Being an intern can be a lowly profession. People tell us to fetch things, they take our desks and then they make us pay $35 if we want to get on the air. Not much exposure, huh? Well, there is one summer intern who seems to be drawing a crowd.
If you haven’t met Trevor, let me introduce you: http://www.mentosintern.com/
This is Trevor, a 19-year-old college student from Ownesboro, Ky., who has been hired this summer as the Mentos Intern. What does this entail you ask? Well, anything that you want it to. That’s right. All day long, Trevor sits at his desk at the candy maker’s headquarters in Erlanger, Ky., talking into a live webcam that is broadcast over the web. He spends his day taking schedule requests from visitors to the site, responding to instant messages from curious spectators and answering phone calls from those who want to make a real connection.
When Trevor comes to the office in the morning, he takes a look at his schedule. If there are openings in the day, visitors can schedule an appointment with him and have Trevor do whatever they’d like. This past Tuesday, for example, Trevor displayed an act of patriotism at 9 a.m., performed yoga at 1 p.m., and will call someone’s sister at 3:45 p.m.
Why not put Trevor to use for NPR? Need to research an author? Transcribe the lyrics of a song? Come up with a new on-air promotion? Trevor could be your man.
Warning: After visiting the site for the first time, watching Trevor’s internship became bizarrely addicting. He’s not talking about anything particularly interesting or being asked to do anything too outrageous. But, there was something about Trevor and this bizarre human experiment that held my attention…for an extended period of time.
So what does this mean? Well, it means that those folks over at Mentos are pretty smart. This viral marketing scheme is sure to make it’s way around to the computer screens of thousands of interns this summer, who will most likely forward it to their co-workers, friends and family. Admirers will add Trevor as a MySpace or Facebook friend, play him on Xbox Live, or blog about him (I am such a joiner). And maybe, just maybe, all of this will have people thinking about Mentos is a new, quirky way. All hail marketing 2.0.
This site even has me taking time away from my own internship to write about Trevor’s internship. Yup, I think Mentos is going to have a good summer.