Mother New York wants to give prospective interns and possible future full-time employees, a sense of what it's like to work at the ad agency's New York office. Instead of giving students a "taste" of what the office is like, Mother is giving a few lucky college campuses a whiff of Mother with small sniffing stations.
The agency tasked a group of chemists—a few Mother employees working in the basement of the agency—with capturing the scent of the agency into a single candle. Creatives Dan Smith and Brian Naujelis ordered roughly 50 scents online and worked tirelessly coming up with a scent that perfectly captured the agency. The duo created 15 possible final products before the team finally picked a finalist. "We had a mix of all these weird things like coffee and beer. Some really bad musk went in there as well," Smith told Adweek.
After perfecting the scent, Mother made six small replicas of its office building and sent them to campuses where the agency has built strong relationships or where it has found great talent in the past. VCU Brandcenter, Atlanta's Creative Circus, University of Oregon, Howard University, The University of Texas at Austin and Temple University all got a sniffing station, candle included. The models come partially assembled, "Ikea style" as Mother creative and founder Paul Malmstrom describes.
In 2015, the agency created a wild meat-themed recruitment video to show off the agency's personality. Once everything is set up at the schools, this year's goal is to not only show off the internship program, but also give students a small taste of what life at Mother is like.
"The idea this year is really for them to take on real junior roles, to become a real employee and get a taste of what it's like to be on the ground as a soldier with us and be in that Mother reality to move the project forward," Mother New York strategist Jasmine Clark said.
Those who weren't fortunate enough to get a whiff station delivered to their campus won't miss out entirely. On the agency's website, awhiffofmother.com, there's an option for students to receive "an auditory whiff" of the agency. It's essentially a man deeply inhaling, set to meditation music and a dream-like voiceover describing some of the things you might smell inside the office, from day old coffee to your art director's cologne.
"When you come here this summer, you will get a true whiff of what it's like to work here. At the end of the day this is pre-whiff of a whiff you will get at Mother when you work here," Malmstrom said of the project.