Home Entertainment Gwen Stefani, Billy Idol, Travis Barker Back Workday’s ‘Rock Star’ Ad Return

Gwen Stefani, Billy Idol, Travis Barker Back Workday’s ‘Rock Star’ Ad Return


Workday is getting ready to go back on tour.

The human-resources and finance software company is ready to launch another leg of the ad campaign it launched in 2023’s Super Bowl LVII, in which popular musicians set the record straight on whether high-performing corporate types ought to be called “rock stars.” In this go-round, two new ads will be seen during The Masters between April 8 and April 14 and in five key overseas markets: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

“We gained a ton of momentum” from the initial campaign that featured, among others, Ozzy Osbourne and Joan Jett, says Emma Chalwin, Workday’s chief marketing officer, during an interview. The company saw a 24% increase in audience consideration of Workday a a brand that could be trusted and a 50% increase in leads, among other notable spikes in metrics, Chalwin says. “It was kind of a no brainer to do a version two.”

Travis Barker, Gwen Stefani and Billy Idol appear on behalf of Workday in the next campaign, taking a spin through an office and demanding that they, and not corporate overachievers, should be known as rock stars.

“The music industry produces the only real rock stars — whether it’s rock, rap, or pop — those are the true rock stars of today,” says Barker. “It’s crazy that people who work in tech and other office settings think they can be rock stars too.” Barker offers up a stunning percussion session in one scene, while Idol, who also made appearances during the company’s Super Bowl efforts, snarls his way though another cameo.

Workday provides workforce management tools built with artificial intelligence to help corporations manage staffing and money. But it’s gaining experience with advertising entities with experience talking to average consumers. Its ad agency is Ogilvy, the blue-chip ad firm owned by WPP that is known for the historic work it has done for clients like IBM and American Express. And director Jim Jenkins, who directed the previous Workday campaign and directed a 2020 Super Bowl spot for Jeep that featured Bill Murray reprising his role from the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day,” has returned.

The rock stars “are not actors, but they are performers, and the idea that they are pi–ed off gives them a way to kind of work,” says Jenkins. “The idea that these office workers are co-opting the term ‘rock star’ when these people have kind of dedicated their lives to it — it’s pretty ripe for humor.”

Workday remains open to the possibility of returning to the Super Bowl in the future, Chalwin says, but felt April represented better timing this year.