Philip Morris International's employer brand - Dawson Walker

Philip Morris International’s employer brand


Philip Morris International (PMI) is transforming into more than a cigarette company. They want to deliver a smoke-free future. Through their journey towards transformation, it’s critical they keep a focus on their employer brand.

The Challenge:

This is not a recruitment advertising campaign to sell jobs. It's the validation of a calling to show people how they can contribute to something that will have a significant impact on the health and wealth of the human race.

The tobacco industry is at a turning point, with billions of customers and lives being positively affected. There is no exaggeration in saying that PMI’s smoke-free future is a generation-defining moment.


The Journey

PMI listened to more than c.1000 colleagues and c.2000 external market research participants, spanning every region, function, market, gender and experience.

  • 20 Listening Sessions
  • 7 Exec Stakeholder Interviews
  • 4 EVP Surveys
  • 10 External Inteviews
  • 8 Competitor Analysis Reports

They also analysed over 1m data points via Universum and other industry reports, thrive data, exit surveys and employee opinion surveys.

The Employer Brand

The Employer Brand pillars talk of ‘Revolutionary change’of ‘shaping the future’, of being ‘stronger together’ and of delivering ‘endless experiences’.

So, we have a choice. We can:

  • simply illustrate those pillars, or we can live and breathe them.
  • ‘Say’ revolutionary or we can ‘be’ revolutionary.
  • Sit here and talk about being brave or we can roll up our sleeves and march forward.
PMI RADs CreativeIdea F47

The PMI employer brand in the simplest terms:

Employer brand statement

The Identity

We wanted a new focus on the future, on innovation and on transformation. Doodles can often bring ideas out of the subconscious. By drawing and redrawing the letters ‘PMI’ we noticed a visual similarity with something else that goes through a radical transformation.

The butterfly suggests metamorphosis, open skies, newness, air, grace, even intrigue and beauty. We knew this was the perfect device for this campaign and could be used in a wide range of applications.

PMI agreed to a particularly brave creative strategy. The PMI logo crest was blurred into the background - allowing the butterfly and #MakeHistory employer branding to stand out as emblems of change.

employer brand butterfly
employer brand in colours

The Stories

HISTORY MAKERS - Create meaningful portraits of PMI people, delivering a very personal and individual contribution to their moment in history that the Smoke-Free Future can look back on.

employer brand imagery

The Creative

We didn’t want to ‘tell’ colleagues about our new Employer Brand we wanted them to experience it. We developed a 360 degree virtual reality regional experience to cover all offices, stores and factories in all regional markets.

  • Virtual Launch Events
  • Regional Event Toolkits
  • Launch film with VR headsets
employer brand regional toolkit examples
PMI RADs CreativeIdea F431
PMI RADs CreativeIdea F425
PMI RADs CreativeIdea F430
PMI RADs CreativeIdea F424
PMI RADs CreativeIdea F426
PMI RADs CreativeIdea F423

The Result:

Following the launch of the new brand, the following metric was achieved or exceeded:

  • LinkedIn followership grew from 700k in 2019 to 820k followers for 2020 post launch
  • Glassdoor ratings increased from 3.6 in 2019 to 3.9 in 2020
  • Impressions: Target 60m. 136m achieved in 2020 (127% over target)
  • Video Views: Target 6m. 5.99m achieved in 2020 (up 50% from 2019)
  • PMI was also recertified as a Top Employer fro 2020 in all regions by the Top Employers Institute

Nimai Swaroop, Global Director - Employer Brand & Talent Engagement at Philip Morris International

We are very proud of our new #MakeHistory Employer Brand. This is a true reflection of who we are as an employer and the transformation happening across PMI. This work has been developed using external and internal insights and therefore reflects what our colleagues think of PMI and also how we see ourselves as an employer.  

Screenshot 2021-02-19 at 15.50.47

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