Stealthiest recruitment campaign yet? Agency makes Facebook Places land grab before launch

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We’ve seen quite a few ingenious ways to use the Web for recruitment or to land a job. The Daily Mail newspaper’s job advert in its search engine-targeted robot.txt immediately springs to mind as does the ad man who bought up Google Adwords spots next to the names of six ad executives he wanted to work with.

But the following effort from German digital marketing agency Jung von Matt/Neckar involving Facebook Places before it had launched locally is the stealthiest of them all. Here’s how it worked:

After the much publicized unveiling of Facebook Places in the U.S., the clever folks at Stuttgart-based Jung von Matt/Neckar figured that it would only be time before the location feature saw its German launch. But why wait they thought, and instead tunneled in to the service VPN-style, simulating a U.S. IP address in order to gain access.

They then set about creating Places for a whole bunch of competing agencies, such as Neue Digitale / Razorfish (Frankfurt), Interone (Hamburg), Fork Unstable Media (Hamburg), Kolle Rebbe (Hamburg), AKQA (Berlin) and Argonauten G2 (Berlin).

Then, following Facebook Places’ German launch, when anybody at those agencies checked in via Facebook they saw one of two messages:

“First! Want to join? Check in at, we are hiring.”

Or our favourite…

“Hi, from the trojan horses inside. Want to join? Check in at, we are hiring.”

Jung von Matt/Neckar say the aim of the campaign was to first show its competitors that they are faster than them, and to put the company on the radar of high profile digital creatives.

Job done.

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  • Jro

    I’ve never used Facebook places, but can’t someone just go online and change the place description? Or does it work as the first description about a place is there permanently?

  • Guessed

    Gaming 4sq, Gowalla, Brightkite or FB places is sooooo lame. Even my dog could have done it.

    But: Nothing is too lame for a TC story!

  • Kate E. Hutchinson

    I wonder if this will be impacted at all by the legislation that German companies can’t use Facebook to check out potential candidates.

  • Jonathan

    A web/SEO agency near me in Liverpool was very quick-on-the-draw with a similar location-based job ad on Google Buzz the very evening it launched.

    I think that’s still one of the only “Buzzes” from my little Scouse suburb to this day… :-)

  • Fred

    Good post Steve.
    I wonder how did they manage to “create new Places” for the competition if you actually need to check in to start the process and they did this from Germany…
    Love to hear these stories about Facebook Places. It’s a great feature. We recently launched a post called: “Why should your company care about Facebook Places” Would be great to hear your thoughts guys!

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  • Jeff

    I thought Techcrunch is about news. This one is so old it’s already got a big white beard.

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  • bob low

    Boring Award-Stunt..

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  • Pascal Boogaert

    I see where Jung Von Matt and Neckar get their inspiration from. Their case is clearly based on

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  • Werbeagentur

    I recently started to use Facebook Places and set up my company as well. But I guess I am too small that somebody would steal my Facebook Place ;-) Nice post.

  • Anonymous

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