SodaStream takes recruitment videos to new heights

In Examples by Peter Gearin

Humour and excellent production values make the sparkling water company’s corporate videos stand out.

Aussies just don’t do recruitment videos. The Department of Finance’s $40,000 cringeworthy effort last year is a reminder of how truly awful they can be in the hands of amateurs. “I’m just heading downstairs for my paleo pear banana bread, would you like to join me?”

No thanks … and I’ll skip your job interview, too.

So when Aussies come across a typical recruitment video, the natural reaction is to run the other way. And as they run, they will make a mental note to never work for that company. Ever.

As pieces of marketing content, corporate videos have their limitations. After all, what can you learn about a company in three minutes? The CEO has a nice view, the corridors are v-e-r-y long and, hang on, they have free Minties in the kitchen.

That’s unless the corporate video comes from SodaStream, which makes sparkling water units for the home. The Israel-based company likes to take an extreme position when it communicates with its audience. It’s a long way from what Coke or Pepsi does. Humour is paramount. Violence is optional.

SodaStream’s pointed message is “f**k plastic bottles”. Over the past year, it has used stars from Game of Thrones (Thor “The Mountain” Bjornsson and Kristian Nairn) plus Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik to create a series of funny videos in its quest to amuse and persuade its audience. It’s even done a parody of GoT’s famous “walk of shame”, with a woman with a bell terrorising a young bloke who stupidly bought six large plastic soda bottles from a supermarket.

So when the time came for SodaStream to make a global recruitment video, “Join the Revolution”, it went back to the well. Actually, it went back to the Mountain.

The video features SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum walking around company headquarters, talking about what the company seeks in its employees. “SodaStream is all about people and attracting extraordinary talent requires extraordinary methods,” he says. “No more piles of resumes for us … We’re growing fast and recruit only those people who can move mountains.” Cue Thor.

SodaStream’s managing director in Australia, Mark Fenton, says the video is a great way to express the company’s “DNA”.

“We really see ourselves as a different kind of company,” Fenton says. “We encourage a bit of craziness, and I think this video tries to help outline the values that we hold really dear. If you want a work environment that’s going to encourage you to be creative, we’re the kind of business you should be looking at.”

SodaStream Australia is going through a growth surge, Fenton says, with the business doubling in size over the past five years. Most of the content it creates every year for the local brand – especially for social media – is done locally, except a couple of big-budget hero pieces made overseas.

Fenton is well aware that Australians are pretty cynical when it comes to corporate videos. That’s why he likes SodaStream HQ’s approach. “We’d never put out a straight dry corporate recruitment style video,” he says. “There are elements that you just laugh at and think, ‘who are these guys?’ ‘What the hell are they doing?’”

Fenton sees the latest recruitment video as part of SodaStream’s branding. “We want to be known for being a little bit disruptive – for rattling the cages and doing things differently,” he says. “The last thing we ever want to be is the same as all those other businesses that are, you know, happily polluting the earth and doing things the old way.”

It seems the Mountain won’t be eating paleo pear banana bread any time soon.

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