Campbell Mithun Hires 6 Interns Via Twitter

The local ad agency has selected six interns from a pool of more than 400 applicants who together crafted thousands of tweets in an attempt to land a job.

“MAXIMIZE MEDIA IMPACT, MINIMIZE COSTS, make me an #L13 intern and I will EMPATHETICALLY get the message across #CMcpm”

“#L13 I have seasons 1, 2 and 4 of Remington Steele on VHS. You should totes come over and watch. My mom will make us Toaster Strudels.#CMcr8”

The statements above-which to many will look like gibberish-just helped two people land jobs.

Six people have been selected for Campbell Mithun's “Lucky 13” summer internship, but they weren't hired through the traditional human resources model. The Minneapolis ad agency on Friday announced its selection of this year's summer interns-handpicked from a pool of 425 applicants who made their cases via 13 separate 140-character blurbs on social media site Twitter.

“Using Twitter gave our applicants the opportunity to showcase their digital understanding and creativity, while highlighting their personality and passion for advertising,” Debbie Fischer, Campbell Mithun's vice president and human resources manager, said in a statement. “We were blown away by tweets that basically created personal applicant campaigns by presenting content, industry insights, and, quite frankly, a lot of great humor.”

Campbell Mithun, which announced the unique hiring plan in January, said that the initiative drew “applications” from at least 12 states, as well as Canada and Africa.

Here's how it worked: Registered applicants submitted 13 “career-launching tweets” containing “hashtags”-which designated their application and the area in which they sought an internship. The six internships fall into the following fields: account management, media, creative, and technology.

Although tweets are limited to 140 characters, applicants included links to external information to help support their case for being hired. Applicants also interacted with one another on Twitter, showcasing their “public engagement with each other and the industry,” according to Campbell Mithun.

“If it was just about 13 tweets, I don't know if the application process would have been so enriching,” Natalie Neal, who was selected as an intern, wrote in a blog on Campbell Mithun's Web site. “We as the applicants had the opportunity to see the competition, to interact with one another and the Lucky 13 coordinators, and to link to things like video, pictures, documents, Web sites-really anything we wanted.”

Based on the thousands of tweets submitted between February 13 and 25-a 13-day window-Campbell Mithun selected 32 finalists, who were then interviewed via Skype.

Fischer said that the agency “had to staff this selection process completely differently.” It took 37 Campbell Mithun employees-dubbed the “Lucky 13 Twitter Response Team”-to engage with (and keep up with) the applications.

The six new interns begin their 10-week paid internships on June 6.

Here's a video montage of tweets from the pool of applicants:


To learn more about each of the selected interns-and to see the 13 tweets that landed each the job-follow the links below:

  • Cory Etzkorn, junior at the University of Minnesota; technologist intern
  • Connor Johnson, junior at St. Olaf; media intern
  • Vince Koci, senior at the University of Minnesota; creative, copywriter intern
  • Mark Manalaysay, junior at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia; creative, art director intern
  • Natalie Neal, graduated from St. Olaf last year; account management intern
  • Genette Sekse, international exchange student from Norway, junior at St. Olaf; media intern

The distinct intern selection process also got ink in the New York Times. That story points out that other initiatives, such as the “Big Ad Gig” in New York, have experimented with new hiring processes. Contestants in that competition submitted materials including video clips on YouTube for a chance to win monthlong paid freelance gigs as copywriters and art directors at a variety of agencies.

Campbell Mithun, which was founded in 1933, is Minnesota's largest advertising agency based on revenue, which totals an estimated $53 million.