How Jobs to Be Done leads to more powerful creativity (with examples)

Outstanding campaigns tap into human truths which lie at the core of the Jobs to Be Done mindset to marketing. In this post we outline examples of great campaigns and how a 'jobs mindset' can help creatively.
Simon Marmara

Jobs to be Done is a framework which helps organizations align their products and marketing messaging to solve for the underlying motivations of customers or prospects. If you are new to Jobs to Be Done read our post: Help! What is Jobs to Be Done?

Jobs to Be Done has been making waves in the innovation and product development space for years but is now being adopted more widely by organizations that want to take a customer-led approach to growth across product, marketing, brand and sales. 

The philosophy that lies at the heart of Jobs to Be Done is familiar and intuitive; we must build products and messaging around what customers really want to get done. And to do this, we must understand the deeper layers of psychology behind their behavior in the market. 

Jobs to Be Done has a lot in common with Design Thinking - they both advocate the process of solving problems by prioritizing the consumer’s needs above everything. This is also at the core of what creative teams really need to build outstanding campaigns. It is all about coming up with unique and innovative solutions to problems. 

Jobs to be Done taps into 3 critical aspects that help build comms that people will identify with: 

Functional jobs

What problem this will help them solve in their life

Emotional jobs
What solving this problem will help them feel

Social jobs
How they will be perceived

The different Jobs people need to fulfill

Combining these Jobs in the right way can result in really powerful campaigns. It’s incredibly effective as a framework for helping you to come up with ideas that are customer-focused and tap into human truths. 

Here are 4 great examples. 


Snickers understood the value of targeting the underlying motivations of consumers, instead focusing on competing against other candy bars. By understanding the Jobs to Be Done of consumers from a functional, social and emotional standpoint, they decided to target hunger itself. The Job is hunger, the social context is ‘hangry’ and the emotional feeling is wanting to feel satisfied and ‘yourself again’. By tapping into this, the creative teams of AMV BBDO were able to battle hunger directly - and this hugely successful campaign has evolved since its initiation in 2013 and is still in use today:

The "You're not you when you're hungry" campaign increased Snickers' global sales by 15.9% in its first year.


Intercom is an example of an organization that outwardly promotes a Jobs to Be Done way of thinking across both their product development and comms approaches. You can read more about their journey with Jobs to Be Done here.

Looking at Intercom’s site, it is clear how they have built a workflow for customer communications. Starting with the broad Job that they solve, and with every one of the company’s products and associated landing pages addressing a sub-job which is part of the larger one.


Airbnb’s executive team developed 45 storyboards of the different emotional moments for hosts and guests. They turned that into a mini-documentary of jobs people are hiring Airbnb to do. In the video below Brian Chesky (CEO of Airbnb) talks about him storyboarding the whole experience of booking an Airbnb and how they went beyond just good enough that helped build their customer base as it became more about word of mouth. This helped Airbnb compete with the likes of Hilton Hotel and their larger marketing spend:

You can see that this story-boarding has been the core driver within the business. Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, Chip Conley said in Harvard Business Review that “the experience of staying in an Airbnb is central to its customer strategy” this has been translated into their marketing campaigns and overall creative strategy. Their ‘Belong Anywhere’ campaign demonstrates this perfectly.


Hershey’s is a great example of how product innovation and marketing can work well together to tap into a new opportunity space. Back in 2010 Hershey’s was worried about Reese’s product format - their sales were declining for their original large format peanut butter cups - they were messy and didn’t fit with some of their customers’ snacking needs.

The brand adopted a Jobs to Be Done framework to help them develop a new product that would breathe some life into Reese’s again and tap in to a underserved functional need (snack size peanut butter cups). The new product made $25m for the brand and created a whole new category - by adjusting the product to fit a specific Job of the customer in a specific moment helped them speak to an unmet need.

Identify the Functional, Social and Emotional Jobs of your prospects to write better creative briefs

Jobs to Be Done is a powerful framework that can be used to spark creativity and innovation across the board from product and UX to marketing and advertising. Aligning your business around a clear framework of customer needs sits at the foundation of unlocking growth in a highly competitive market. Speak not only to the ‘functional’ needs of your target customers but also the underlying social and emotional context: the human truth behind people’s behavior.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to identify the Jobs of your target market, get in touch.

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