Brandon Doerrer
Feb 25, 2024

LinkedIn’s first campaign for Premium highlights professional development

EXCLUSIVE: LinkedIn is promoting its Premium subscription as it seeks to become an always-on platform for developing professional skills.

LinkedIn’s first campaign for Premium highlights professional development

Many budding and established professionals know LinkedIn as a platform where they can find their first job or make a career switch. Less top of mind are the tools LinkedIn offers to develop workers’ skills.

To highlight that it’s more than a job board, LinkedIn has rolled out its first brand campaign for its Premium subscription tier, which it introduced in 2005.

The campaign features new Premium tools that help applicants find jobs they’re qualified for and teach workers how to improve their skills. 

It launched on Thursday with three spots — one promoting Top Applicant Jobs, which uses AI to pair applicants with positions that suit their experience; another highlighting AI-powered takeaways, which gives advice about relevant job opportunities; and one about LinkedIn Learning, an online platform with video courses that help users hone business skills.

The first spot pictures a man squeezing through an abnormally small office before finding a better fit elsewhere, while the second depicts a woman waiting for an interview surrounded by clones before asking LinkedIn’s generative AI model how to stand out.

The third spot depicts a presenter losing her audience as they physically stretch away from her, eventually snapping back after she watches a course on giving engaging presentations.

LinkedIn is just now investing in marketing Premium because its generative AI tools have progressed to the point where they can help users grow their careers and businesses, said Minjae Ormes, VP of marketing at LinkedIn.

LinkedIn uses generative AI to recommend jobs, pull key takeaways from posts, enhance profiles and draft messages.

Emphasizing Premium tools that help LinkedIn users grow their careers also pushes continuous usage of the platform even after landing a job.

“Some people use LinkedIn for this, but not as many as I think could get value out of it,” Ormes said.

Ormes declined to share how many Premium subscribers LinkedIn has.

The campaign will appear on connected TV, social media, online video and through creator partnerships. The social and creator posts will first roll out on LinkedIn before expanding to other platforms through March.

Despite having a portfolio of agency partners that includes Droga5 and McCann, LinkedIn opted to create the campaign in-house. Director Terence Neale, set designer Pirra, composer Sam Spiegelman and editor Leo Scott worked on the three spots, while The Mill handled post-production. 

Relying on its small creative team allowed LinkedIn to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses and more quickly arrive at which partners it needed for outside help, Ormes said.

Developing the campaign in-house also allowed LinkedIn to test and strengthen its creative capabilities and find its voice, she added.

“That influences what [users] feel like they can or cannot share or do on LinkedIn…that’s why we’ve taken the last couple of years to reiterate on our brand journey,” she said. “That informed the tone of voice and lightness that we brought to this creative body of work.”

All three spots follow a similar formula: introduce a problem faced by everyday workers, offer a solution before they get too overwhelmed and then show the results of that solution. The music follows along by starting ominously and then settling into a calmer tune once the Premium feature has been revealed.

“We have tried a lot of different things over the past few years,” Ormes said. “Now there’s actually a formula that really makes sense.”

It also didn’t hurt that, despite being a multi-million dollar campaign, LinkedIn spent 20% to 25% of what it typically pays for a brand campaign by staying in-house. Ormes declined to disclose the exact campaign budget.

She said that LinkedIn will continue to invest in promoting its AI-powered Premium tools as they continue to roll out. 

She added that while LinkedIn competes with other social media platforms as a place where communities gather and interact, its focus on work differentiates it and will continue to be at the forefront of future campaigns.

“I always have to be mindful of what’s going on elsewhere and opportunities around where people spend time,” she said. “We’re asking people to carve out time and spend money here versus somewhere else. But at the same time, we’ve been successful at anchoring to who we are and not getting too distracted.”

Editor's note: This story was updated on February 23 to differentiate AI-powered takeaways and Top Applicant Jobs.



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