Jagermeister Creates Pop-Up Ad Agencies to Give Recent College Grads a Taste of the Industry

Mentorship programs develop events for the brand

What's the best way for a brand geared toward twentysomethings to develop marketing campaigns tailored to that audience? Hire and mentor them.

In April, Jagermeister launched Concept 56, a six-month program for recent college grads in Nashville and Detroit. The brand built temporary ad agencies where participants can get real world paid experience by working on Jagermeister's marketing campaigns and events in each city. The name's meaning is twofold: It comes from the 56 ingredients that Jagermeister is made of, and the fact that each agency's five participants work together for six months.

The participants, who range in age from 21 to 27, are paired with local mentors, including interior designer Kate Mills and skateboard designer Will Anderson, who guide them through different aspects of marketing and professional growth. The students have planned and executed events and marketing initiatives for Jager, such as cocktail competitions featuring local mixologists, which tie the brand to local artists, musicians and restaurants.

"The brand acts as a support system for young talent to have the opportunity to do something they've always wanted to do, but weren't able to," said Marcus Thieme, Jagermeister's CMO. "It's a great way for us to have people interact with the brand without giant blinking Jagermeister signs all over the place, and to create authentic executions that fit with these cities."

Added Tom Melchior, director of Concept 56's Nashville program, "They come out of the program with incredible things on their resume. We're helping them develop professionally in a way that a lot of recent college grads don't get."

Concept 56's final project is a Jagermeister event in Nashville in October. For the event, participants build out media and marketing plans, and were flown to New York to make their pitch and secure a budget from the brand's executives.

"The level of detail they went into was impressive. When I compare this to when I was 25, I was totally useless," Thieme said.

"One of this project's most valuable experiences is meeting other creatives," said Jesse Samler, participant in the Nashville program. "It's always nice to meet other people who may have a screw loose, but have their shit together. It's inspiring. Concept56 will help me build my career in ways that I don't quite know yet … but what I do know is that this project is making me hungry to create. That's foundation enough."