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B2B Creativity: LinkedIn makes fun of your parents

Hi folks. You know the drill by now. In this column, I’m highlighting the best examples of creative B2B campaigns. This week, we’ll be diving into a brand you might not associate with boundless creativity…LinkedIn.

Yes, it’s the source of all corporate noise, self-promotion, and CEOs confusing mansplaining with motivational advice. That said, LinkedIn’s marketing team does a fantastic job when it comes to creativity, as can be seen in their latest ad campaign, “No One Knows What You Do”.

Working in B2B, explaining your job at a family dinner often receives the same blank stares as showing your dog a card trick. Inspired by this confusing world of baffled parents and overused acronyms, LinkedIn has launched two ads, aptly named ‘Cloud Sales’ and ‘Acronym Daughter’.

‘Cloud Sales’ features a mother who’s more confused than a chameleon in a bag of Skittles, utterly baffled by her child's job working “in the cloud”.

The second ad is ‘Acronym Daughter’, a tale of a dad lost in a sea of SEOs, KPIs, and possibly UFOs for all he knows. The ad is a masterclass in the art of turning the mundane world of business jargon into a comedy sketch designed to make the sternest CFOs crack a smile.

What is the overall message of these ads? Although parents are clueless about B2B, LinkedIn’s colossal community of a billion members gets it. According to the campaign’s pun-y slogan, it’s “the place to B2B”.

While there have been some inevitable (and perhaps justifiable) grumblings about ageism, parents who don’t understand what their kids do is an image that seems to have resonated with the B2B crowd overall.

According to Jim Habig, LinkedIn’s vice-president of marketing, the campaign successfully “strikes a chord with anyone who’s worked in B2B marketing. The difficulty of explaining what it is we actually do — which many of us will do around the holiday table — seems to be a shared experience.”

For me, though, shared experiences aren’t quite what this is about. It’s about making people laugh — something that’s so often missing from B2B campaigns.

Even more importantly, it's about turning the complex, often dry world of B2B interactions into something relatable, even human. At a time when everyone is bombarded with content (especially on LinkedIn), standing out can feel impossible. And that’s precisely what creative campaigns like this are designed to overcome.

Creativity cuts through the noise like a lightsabre through butter, turning mundane into memorable and indecipherable into irresistible.

LinkedIn's campaign is a beacon of hope in a sea of acronym-laden, jargon-heavy B2B marketing. It reminds us that at the heart of every business transaction is a human connection. In the end — whether you're selling cloud solutions or KPI analytics — it's all about making someone on the other side of the screen nod their head and think, "Ah, now I get it."

So, hats off to the team at LinkedIn. In a world where B2B often feels like speaking an alien language, they've managed to translate it into something that even my mother could love.

B2B Creativity is a fortnightly column curated and written by Alex Warren, tech PR professional at Wildfire.

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