In a TBWA Facebook post yesterday, the agency wrote “At TBWA\Istanbul the newest interns were picked based on talent AND passion for advertising.” This means that, when potential interns showed up at TBWA’s office in Turkey’s largest city, they were asked to don special headgear that would sense their brain activity. They were then shown a series of legendary ads, while a neuroscientist (presumably) compiled data on their reactions, measuring excitement and infatuation. TBWA branded this measurement category “AdLove,” and from 503 applicants, the five with the most AdLove were given TBWA internships.
Quantifying passion seems completely counter-intuitive to me, though I can’t claim to know anything about the science behind it. When advertising is all about crafting a message (and manipulating your viewer/user) agencies are much better off just assessing an intern’s ability to bullshit their way through an interview, or answer related questions, skills they’ll actually use in the office. Passion should be evident without a sophisticated sensor, and forgoing the expression of it to go straight to neurological action seems the product of poor ad understanding. It may be a cute technological gimmick, but does nothing to prove how qualified (or potentially stoked) these interns are to do the job at hand.