Mother’s Creepy Call for U.S. Interns Is the Stuff of Nightmares. Apply at Your Own Risk

Will it lure the right candidate into the agency's clutches?

The storybook styling of the intern application is especially unnerving. Mother USA
Headshot of David Griner

“There, there, come to Mother.”

That expression is generally going to sound creepy in 2018, but agency Mother USA is going full freaky with it in its new internship pitch. Today, the U.S. division of the London-based agency network unveiled its new call for interns, and the landing site,, is far from your usual recruitment fare.

The site centers on an unnerving fairy tale about a “mother” who summons children from the swamps around her cottage, then puts them through a series of harrowing and haunting ordeals. Which, you know, all sounds pretty accurate for an ad agency internship.

“We see this as an opportunity to announce to students that we have a robust internship program,as well as give them a sense of our personality here at Mother,” says Mother co-founder and partner Paul Malmstrom​. “This year we created a dark and brutal tale about a mother who needs to lure new babies into her den.”

This isn’t Mother’s first outing in the disturbing recruitment niche. Back in 2015, it made a surreal video about recruiting (and wearing) “fresh meat.”

“Over the years, we’ve created somewhat strange campaigns to get students to know about our program,” Malmstrom says. “Luckily, no one who’s taken our messages literally has ended up here.”

Agency: Mother New York
Title: “There There, Come To Mother”
Illustrations: Ping Zhu

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@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."