Google has a leading part in the brand-new comedy movie "The Internship" and that starring role could help the search giant bring in many excited, enthusiastic and well-qualified prospects to its own corporate internship program in the future.
So far, the film, starring actors Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, is already helping build excitement among prospective interns who are seeing what happens inside Google through the film and applying for their own internships there, according to a June 1 report in the Los Angeles Times.
"As soon as the credits rolled on 'The Internship,' Rachel Kang, a 20-year-old University of California Berkeley sophomore from Torrance, [Calif.,] headed straight back to her apartment to Google jobs at Google Inc.," the story reported.
"I have always loved Google. I think everyone does," Kang told the paper after seeing a sneak preview of the film. "The movie just cemented my appreciation even more. I do think a lot of people will be even more drawn to the company than they are now."
In the film, Vaughn and Wilson play "middle-aged watch salesmen who, finding themselves suddenly obsolete in the digital age, crash Google and with a bit of old-school charm and hustle, triumph over a group of 20-year-old summer interns to land full-time jobs there," accord to the Times story.
Of course, Google's internship program has been admired by thousands of eager applicants each year because they pay well, offer good fringe benefits, and when completed, look awfully good on resumes of graduating students. Google also runs other programs for finding new talent, including its Summer of Code program.
Google's involvement in the film, which is set for release June 7 in the United States, apparently came about after Vaughn read an article about Google culture and got an idea to make a film about the company and its intern program. Vaughn contacted Lorraine Twohill, Google's vice president of global marketing, and shared his idea, including how he wanted to film parts of the movie at the company's campus and include many of the features of the internal culture of Google in the production.
The idea was accepted by Google and film production got under way for about one week in mid-2012 at Google's Mountain View, Calif., campus.
Google highlights that made it into the film include its legendary snack supplies, its "nap pods" for resting and on-campus beach volleyball games, all of which portray how much fun it can be to work at Google.
Of course, not all elements of the film are true to life. The film turns the internship program into a virtual head-to-head competition for the jobs, while in reality, Google's 1,500 interns this summer (out of a pool of some 40,000 applicants) were hired based on their applications and interviews.
Google's internship program is actually the company's number one source for new hires made each year.
Several experts who work to help companies and interns find each other said that the new Vince Vaughn film will likely be golden for Google.
"I've certainly sent out a few tweets about the [upcoming] film," Marc Scoleri, the CEO of CreativeInterns.com, told eWEEK. "Obviously there's been product placement in movies for as long as I can remember, but to get your whole brand in like this, that's something I've never seen before. Google is certainly going to increase its exposure to that crowd. And for the interns, we all know that putting a company name like Google on your resume after an internship is going to increase your personal brand exposure."
The Google placement is also a boon for Vaughn's film, said Scoleri. "Independent film makers not only need location, but they also need a place where they can get visibility. Getting Google in your movie is a big deal, compared to other companies."
Certainly, Google is well-known enough that the company didn't need to participate in the film, said Scoleri, but "they are taking advantage of a great opportunity. What makes Google's internship program so good is that they pay everyone and offer competitive salaries. When you put that out there, of course, you get a ton of people to apply. This movie will open the eyes of the younger generation so they can see what opportunities are out there."
Dreama Lee, president of InternProfits.com, told eWEEK that whenever a company can get its name into the media in a positive way, it is good news. "Free publicity, who wouldn't want that?"
In the end, of course, the move will really depend on how Google is portrayed in "The Internship," said Lee. "As far as being able to recruit more interns, it's still to be seen how the movie goes."