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Orchard innovates with social media for Decathlon’s recruitment drive

MUMBAI: Orchard Advertising recently created a first-of-its kind digital recruitment campaign for Decathlon Sports India, a subsidiary of France based Decathlon Sports International.


The initial brief was to create a recruitment ad. Instead of doing the obvious thing i.e. recommend a print campaign that would reach millions of people and invite CVs, Orchard identified two key challenges and decided to tackle them in an out of the box manner.


The first challenge was that not many people outside Bangalore were aware of Decathlon, and so the response a print ad would generate was questionable. Secondly, Decathlon has a strong culture of hiring sports passionate people. Everyone who works at Decathlon, from the sales personnel, to the CEO himself, actively plays and promotes sport. Hence, a print campaign would never allow the recruiters to sieve out the sports-passionate people from among the respondents.


Orchard then decided to design a digital campaign that would (i) create awareness about Decathlon in India and (ii) get relevant enquiries from people who are passionate about sports.


The agency chose social networking website Facebook as a participation platform, with conversations being mirrored on Twitter and Linkedin. The target is to hire 100+ sports enthusiasts over the two-month campaign across departments - stores/IT/logistics/finance/legal /real estate across the country. The campaign started with an online teaser that ran for five days, which spoke of job opportunities for sports lovers. On the sixth day, the recruitment campaign was revealed through five short films, made specifically for the digital medium. The films showed various sports enthusiasts who were misfits in their current jobs, and were probably better off working for Decathlon where they can find like-minded people who appreciate their passion for sport.


The films, made by production house Nirvana Films, and released on YouTube, were posted for fans to see on Facebook. All people had to do was to like the “work for sport” page on the social networking website and click on the “Apply Now” tab. This was a special application created on Facebook, which allows one to see jobs available, job descriptions, requisite qualifications, and apply. In addition to this, applicants had to create a video of theirs’, expressing their passion for sport and Decathlon and post a link on the application. Mumbai-based digital agency WATConsult was hired to develop the application and manage the social media conversations over the two month of the campaign.


Orchard vice president and branch head Anish Daryani said, “The most exciting part about working with Decathlon is that they already have a strong Human Purpose – the democratisation of sports in India. It gives us an opportunity to exploit our creative ideas to tackle some key social issues pertaining to sports in India. We are in a timeline that calls for a change in human behaviour, and that’s exactly where the proprietary HumanKind® philosophy of The Leo Group comes into play. I think our ability to understand the Decathlon brand, and use this to think on new media opportunities, calls for a beginning of this great partnership. Moreover, in Decathlon, we’ve found a client that’s willing to try out new things, junk clichés, and open up to fresh ideas.”


Orchard chairman and national creative director Thomas Xavier added, “It is rare to get an opportunity to work on a brand that is so strongly inclined to bring about a social change. The strong ethos of the brand gives us an opportunity to push ourselves towards a larger cause.”

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