Client Snapshot

iCIMS + Spitball

Driving Success for over 10 Years

As with most early-stage companies, you usually have to scrape and claw at everything to create momentum and build your business. Very early in Spitball’s infancy when we had a few small clients, iCIMS reached out to us to work with them on their marketing efforts. It ultimately was the beginning of a very long, successful partnership that we couldn’t be more proud of, especially seeing how it all started.

iCIMS was looking to improve their software demos, which were stale and needed to stand out. At the time, the entire iCIMS branding didn’t reflect the company very well but we knew that we had to walk before we run, date before we marry and ultimately prove we had the chops to handle bigger initiatives. We couldn’t just start at the top and suggest an entire brand overhaul. Their software demos were extremely important in their lead generation sales efforts so it was crucial to improve them immediately and for us to deliver success.

Spitball took baby steps and recommended integrating the existing iCIMS brand look and feel into the demos but with a twist of creativity. We called the project “Personality Videos” which took the industry-standard, happy smiling faces and turned them into 12 unique personalities that represented 12 personas impacted by iCIMS software.

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We defined these personas, wrote over-the-top interviews, casted the right people and created a simple interface to let these individuals tell the iCIMS product story. The strategy of engaging our audience first then delivering reasons to believe through software functionality proved successful.

It’s fun to look back at the original casting for the Matchmaker (recruiting), Cruise Director (onboarding) and Treasure Hunter (sourcing) to see how the early clips compare to the final product.

Ultimately we took the project of improving their demos and turned it into something more – but not for the sake of selling iCIMS on a bigger project or more investment, but rather more meaning and creativity for the sake of their brand. We earned their trust, were awarded more projects to build credibility and over 11 years continued to build on our relationship, taking nothing for granted and working tirelessly to prove we deserved every project and opportunity to help in their success.

Below is a sampling of the highlights over those years.

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iCIMS had an existing logo but were looking to create a tagline that they could leverage across their communication. Who better to call than Spitball and our clever wit when it comes to quick hitting messages. Through a quick brainstorm, Spitball developed a series of taglines but one clearly rose to the top… Hire Expectations. This spoke to iCIMS core values as well as their product and service offering, but also what this meant for their audience when it came to filling their talent and hiring needs. It became an instant classic.

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With iCIMS playing in the HR space, much of their marketing featured smiling happy faces which was the industry norm. As we often do, we wanted to break free from these constraints and create an image that was authentic to iCIMS. The company was young, had younger employees and generally was breaking into a market in a different way, which inspired Spitball to create something unique. Spitball developed a character within a website redesign that spoke to the various pain points that iCIMS solved. This bird took off to become an iconic representation of the brand across all communications, from sales and marketing to office wall murals and even the building signage. He was quickly named Ike and started to don various personalities himself. 

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As iCIMS looked to leverage the success of their new found friend in various ways across their marketing. With industry events being critical to the sales and marketing team, Spitball worked with iCIMS to turn Ike from a two dimensional illustration into a full sized 3D mascot that took center stage at trade shows. Just as his onscreen counterpart took on personalities, Ike became the King of Talent Acquisition at a Vegas show, an astronaut, racecar driver and many others while he walked the showroom floor attracting all of the attention. He was trending on social and the most often photo-bomber in selfies. He had such a cult following, Spitball needed to make sure show attendees walked away with a piece of Ike, so much that we created mini plush dolls of Ike for each show. To say Ike was a hit was an understatement. 

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As sales started to surge on the corporate side, iCIMS looked to support sales growth with internal employee growth. iCIMS needed a recruitment campaign of their own to attract the best talent in a very competitive NJ/NY market. Who other to help in our fight for talent than Ike? Through a messaging strategy process that was a result of an employee value proposition exercise, Spitball created a campaign where Ike is part of the key reasons to join the ever-growing company. 

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iCIMS growth was inspiring and was now taking on additional investment capital to fuel even more growth. To achieve ambitious sales goals, iCIMS looked to build upon the Mid and Large company base with a new target audience of the Enterprise Market. This created a new set of challenges and target audiences. Spitball shifted the iCIMS image and messaging to better communicate the need for a dedicated talent acquisition system – competing against large enterprise software systems. “Agility Moves You Forward” was a product of extensive research and a brand strategy exercise that helped iCIMS carve a specific marketing opportunity in the space. It spoke to their unique size advantage but more importantly the benefit they gave the audience in helping adapt to the ever-changing times. 


And we come back full circle with a software Explainer Video. Just one of many that Spitball created for the iCIMS suite of products. This video was part of the arsenal of marketing and communications to various audience groups that created awareness for the brand and drove prospects down the funnel to generate leads for the sales team.

Spitball is beyond proud of the entire body of work that was created and evolved over the decade from simple mailers to website redesigns to full-fledged campaign development. The journey, the success and relationships created are forever engrained into Spitball’s history.

Spitball has been a wonderful long-term partner, supporting iCIMS strategically, tactically, and creatively. I'm consistently impressed with Spitball's ability to translate high level concepts into compelling results. 

Susan Vitale - Chief Marketing Officer