Monday, November 28, 2005

Want to be a 'creative commando'?

This is a recruitment ad published today in DNA.. At first glance, it appears to be an ad for the armed forces.

But then the headline says join the team of "creative commandoes" at GAIL and unleash your creative prowess.

GAIL - as in "Gas Authority of India"? GAIL and creative prowess?? The company is seeking executive trainees in the field of corporate communications with a 2 year full-time diploma in Mass Comm/ Advertising or PR.

The recruitment ad takes up 70% of the page and the headline tries to convince the prospective candidate it's a really 'creative job'. But, the entire copy reads like a typical old-school government job advertisement.

The payscale, age limit, company benefits - OK, those are relevant information. But under "how to apply" there's a long list of 11 points including please send "mailing address with pin code; tel nos with STD codes".

It's a step-by-step guide on how to write a resume! Considering the profile of candidates they're recruiting, is that really necessary?

There is no job description whatsoever. Or indication of how the candidate, if selected, will be allowed to unleash their 'creative prowess'. Unless you count the 'creative commando' photo, which I would not count as a good example of creativity!

What's more, a 9 pt caption notes that the people posing in the pic are 'the creative team at GAIL led by DGM (Corporate Communications). Why the mention of DGM? Because, it's a government organisation after all. A bit of fancy dress and war paint doesn't change that...

I wonder how effective this ad will be. And why companies go to such lengths to produce 'cool sounding' recruitment advertising. A job is a serious matter. Tell me what the job is. Not just how much fun it's going to be.

And never be creative for the sake of being creative, especially if it's for a 'creative' position.


  1. Hey! You missed another creative angle: Notice "COMMANDOES" and not "COMMANDOS" in the very first line :)

  2. Yeah... whatever... but the ad did serve its purpose because you see, junta now started discussing 'bout it! I mean this is what the guys wanted, right? I would have never come to know 'bout the stuff had you not based your blog on this. And yep Sudipta there made me notics more of the 'creative' stuff they put in there in the ad.

  3. Sudipta, that was the first thing I noticed. But just to be sure I checked and acc to u can spell it commandos or commandoes, tho the former is the more popularly used one.

    Amrit, an ad is noticed but for the wrong reasons and by the wrong target group (I'm not the one they seek!). That doesn't make it effective!

  4. Good perspective. Here is another.

    I see this ad as a reflection of changing times. A company (PSU) in the clutches of old red tape conventional thinking trying to corporatise its thinking, working and communicating.

    They will hopefully learn from such mistakes and Grow.

  5. Its really funny to see these ads.The creative teams seems to have realy lost the sense of making an adv. They dont know simple things as to what should be said in which ad. An adv for GAIL and showing commandos. They should atleast not degrade the dignity of commandosfor anything and everything. Sometimes these creative teams think so much that they loose the basic sense of what is appropriate and what is not.

    Back to basics is the best mantra for them.

  6. Dear Anil the great (or yogi or whatever...)

    I think there are people like YOU who have lost the so-called-sense of seeing an ad!

    There aren't necessarily always 'simple things' that one has to think about while making ads. And this 'degrade the dignity of commandos' things is really stretching the matter too far. Cummon yaar, watch it with some good humor. All those guys were trying to tell was that something called 'creativity' does exist in jobs like these (this might not be true, but then that's a different issue), and they tried to prove themselves (albeit miserably) in some way. But this is not about 'loosing any basic sense', this is about trying new things.

    So from next time, keep your mantras for yourself Mr. Yogi! No one needs them.

  7. Amrit, were you by any chance the brains (or atleast part of the brains) behind this ad? ;)
    Just curious...

  8. @Roman

    LOL! I thought someone was going to ask this...

    Well the answer is: No dear! Me still in college. But I can still speak, can't I?

    (I hope Rashmi doesn't get pained by the direction in which the discussion has started flowing now!)

  9. :) Ok Amrit
    But let me point out what I perceive as a little bit of hypocrisy from your side.
    You said...

    So from next time, keep your mantras for yourself Mr. Yogi! No one needs them

    ...and yet when it comes to your own case you say...

    But I can still speak, can't I?

    Just saying...:)

  10. Amrit, a quote for you.

    "Truth is incontrovertible;
    malice may attack it and
    ignorance may deride it;
    but, in the end; there it is. "

    Good Day All.

  11. @Everyone!

    Ok. I giveup.

    I am too much in a happy mood now to carry on any more arugment. (that means I am even not going to react on myself being labelled a hypocrite). My third-last end-sem went great today with just one-night slogging! Yeah, me too happy!

    By the way, this is Rashmi's space and so please let someone post some relevant comment now. Enough of 'me'.

  12. I agree with Aks....despite the minor flaws that we see in the ad...the whole idea of a PSU rising from behind and trying its hand at modernization(this word is totally restricted to how far ur own definition can take no flaming please!) and trying to steer away from the government aaphees stereotype!!!!

    Kudos to the corp for (what looks like)an attempt to lure youth into the recruitment cave....

    As for the "mistakes" in the ad...its ob the creative department that is at fault!Rookie ad makers haan?Though they also deserve to be lauded for making it seem like its "creativity" that they are seeking and its the same thing that they shall apply!
    Going by the current trends...Everybody wants to do something creative, and nobodys making any bones abt it either!lets just say the ad team caught the pulse of the (unemployed/dissatisified/wide-eyed ;) ) youth!

  13. when you don't have a better idea, use the client as a model in the ad. that seems to be the big idea that gail's ad agency has stumbled onto. previously, a couple of big shots at gail were used as models. now it's the turn of the small shots. they're right about one thing though: gail clearly needs someone with a good idea or two.

  14. I dunno, its just an AD, I guess better copy than what Pepsi or Hutch is doing.

    And "GAIL and creative prowess??" Why not?

    You are becoming quite an Ad-Basher, aren't you?

  15. 'The creative team at GAIL led by DGM " needs to do something creative to keep up the designation. I heard about scandals related to full page adds.

  16. Another PSU (SBI) is trying to woo the youth. and there also, the execution has gone awry - not surprisingly though :-).
    I think these PSU's have a serious problem of being seen as babu cultured ( and rightly so!). But the imperative of retaing talent & customers is forcing them to change.

  17. Being creative for the sake of being creative is beter than not being creative at all. If nothing else, we noticed this ad. How many GAIL ads do we notice otherwise.

    And I am sure, they will be getting in more resumes from this ad than they usually get.

    ~ Arun

  18. This reminds me of a recruitment drive that google held in our college for positions in Hyderabad. The 30 min presentation was filled with photos of the google campus, the google cricket team, the gourmet chef and the massage tables. We found the whole thing pretty insulting because the actual job turned out to be reviewing applications for its AdSense programme, with no possibilities of growth towards an engineer-related post.

  19. hey indeed they are commandoes and not commandos coz they are expected to do as commanded, they are never in command in an heirarchial set up .... dont blame the admen for that people ..

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  21. Anonymous9:04 AM

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