Brand Insight in association withLBB's Brand Insight Features

Designing Experiences Around People  —  Welcome to Workday’s World

Experiential Marketing
London, UK
George P. Johnson UK’s Matthew Watts explains how the experience marketing agency endeavoured to put people at ease with change in their working lives

Workday is a cloud-based system for finance, HR and planning. Founded in 2005, they now service more than 700 companies worldwide and have the highest customer satisfaction rating of any major enterprise application vendor.

The workplace is Workday’s realm. An average person will spend 90,000 hours of their life at work. 90,000 hours packed full of opportunities, responsibilities and tasks to complete. Workday’s ambition is to make this work-life easier. However, people are wary of shifting services. Change is unfamiliar and unfamiliar is daunting. Our job at GPJ UK was to convince their audience to overcome their anxiety of switching systems. Any other application vendor would do this by promoting product features, but we started by asking how Workday makes people feel? Championing human insight over product function ultimately allowed us to put our audience at ease and become comfortable with the idea of changing platforms.

Our process began by imagining two different scenarios. A world without Workday, and one that applied the benefits. Without it, the world’s processes were overwhelming and time-consuming. When Workday’s benefits were applied to the world as the solution, the place became effortless, efficient and enjoyable. Creating a VR world to bring this concept to life became the ambition. From our London Lab we developed multiple scenarios for how the experience would play out on the Oculus Go platform. Our underlying concept was based on demonstrating how complex systems work together on the surface in a seamless experience. By conveying this sense of harmony, we didn’t need to shout about the nuts and bolts of the product, and this ‘show don’t tell’ approach informed much of the experience.

It was crucial to spark the right emotions in the audience. In its essence, Workday’s world is joy — a release from the mundane. This gave us a license to use a vibrant colour palette and create a sensory and multi-dimensional world. Bright colours and rounded objects were key to building up a sense of richness. To put people at ease we ensured that the VR world would shape itself around the individual. Instead of the audience exploring the environment, they would be the focal point. Using the Oculus Go meant they would be untethered and standalone, the headset has also opened up re-use opportunities with wider Workday marketing stakeholders. Not only was the VR world designed with these concepts in mind, they extended to the physical experience and tone of voice. We talked to people in a playful and calm way. The experience was based on understanding and was inviting because of that.

There’s a brighter world, step into it! Not only is this true for Workday’s customers it is true in terms of B2B marketing. Experiences do not have to be driven by function-led messaging to be effective. The engagement target for Workday’s World was surpassed by 200%. Over 500 people spent a climbing total of 1638 minutes immersed in the brand. Taking time to understand people allowed us to connect with them. Recognising the human resistance to change and designing a world to counter that led to a joyful experience. Ultimately, what powers moments is people, and brands who remember this will open up worlds of possibility.


Matthew Watts is creative director for George P. Johnson UK.

Work from George P. Johnson
2B World Tour
INEOS Automotive
Back to Barcelona for MWC
IBM & Cisco