AToMiC Niche Targeting

MasterCard's digital intern hunt finds five high-calibre interns and a gold AToMiC Award.

GOLD: MasterCard’s digital intern hunt

MasterCard Canada wanted to hire four digitally savvy interns to work in the marketing and product solutions group at the Toronto headquarters. They recognized that the success of the company depends on the quality of people they hire, and they wanted the brightest, most qualified interns. To that end, they knew they had to reach candidates in a new way – not by posting ads on campus job boards.
MasterCard historically received no more than 30 applications for intern positions. They wanted to surpass this number with worthy, pre-filtered candidates. The campaign itself needed to reflect the well-known “priceless” positioning and be something students would talk about.
The intern call had to appeal to 18- to 23-year-olds so the look, feel and use of technology had to be relevant and enable an innovative application process.
The agency created the “Social Interview” – an elaborate online exercise that used social media to pre-screen candidates and find the best and brightest interns.
Posters on campuses featured QR codes and shortened URLs so that smartphone-equipped students could access info about the program. This took them to a Facebook fan page where a “like” unpacked the info they needed on how to apply. Students then went to LinkedIn to upload a resume, cover letter and a link to “something creative” that further demonstrated their digital know-how. Applicants then had to follow MasterCard on Twitter to find out next steps.
In the end, students that successfully completed the application process had also demonstrated their understanding of the digital landscape. Candidates that also created something unique and compelling were invited to meet the selection team in a one-day workshop and
face-to-face panel interview.
The campaign exceeded all expectations, with 532 qualified candidates. Facebook fans grew by 400% in four weeks – establishing a channel for future engagement – and 46% of MasterCard Twitter conversations were about the intern program. MasterCard hired an extra intern because of the quality of the candidates, and the Social Interview process is now part of MasterCard’s global recruitment effort.


Client: MasterCard

Agency: MacLaren McCann

Executive Creative Director: Mike Halminen

Group Creative Directors: Dave Stubbs, Rob Kingston

Art Director: Jeremy Lenz

Copywriter: Sarah Deziel

Group Account Director: Ryan Timms

Account Supervisor: Kobi Gulersen

Account Executive: Taryn Lipschitz

Project Manager: Ann Van Duzen

Studio Manager: Steve Ferreira


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