The Perfect Game Developer Recruiting Video? Now Featuring Profanity, Dissing Competitors

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Aug 1, 2012
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

If you’ve ever met a game developer, you know that they can be interesting characters. While sourcing them can be a pain, it can help to have a big, well-known name or a cool project that is getting a ton of mainstream press.

But what if you have neither?

Well, if you’re San Francisco based game-house Kixeye, you create a recruiting video. But instead of going with a typical, boring video, you might try something a bit more… well… creative.

Oh, and good news sourcers: they’re hiring for one of you.

The hook

Here’s the video in all its glory. A warning for those at work or kids around, there is definitely some strong language:

The video itself is over the top and ridiculous. From the kid whose profanity better fits in with the TV show South Park, to the exaggerated skewering of their competitors (Zynga, Electronic Arts and Kabam) and the explosion at the end, it was meant to attract a certain type of person.

Hoping to break through the clutter, videos like this serve as a reminder to everyone that generic recruiting marketing messages don’t grab anyone’s attention, aren’t memorable nor do they inspire much action. But they don’t have to be as outrageously over the top as this one.

Obviously, it will be up to Kixeye to come through on their brand promise and see to it that they live up to the mantra espoused in the video. Otherwise, it can be a cruel joke of a video later down the line if they digress into the brands they mock.

Another example

Earlier this year, Twitter released a similar video with a lot less profanity (none) and a little more quirkiness:

Again, not over the top but pitch perfect with a different audience. There are some smart lessons from both videos that I wrote when the Twitter video came out:

First, in spite of its intentionally low budget, under-produced look, it was very watchable. It was relatively short, the lighting and sound were consistent (when they wanted it to be) and it had a strong call to action. Second, the attitude and idea was fresh and new. It strikes the right balance of humor, information and the ability to share with someone (even if they aren’t looking for a job) without feeling forced.

Even though the video from Kixeye wasn’t necessarily low budget, they still kept it at an ultra-watchable three minutes. For their audience, I felt like it struck the right balance.

I know for those sourcers who are dipping their hand in marketing their jobs, video is a powerful tool. But nothing feels worse than spending a lot of time on a video and not having it watched by anyone. Whether you choose to go after a Kixeye, Twitter or hopefully your own vision of what a great recruiting video can be, remember to stay close to your core audience and speak to them throughout the process.

It might be slightly less exciting than a kid dropping an f-bomb but if your candidates love it, who cares?

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.