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David and Goliath
(March 23, 2001) We've developed several powerful "David and Goliath" marketing ideas for companies that want to use Monster's dominant position as leverage. The idea, pioneered by the early HotJobs lawsuits and their more recent job-placement challenge, is that you can use the extraordinary trajectory of Monster's advertising campaigns to promote your own operations. Avis (we try harder) really pioneered the concept in the 60's.

The idea is to poke fun at the giant while avoiding a trampling when it responds. This is the essential story of the little guy against the big one. The media eats this stuff up.

Typically, market leaders have a difficult time laughing at themselves. The David and Goliath strategy attempts to provoke a serious response to a silly gesture, thereby embarrassing the big guy and promoting the little one.

  • Mothers Against All Monsters (MAAM)
    We'd love to arrange for six school buses full of apparently angry mothers. We'd bus them to the TMP offices, the Monster offices and the NASDAQ. They would be equipped with banners and placards reading :"Stop Scaring our Children", "Monsters Should Be Jailed", "Keep The Bogeyman Under The Bed". At each site, the leader would present a petition asking that Monster voluntarily submit to aggressive filtering by Net Nanny and other parental control software. Objective: cause a strong reaction to be covered in the Wall Street Journal.
  • The Anonymous Booth
    Featuring photos of famous serial killers, we'd anonymously position a temporary booth just outside of convention halls throughout the trade show season. The banner would read "Hire These Monsters".
  • The Handout
    Fairly obviously, a screening or assessment company could run a successful gambit by handing out a stack of resumes with a cover sheet reading "Screen Out The Monsters". It would contain biographical sketches of famous criminals.
  • MonsterBusters
    Taking a cue from the famous movie, a team of goo-squirting vandals would terrorize the Monster booth at a show chanting "Who ya gonna call? MonsterBusters" covering the TMP folks with green slime.
  • Dunk A Monster
    The "dunk a celebrity" booths are fairly popular at non-HR trade shows. A "voice your opinion by dunking the monster" booth ought to be a huge success. Given the popular frustration with Monster's services, we'd predict a long line.
We took the time to outline these approaches after seeing a series of "they're picking on us" press releases. It appears that Monster is flexing a small portion of its market muscle with a couple of upstart operations (at least that's what the Press Releases claim). From our perspective, the question ought to be elevated to the level of good street theater.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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