game of “make fun of the big brand if they make a minor screw up”, I’m writing it because it makes me nervous and it should make you nervous too.
It makes me nervous because someone who strives for excellence planned this campaign. It makes me nervous because someone smart & creative thought up the engagement strategy and path behind the banner. It makes me nervous because an awesome client greenlighted this. And ultimately it makes me nervous because my clients are awesome and I’m creative & smart and I strive for excellence in everything I do.
So if Target can screw up then I sure as hell can too, and some jerk will write a blog post about my screw up.
But nervousness is useful.
For example, I’m always nervous before I go on stage and I use the familiar feeling to help me make sure I am totally prepared before I step in front of an audience to give a talk. So I’ve decided to use this new-found Target-inspired jolt of nervousness to remind me to always make sure of two things:
- Double check the simple, basic things on every project
- Make sure everything I work on is amazing to begin with, I’d hate to screw up something mediocre
written while wearing a pair of blue Merona Tailored Washed Chinos