Stories in Advertising

I love Google’s new employee recruitment advertising campaign. Aimed at finding exceptionally bright, “hip” engineers, the ads showcase employees who typify success in the Google culture.

Each full-page display ad (appearing in the news section, not the classifieds) briefly tells the personal story of an extraordinary individual. Today’s ad in the Seattle Times features the story of Steve Yegge, who graduated from high school at age 14, then pursued his musical talents for several years before serving in the U.S. Navy and earning a college degree.

Each ad features a small photo of the employee as a child. In the call to action, Google invites people to check job listings on their Web site and submit a resume for any that seem a good fit. The ads end with a note that childhood pictures are optional. It’s a perfect line for concluding an engaging ad that brings warmth and personality to the usually faceless aspect of large companies.

Connecting people on a personal level is one of the primary benefits of using stories in organizations. These ads are exceptionally fine examples of how to execute the concept.

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