CBS Pantses CareerBuilder Over No-Pants Ads

This is a story about pantsing: the yanking down of someone’s pants in front of others.

In this case, there are two someones and they self-pantsed during the Super Bowl in front of the largest U.S. television audience in history.

All would have been well if the one hadn’t done it right after the other. But it happened that CareerBuilder’s “Casual Fridays” commercial was immediately followed by a Dockers ad, both of them featuring pants-less characters.

CBS, which did the scheduling, decided to give Dockers free ad time to make up. But CareerBuilder got pantsed by the network.

AdAge reported the other day that an unhappy CareerBuilder got bupkis.

“You would think that as much due diligence and as much pre-thought-out placement and trafficking would be given to this as possible,” Richard Castellini, chief marketing officer of CareerBuilder, told AdAge, “and it just doesn’t seem like that was the case.”

Dockers supposedly got three free 30-second ads during the NCAA playoffs as reparations. CareerBuilder, AdAge reported, was told that because its ad ran first and because it also got an extra bene — an on-air mention and logo display during the Super Bowl — it wouldn’t get anything more.

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“We believe CareerBuilder got excellent value for their Super Bowl ad,” AdAge reported CBS as saying in a statement. “Until recently, we thought they agreed. We are sorry to hear they do not.”

Ever since 2005, when CareerBuilder hit a home run at its first Super Bowl appearance with its clever monkeys in an office commercial, it has been trying to duplicate that success. Alas for the recruitment ad firm, it hasn’t, though it has occasionally gotten more attention for its apres Bowl activity.

After the 2007 Super Bowl, CareerBuilder put up its ad account for review, supposedly on the basis of its poor showing in the USA Today ad popularity poll.  The whole thing blew up when ad agency Cramer-Krasselt quit the account very publicly, when a memo blasting CareerBuilder got published.

The  2005 ads were ranked in the top 10 by USA Today. One of them was named “Funniest Commercial of the Year” in TBS’s annual poll. This year, CareerBuilder’s no-pants ad ranked near the bottom in the USA Today poll. Monster’s fiddling beaver ad made it into the top 10.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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