Natty Light is all about supporting its fans transition to adulthood by helping young LDA consumers solve the “adulting” issues keeping them up at night. Given the increasingly difficult job market and rising unemployment rate for recent college graduates, Natty wanted to give back to young LDAs with an incredible opportunity to build their resume and kickstart their careers. So in 2019, Natural Light launched the hugely successful Natural Light Summer Internship to give one lucky fan the chance to have their dream job: getting paid $40/hour to work for the Natty brand, taste test beer, and document their experience.
In 2020, due to COVID-19, many companies were facing furloughs and office closures, causing them to cancel their summer internship programs. Given how sought after and significant these internships are to building any young person’s resume, the prospect of losing these opportunities was crushing for young LDAs at the outset of their careers.
Therefore, underpinning this brief was the creation of a new internship program that could help alleviate the difficulties that the Natty community was currently facing. The challenge was not only to create a one-of-a-kind internship, but also to design a program that would help showcase the true potential of Natural Light drinkers. Additionally, considering that COVID-19 was changing the job market, Natty needed to create an all new internship in 2020 that spoke to the experiences, and larger employment concerns, of young LDAs.
Natural light re-introduced their famed internship at a time when finding a job was more difficult and stressful than ever. Bringing back its internship program with a twist, Natural Light decided to give the 2020 Natty Intern the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to develop Natural Light’s newest flavor innovation, all while working from the safety of their own home.
Unlike other internship programs, which sought out interns to perform menial tasks like paper-pushing and coffee runs, Natty wanted to champion the creative potential of its fan base through an internship that would test the limits of their imagination and their taste buds. In doing so, the 2020 Natural Light Internship Program gave one Natty-Qualified individual one of the most important jobs at the company, and epitomized the brand’s desire to help its consumer transition from college into adulthood.
So, to switch up the process in 2020 and tap into the true creative potential of its fans, Natty asked participants to submit their unique ideas for Natural Light’s next flavor innovation. In order to find a Natty-Qualified individual, applicants were required to post on social a visual of their concoction in the form of a photo, sketch or doodle. Knowing that internship experience is vital to the formative stage of any career, Natural Light created a program that emphasized innovation and creativity. In placing importance on two skills that truly matter to one’s long-term professional potential, Natural Light was able to showcase its belief in the talent that exists within its own fan base.
Leveraging the critical insight that internships were being canceled due to COVID-19, Natural Light developed an internship program that was not only extremely relevant, but was also able to drive mass media coverage. Natty targeted key outlets, including lifestyle, national, food and other titles, relevant to their core demo to ensure that the maximum number of people would have the opportunity to apply for the internship. Natural Light offered media interviews with a brand spokesperson in order to reinforce the program and illustrate the brand’s key pillar of always supporting its fans as they transition from college into adult life. In doing so, the brand was able to use the media to speak directly to its consumers about the problems they were facing and place their internship within the larger narrative of the current situation, specifically as it related to young, legal drinking Americans. Natty was able to position itself as a brand that not only understands the struggles and needs of its consumers, but also strives to help them with those very difficulties.
After pitching across key media verticals, the 2020 Natty Internship program garnered a total of 157 stories and 498M monthly impressions, with 100% of its coverage being positive in sentiment. Through the coverage that the program received, Natty was able to communicate the brand’s commitment to helping recent grads master “adulting” directly to its fans. Additionally, through its ability to gain such reach through editorial and social channels, the Natty Light 2020 Internship saw almost 7,000 applicants. The success of the program is also supported by the fact that it sparked coverage in entirely new titles for Natty, such as Travel + Leisure. The coverage that the program received is reflective of both the strength of Natural Light’s insight and ingenuity of the internship concept.
The success of this year’s Natty Light internship program stemed from its ability to give back to the core consumer and help them face a timely problem. For young legal drinking age Americans, internships play a key role as a jumping pad into a successful career. However, with COVID-19 impacting the economy, many businesses cancelled their internship programs, depleting opportunities for the young workforce. Natural Light immediately stepped in and their program showed a genuine effort to better the experience of its consumers. In this way, the 2020 Natty Internship stands as evidence of Natty’s continued effort to support its fans’ transition from college into adult life.
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