Why Havas Chicago’s Summer Interns Are Camping in the Agency’s Lobby This Week

Fishing, s'mores and lemonade for all

Why bother asking your interns to drop off dry cleaning and pick up coffee for the team when they could be making a real effort to help your agency? Havas Worldwide Chicago has had that mentality for the past few years, giving summer interns an opportunity to complete tasks that are a little out of the ordinary and have a greater impact on the agency and community overall.

For four days and three nights, from July 5-8, nine of the agency's 23 summer interns will participate in an indoor camping adventure—Havas Camp—with three interns per day slotted to complete eight-hour shifts, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m.

They won't be out in the woods though, but instead located in the Havas lobby making arts and crafts or fishing in a fake stream. The agency's office is located in downtown Chicago (at 36 E Grand Avenue in case you're interested in checking it out) and the lobby sits on one of the busiest corners of the city. The lobby walls are also made of glass, the perfect scenario for people wandering by the space to take a peek inside. A group of interns will also be stationed outside encouraging people to stop in, buy some lemonade or popsicles and donate some money to a good cause.

The stunt is designed to raise money for Off The Street Club, a Chicago-based non-profit aimed at helping keep kids safe and off of the streets. Money raised will help send kids to camps so the agency thought asking a few interns to do their own camping adventure would be the perfect way to raise the money.

"We raised close to $20,000 for Giuliana Rancic's Pink Agenda last October by having an installation in our lobby that was powered by social media. We hope to have a similar impact for OTSC," Havas Worldwide Chicago CEO Paul Marobella said.

Outside of simply raising money for a good cause, the stunt is designed to teach the participating interns about the importance of giving back to the community. It's also meant to show the young creatives that their ideas and work can be used for good. "We hope they learn the power of meaningful work and using their creative superpowers for good. That creativity is the most powerful weapon to wield and the opportunities afforded to them could also be opened up to kids that don't have a beacon of light, yet," Marobella added. 

Last summer the agency created a similar project for its interns, lending out the team to local businesses or just anyone in need of an extra set of hands.

"Social media is always at the core of our efforts so that people must share a thought, an idea or comment in order to activate a donation. The #gimmieanintern idea was more about helping those businesses in our area that may not have access to a global ad agency while this is about putting our weight behind a community cause the agency believes in," Marobella added. 

Take a look at the portraits featuring interns in their special camping gear.