The Disappearing Intern Program

Every Spring, nearly every agency is looking for high-quality, creative candidates for Summer internships. However, assuming that the ideal candidates would come to us, wasn't an option. We needed to meet them where they were, in the digital places where they were hanging out. Moreover, we wanted a broader, more diverse creative set than the traditional resume dump would give us access to.

While marketers had used Snapchat's On-Demand Geofilters in the month since they officially launched, we saw an opportunity to expand our traditional talent pool, find digital-first, creative candidates, and experiment with a never-before-used application of this ad feature on Snapchat. With 10 open positions across our network of offices in New York, Minneapolis, and LA, we saw the potential in these filters to reach the best new interns.

We created six different geofilters and placed them across 29 college campuses and public areas, like the Venice Skate Park, across the country.

  • The filters were designed to pique interest and get used - and therefore spread wider - and entice committed, interested people following our Snapchat account.
  • Once they started following the account, we delivered a daily creative brief asking potential candidates to create a Snap Story on behalf of one of our clients (such as Nike, Buffalo Wild Wings and others) as if it were the year 2020.
  • The filters were live for two weeks, between 3/28/16 and 4/10/16.

By the end of two weeks, the filters themselves were viewed more than 230,000 times and used over 6,000 times - that's more than 420 uses per day! While our talent pool is typically small and localized, we received 115 submissions from across the nation, including first-ever candidates from places like Ohio and Georgia that may have never been exposed to our agency previously. 

Our intern campaign also caught the attention of industry taste-makers, getting coverage in Digiday, Adweek, PSFK, The Next Web and others, which further extended our message. In fact, Campaign Magazine, one of the ad industry's most prestigious publications called the effort one of the five most creative intern recruitment strategies of 2016.

It turns the traditional hiring path of hopeful candidates approaching the company on its head, since it is the company reaching out to a pool of people it knows would be suitable for the jobs.
— TheNextWeb
One of the five most creative strategies for recruiting agency interns [in 2016]
— Campaign Magazine

Though we were the first to use filters in this way, the use of geofilters to catch the attention of potential candidates would go on to be replicated by agencies across the world, as well as spawned additional geofilter marketing.