Oooh, ah, la la la.

Half-clothed men lying on an office floor in evocative poses.  Fully clothed (in office casual) men crawling on top of each other.  Women crawling (yes more crawling) or dancing on desks seductively, wind blowing through their hair.  Overactive wind machines.

These images, overlaid upon a sultry “Oooh, ah, la la la” musical score, comprise a January 2011 television commercial from The Ladders.  It seems some effort was put into infusing this marketing piece with…  ummm…  political correctness?  The video is replete with intimations of gay relationships, interracial relationships, and Asian and Black successful careerists.Sex Appeal The Ladders

But what’s politically correct about people seeking employment through sex appeal, regardless of how ridiculous it clearly is?

I get it.  It’s a metaphor and it’s meant to be outrageous.  Come to The Ladders and we’ll create an “irresistible” image that will get you the job of your dreams.  But why would anyone want to work with a company that resorts to wacky sexual innuendo to gain clients who are climbing the corporate ladder?

I also get that social media has blurred the distinction between private and public lives, and that employers might be able to view a prospect’s “relationship status” through a quick Facebook search.  Maybe sex and job search are no longer so far removed from each other as I would like to think.  Perhaps that’s a question for The Ladders.  I sent them a trackback so maybe they’ll respond here.

The small print in the video says “Be more attractive to $100K+ employers.”  One thing’s for sure, the folks in this commercial could use a LOT of help.

I suppose that’s the point.

Or perhaps this whole mockery is simply an attempt to create viral video.

What do you think?  Is The Ladders irresistible?  Or just irrational?  Would you be more or less likely to hire The Ladders after seeing this commercial?  I would absolutely love to hear your opinions on this one!

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  1. Brenda, Thanks for this post.I’ve seen this ad, and it was too bizzare for me. I like creativity, but this one went a little far for my palate. I think we all need more creativity in our ads and online promotions, so I take note of this idea.

    I use captch on my blog for business writing to include eBooks, online marketing, and web writing. I sometimes have trouble with it.


  2. Wacky…more like awkward. It totally gives the wrong message. It might be hinting at “You need to be sexually attractive to be hired”. But then, isn’t it sending out all the wrong vibes…Is it all about your physical attraction or is there more to hiring and the likes.

    This ad doesn’t air in my network (I live in the Middle East), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets a record number of hits on You Tube.

    It’s high time advertisers evaluate the social and psychosocial impact of their actions.

  3. The Ladders’ website has copy to the tune of, “Lying upside down half-clothed on your office desk won’t get you a job. Want to make yourself attractive to employers? Sign up with The Ladders.” I think the copywriters knew exactly what they were doing, and decided it was worth turning off a few people to get the publicity!

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