The 13th Floor

This Ad Agency’s Latest Call for Interns is Creepy as Hell

Advertising agency Mother USA has just launched a freaky new campaign in search of potential interns… and if a summer internship with advertising execs weren’t a horrifying enough prospect, they’ve managed to weed out all but the bravest applicants with their latest approach.

Just the URL of the new landing page,, is enough cause for a case of the creeps… but that’s only the beginning.

Image Credit: Mother USA

AdWeek shared the site’s info and a promotional video, in which the company (whose clients include Target, Stella Artois and Sour Patch Kids) is depicted as a mysterious matriarch who “summons children from the swamps around her cottage, then puts them through a series of harrowing and haunting ordeals.”

Mother’s co-founder Paul Malmstrom told AdWeek the strategy behind the campaign is to give potential recruits “a sense of our personality here” by creating what he describes as “a dark and brutal tale.”

“Dark and brutal” is a pretty accurate description of the advertising world, so the approach is strangely fitting. But it’s still freaking people out.

“Only the babies who prove themselves worthy can learn at Mother’s knee,” the landing page announces. “She’s wicked and wonderful, friendly and fearsome, and this summer she’s ready to eat.”

The page also features a companion video, with dark fairytale illustrations by artist Ping Zhu, as part of a book titled There There, Come to Mother:

The application form is just as spooky as the promo video, asking entrants questions like “What must baby do when Mother offers the buttery spoon?” or “What will baby do when left alone in the mire?” It’s also accompanied by similar artwork.

This isn’t the first time the agency has taken the dark path: they created a similarly nightmarish promo video in 2015, in which they announced they were seeking “fresh meat”… and the imagery suggests they’re not being metaphorical.

Image Credit: Mother USA

“Luckily, no one who’s taken our messages literally has ended up here,” Malmstrom said. Still, you know what they say about truth in advertising…