Welcome Original Thinkers

Integrated Marketing | Employer Branding | Manufacturing

Millennials – people aged 18-34 – have surpassed baby boomers as the nation’s largest living generation and, no surprise, have also become a prized target audience. Google “How to Reach Millennials,” and you’ll get somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000,000 results. Or just search the Advertising Age website – they’ve published more than 1000 articles on the subject. And most recently, Ad Age has highlighted how Relish Marketing is helping our longtime client and partner, Kimberly-Clark, to better position the company’s employment opportunities for millennials at its North American Consumer Headquarters in Neenah-Appleton, WI.

Here Was the Situation

The Fox Cities area of Wisconsin, encompassing the cities of Neenah and Appleton, blends small-town friendliness and safety with a wealth of outdoor, cultural and community activity – and is home to multinational Consumer Packaged Goods leader, Kimberly-Clark. With competition in larger, more “glamorous” cities and a tight labor market, the company wanted to “up its game” to attract talent to the area, especially Millennial candidates (born between 1980 and 2000). Leaders knew that as part of the company’s employer branding, they would have to find a creative, new integrated marketing approach to drive better awareness of Kimberly-Clark (not just its iconic consumer product brands), make it easier and more inviting for applicants to engage with the company, establish the organization as an inspiring place to work and showcase the Fox Cities area as a great place to live.

Together, We Did This

Kimberly-Clark turned to its employer brand agency of record, Relish Marketing. We began our work together by exploring what matters most to Millennials when looking for employment. Through focus groups and primary and secondary research, we learned that Millennials want to make a difference, to know that they can add value and are valued for their unique perspective and capabilities. They seek and appreciate authenticity and are not engaged by “corporate speak,” instead preferring honest, direct language. With these findings informing our creative process, Relish Marketing and Kimberly-Clark developed “Welcome Original Thinkers,” an initiative designed to acknowledge the importance of innovative ideas, and position Kimberly-Clark as a workplace that welcomes and encourages original thinking. We identified eight Original Thinker types, then created a BuzzFeed-style quiz and invited people to discover their own Original Thinker type. Expanded infographics offered insights into each thinking style, as well as the best ways to leverage them. Quiz-takers would be rewarded with an emoji badge suitable for social sharing, as well as an invitation to find out about original thinkers at the centerpiece of the campaign,, Kimberly-Clark’s new dedicated career site. There, they could meet real-life Kimberly-Clark Original Thinkers, virtually discover Neenah-Appleton, WI and explore careers at Kimberly-Clark. The initial campaign was supported by an expanded social media presence that combined organic posts and paid advertising. It launched publicly in October of 2016.

Oh, So Much Better

In the first three months of the program, Kimberly-Clark saw:

  • 34% increase in followers
  • 27% increase in LinkedIn followers
  • 34% increase in Facebook followers

Five months in, the program had attracted:

  • 14,000,000 content impressions
  • 77,000 unique visitors to
  • 35,000 completed quizzes
  • 29,000 talent acquisition portal visits

The program also has been applauded in a wide range of publications, including AdAge, Forbes, US News & World Report, Society for Human Resource Management, BrandChannel and Social Media Biz. Global Marketing Director, Frans Mahieu affirms, “This campaign is highly successful and has helped Kimberly-Clark touch potential candidates in a different way and position us uniquely in the market place.”