Responses by Brian Platt, group creative director, Solve
Background: Since Solve opened its doors nine years ago, we’ve dedicated ourselves to the responsibility of bringing college students and recent graduates into the industry through a summer internship program. Although the current COVID-19 situation challenged the traditional internship model, we embraced the work from home (WFH) reality, enabling us to remove the preexisting geographical limitations.
Reasoning: Being in flyover land, we’ve struggled to convince top interns who have their sights set on more desirable ad cities—like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago—to come to Minnesota. Instead of enticing candidates to move here, we used self-effacing humor to reinforce that they wouldn’t have to.
Challenges: In addition to the usual suspects—no time or money—we had to figure out a way to get everything done while working remotely, from framing the curriculum to concepting and designing the campaign to producing and editing content to implementation.
Favorite details: The fact that this isn’t just another “look at us” COVID-19 project. The WFH Solve Internship will provide talented young candidates, wherever they may reside, with a great internship experience they’d otherwise miss out on.
Specific demands: Recruiting young ad talent to move to Minnesota is notoriously difficult. Year after year, local agencies boast of our state’s wonderful offerings with few out-of-towners taking the bait. So the WFH factor made things easier by allowing us to take a counter-intuitive approach. There’s truly nothing easier than confessing all the reasons you absolutely should not move here.
Anything new: We learned, or at least affirmed, that Minnesota is a dichotomy. While we almost always end up on “top 10 places to live” lists, the negatives seem to be much stickier. So for good or for bad, we’re stuck with some preconceptions that aren’t going away anytime soon.