In 2020, Western Australia led the nation in economic strength due to an increased demand for resources from the global supply chain and the increased uptake of government building incentives locally. This increased demand led to a shortage of labour within the construction and manufacturing industries.
In May 2021, Premier Mark McGowan and the Minster for Education and Training Sue Ellery announced a ‘Skills Summit’ to address the need to bolster our local workforce to maintain and strengthen the state’s economic growth. The Summit involved leaders
from a range of industries, including resources and construction, to discuss how WA’s workforce could continue to advance the state to remain globally competitive. It led to the WA State Government developing an advertising campaign to attract skilled workers from the eastern states of Australia and New Zealand to meet the demand.
“An advertising campaign to attract skilled workers from the eastern states of Australia and New Zealand to meet demand.”
Rare was engaged to develop an advertising campaign that would lead to a sustainable workforce to meet WA’s immediate and medium-term skills needs and support the State’s pipeline of economic activity.
The scope of the problem was significant, with the construction and manufacturing industries experiencing a shortage across many different trades, requiring the campaign to target multiple audiences and markets. As each trade has its own speciality and required skillset, we produced a campaign with several bursts that aligned to key trades and audiences.
With our audience consisting of East Coast and New Zealand 25 to 39-year-old males within the construction and manufacturing industry, we had
to better understand their perceptions of Western Australia along with their motivations and barriers to move. The already significant challenges of moving interstate were further exacerbated with the lack of housing availability and uncertainty with the WA state border, so the key benefits to move had to be suitably highlighted.
Whilst our target audience jobs varied, our research showed key motivators and lifestyles were similar across roles. They love the physical and outdoor nature of their job and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the outcome of their hard work. Being able to start and finish work early provided them with the ability to have time to do what they wanted. And, after a long day on site with their work mates, they want to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors.
“I’m an early riser so that I can fit more into my day, I love that I can make the most of my time and enjoy a morning surf before work, or an arvo on the boat with my mates after we’ve knocked off.”
Compared with larger east coast cities, WA offers a more laidback lifestyle with better housing affordability, appealing weather, and less traffic
so you can enjoy a slower pace of life. Coupled with our incredible natural environment, an average of 265 sunny days a year, and world-class coastline, we provide the perfect new home for our target audience. Therefore, we developed a campaign strategy that would tap into WA’s destination and lifestyle opportunities whilst balancing the emotional messages of life in WA with practical messages to overcome the rational hurdles.
Working as a ‘tradie’ is more than a means to an end for our audience, their job is also important to their sense of identity. They value life experiences more than previous generations, so adventures and travelling are higher aspirations than earning salaries. With COVID-19 travel restrictions in 2021 they couldn’t explore the world, so we encouraged them to explore their own country with the work and lifestyle opportunities found in WA.
The campaign personality and tone of voice was critical as it needed to combine our WA benefits with our audience needs and wants. The ‘explorer’ personality fit the brief with a brand message of ‘You only get one life. Get out and make it count.’
We had to be authentically Western Australian in everything we did, so our campaign language was as relaxed and informal as our lifestyle. We removed the official and technical mumbo jumbo in place for Aussie lingo and slang where appropriate, but always with respect as these extremely skilled workers take pride in their work. We were always friendly and welcoming, and talked to our audience like a mate.
Our Build a Life in WA campaign had to be aspirational with strong visual appeal to help achieve cut-through. We have a unique lifestyle in WA and needed to show it off, but we were never boastful or arrogant. We didn’t want our messaging to be over-embellished, instead we wanted to be direct and succinct, as our state has so much to offer. Our colloquial and fun campaign demonstrated how WA tradies inventively transitioning to their leisure activities once they’ve knocked off from a day of work.
We created a suite of videos which included five unique trades (Construction worker, Electrician, Mechanic, Manufacturing worker and Truck Driver) where we showed each transitioning to their leisure activities in a variety of entertaining ways.
These short-form 15” videos were used on social and online channels, with a longer 30” version featuring several trades shown on Cinema and Online Video. In audio channels we created a series of ads that turned repetitive construction and manufacturing sounds into leisure activities.
This campaign is live, rolling across the East Coast and New Zealand. Our client and their stakeholders are undertaking research and assessing industry feedback and results which will likely lead to further phases of activity. The campaign is too new to assess its impact and any form of success measurement.