Dice Rolls ‘Best Job’ With Federated Media

by Gavin O’Malley, Thursday, May 7, 2009, 7:00 AM

Thinking beyond standard banner ads and microsites, niche career site Dice.com and agency Publicis tapped media companies Federated Media and Next New Networks to launch an original video series. The Web hub and video series, “Best Job Ever,” chronicles the workday lives and personal stories of high-tech employees.

To date, videos in the series have chronicled tech positions at Facebook, blogger service Tumblr, and online classifieds site Oodle, while future videos will spotlight NASA, and Sun Microsystems. Designed to better engage Dice’s target audience, the vignettes are designed to “give tech professionals inspiration and solid career advice,” according to Tom Silver, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Dice Holdings.

To achieve profitability, Dice Holdings — which operates several employment sites — was recently forced to cut marketing expenses. “We moderated job seeker marketing as the recruitment needs of our customers declined,” Scot Melland, Dice’s chairman, president and chief executive, said in an earnings statement last month.

For Federated Media, however, industrywide marketing cutbacks have actually stimulated business, according to its marketing manager, Matthew DiPietro.

Marketers ” are moving away from traditional channels and towards new ones,” said DiPietro. For instance, he added, “we’ve seen lots of brands cut back, but increase when it comes to social media.”

Scheduled to run through June, neither Federated or Dice would discuss the financial terms around the “Best Job Ever.” Broadly speaking, the budget is estimated to be in the six-figure range.

The highly collaborative campaign illustrates the evolution of Federated Media, which launched four years ago as a syndicated ad network for popular blogs like Boing Boing, Digg, and Dooce.

“We’re very consultative,” said Mallary Weintraub, strategy programs manager at Federated Media. “We co-hold the reins with agencies.”

Along with Dice, Federated now supports “conversational marketing strategies” for brands like BMW, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Honda and McDonald’s. Earlier this year, it helped AT&T sponsor MarchTweetness, which combined Twitter’s functionality with NCAA Basketball’s March Madness audience; and Microsoft’s ExecTweets, a collection of tweets from executives.

Based in Sausalito, Calif., Federated has worked with New York-based Web TV company Next New Networks on several occasions, most recently in February on $99 Music Videos — an online network for musical artists and groups to showcase videos created on a shoestring budget.

Federated previously partnered with Dice on a rich banner ad campaign, which encourages Web users to “rant” about their jobs within banner units themselves.

The history of Dice Holdings is a tumultuous one. The New York-based company first went public back in 1998 followed by bankruptcy in 2004, and then a second IPO in early 2007.

Dice Holdings reported revenues down 25% year-over-year to $29.6 million in the first quarter of 2009, along with cash flow from operations of $6.8 million. “The recruitment advertising market continues to suffer substantial declines which has greatly impacted our revenue performance,” Melland added. During the first quarter of the year, traffic to Dice.com increased 16%, according to Melland

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