LinkedIn Reaches for the Stars in Its First TV Spot, Airing on the Oscars

BBDO goes with astronaut theme

LinkedIn aims high in its first-ever broadcast TV spot.

The 30-second ad, created by BBDO San Francisco in conjunction with LinkedIn's in-house creative studio, features footage shot from Earth's orbit and plays off the fact that the U.S. space agency used the business networking site last year in its recruitment efforts. "NASA is looking for an astronaut," read the on-screen graphics. "3 million LinkedIn members qualify."

"When I was a kid, every night before I went to bed, my dad would tell me I could do anything I set my mind to," client CEO Jeff Weiner says in a low-key voiceover. "Believing it changed everything."

The melodic Wilco-Billy Bragg song "California Stars," with its longing lyrics penned by Woody Guthrie, complements the spacey visuals. The song also seems appropriate given that the spot—launched online Wednesday, and heralding an integrated campaign—will air on TV during Sunday's Academy Awards telecast on ABC.

Needless to say, we all can't be astronauts. Ultimately, most of us will have to find work far closer to home. And those jobs will, most likely, lose their luster or wear us down over time, and we'll be scampering toward the launchpad in search of new horizons.

But in a way, that's the whole point, and it provides the underlying power of the campaign.

At its core, the job-search process isn't about the long hours or crushed spirits of the actual working world. At its best, it's an aspirational exercise—an opportunity to explore possibilities and take steps to turn dreams into reality.

Here, LinkedIn captures that spirit of adventure and potential self-fulfillment. And if the astronaut theme overreaches, well, what's the harm? There'll be plenty of time for job seekers to come back down to Earth later on.

Sifting through listings or networking on LinkedIn, visualizing a better version of ourselves doing work that gives our lives deeper meaning … that's when we all deserve a chance to reach for the stars.

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@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.