The Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada recently launched its first-ever marketing campaign, for its popular website
. The campaign, called “Smudges”, will run in the Greater Toronto Area throughout March and April.
The campaign promotes the website as a central source of information on potential oil and gas careers, as well as the skills and training needed to make them a reality. To catch the attention of students and young workers, “Smudges” highlights the potential benefits of working in the oil and gas industry, such as a tropical vacation, a sports car or an office with a view. But there’s a twist. Each ad makes clear that these benefits come from working hard in the oil and gas industry, by depicting the items covered in “smudgy” fingerprints. GTA-based focus groups really connected with this unique campaign because of its honesty and its portrayal of tangible rewards.
The choice of the GTA for the campaign’s launch was deliberate. The council assessed potential locations across Canada and then chose the GTA based on hard data. Cheryl Knight, the council’s executive director and CEO explains: “With about 350,000 men and women aged 20 to 24, and well over 400,000 students attending eight post-secondary institutions, the GTA provides us with access to a huge market of potential future employees. These demographics made the GTA a great site for the Council’s first careers in oil and gas campaign.”
The timing of the campaign may seem strange given the current economic situation, but the council and its funding and industry partners are committed to increasing awareness about oil and gas careers over the long term.
“Despite the downturn in our economy, the oil and gas industry remains a major employer in this country,” Knight says. “The economy will eventually rebound, and when it does, the oil and gas industry will need people to fill jobs. We’re just asking people to think about a future in oil and gas, and go to the website to find out more. Plus, we think people may be more receptive to considering a different industry like oil and gas because of today’s economic uncertainty.”
With a combination of billboards; ads in entertainment magazines, campus newspapers and websites; and posters in restaurants and bars, the campaign is expected to draw a lot of attention to the careers in oil and gas website. The “Smudges” ads can be viewed on
The Petroleum HR Council, established in 2001, is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Partnerships Initiative, and is supported by 11 oil and gas national and regional industry organizations, including one union. It represents the primary sectors of the upstream petroleum industry in Canada: exploration and production, service industries, pipeline transmission, natural gas processing, and mining, extracting and upgrading of heavy oil and bitumen.
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