Only 4% of car salespeople who work at Opel car dealerships in the Netherlands are female. And, this is while women buy almost 50% of all cars.
Strange, isn’t it?
Well, that’s exactly what J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam thought when they were asked to help Opel think about diversity in the workplace.
The result is a rather impactful experimental campaign called Jade.
Partnering up with one of the Netherlands biggest and best known recruitment organizations, Randstad, the agency put together and ran a series of employment ads for a fictitious company called ‘Jade’ – which was created solely for the purposes of the campaign.
Jade's design had a different look and feel from Opel's corporate identity, but the job descriptions were identical to the ones featured in Opel’s ads.
The aim of this experiment was to increase the number of female candidates for car sales jobs at Opel. Jade attracted 41 female candidates and 15 males within two weeks, compared to 8 females and 76 males applying for exactly the same jobs through the Opel ads.
Both openings were promoted in an identical way, through newspaper advertisements, social media posts and job opening websites.
The first step of the interview process occurred, with multiple candidates making it to the next round.
Only at the last moment was the real employer, Opel, dramatically revealed.
This experiment addressed the old-fashioned culture in the automotive sector and let both the car companies and female sales talent rethink the value of women participating in the sector.
And that worked…
The experiment was widely reported in the media with a two-minute item in the eight o’clock evening news as a highlight. The total free publicity value was over 700.000 euros and had a reach over 30 million unique visitors.
The film of the experiment attracted 1,2M views.
And most importantly of all: in 2017 only 7 saleswomen worked at Dutch Opel dealers.
So the recruitment ads recruited 41 candidates, however the media attention around this experiment, bumped that up to a whopping 110.
This campaign has proven to be the start of a conversation around the topic, and hopefully the start of a movement.