Critter and Linkedout – Really?

Posted on May 11, 2012 by Matt Meigs in News at TriNet, News in General

Have you seen these billboards or storefronts near you recently? Or maybe you’ve been hearing a lot of the chatter on Twitter? Don’t worry; these silly startups are not real. On May 1st, we launched a national “faux startup” advertising campaign that has resulted in numerous laughs and giving viewers a “double-take”. There is more than meets the eye with this unconventional campaign that uses storefronts, billboards and banners to highlight that HR shouldn’t be an afterthought when launching a successful startup business.

Essentially, our new campaign features empty storefront signage and billboards in entrepreneurial-minded cities that feature “faux startup” branding and business signage for Critter and LinkedOut, making each appear as if the business were real. So what are Critter and LinkedOut all about?

Critter: A social networking site that claims to connect “Your pets, 140 characters or less”

LinkedOut: A spoof on the popular networking site that gives uses the opportunity to “connect with people who fired them”

Pedestrians and drivers intrigued by these “startups” can check them out online, where they will get a “double-take” when the site quickly transitions from landing pages that highlight the silly business idea, to the messaging explaining that while some startups are destined for failure, others just need a little help along the way to succeed: an HR partner like TriNet.

Some of our best responses to these campaign have come from our social media followers. Our favorite tweets, as of now, regarding our new faux-startups are:

It seems that overall we are receiving and all around positive response to our new advertising campaign and we are excited to see what you think about our new ad campaign. Leave your comments below!

Want to check out a storefront or billboard near you? Here is our list of storefronts and billboards in the nation:


1. Denver, CO

  • Storefront: 1400 Market St.
  • Billboard: Park Ave. and Broadway

2. Palo Alto, CA

  • Billboard: Highway 101 S/O Hillsdale Blvd. and Highway 101 at Whipple Ave.


1. Atlanta, CA

  • Storefront: 800 Peachtree Blvd.
  • Billboard: Peachtree Blvd.

2. Austin, TX

  • Storefront: 506 Congress St.
  • Billboard: Congress Ave.

3. San Francisco, CA

  • Storefront: 575 4th St.
  • Billboard: 2nd and Harrison St.

Is your town now listed? You can still view them on our Facebook page. Plus, while you are there be sure to “like” us!