Mother New York Asks Would-Be Employees to Smell Its Essence

By Erik Oster 

With the impending end of the spring semester next month, Mother New York decided to reach out to potential summer college interns by giving them not just a look at what working at the agency would be like but also providing “A Whiff of Mother.”

Mother New York creatives Dan Smith and Brian Naujelis worked tirelessly to find a smell that embodies the agency from combinations of 50 scents ordered online, creating 15 potential combinations before settling on a single finalist. Smith told Adweek: “We had a mix of all these weird things like coffee and beer. Some really bad musk went in there as well.”

The agency then sent out the smell in small, partially-assembled replicas of the agency’s building to campuses with which the agency either has a strong relationship with or has received good talent before, namely Howard University, VCU Brandcenter, The University of Texas at Austin, Atlanta’s Creative Circus, University of Oregon and Temple University. There’s also a website,, where interested students can hear “an auditory whiff” of the agency. 

“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,” said Mother New York strategist Jasmine Clark.

It’s not the first oddball intern recruitment stunt from Mother New York. Last summer, as you might recall, the agency recruited its batch of summer interns in part through its (bizarre) “Fresh Meat” video.AW_building1AW_scent2-1