Smith Woillensky Ad

Dear XXX, If They Won’t Hire You, We Will

The big print in the full page New York Times ad begins, “Are you the author of this cover letter? Well, whoever you are, we like the cut of your jib. Clearly you are a straight shooter with a refined taste in steakhouses….”

Striking just the right balance of irreverence, the piece goes on to say, “Sure, Goldman can teach you how to properly evaluate a company but can they teach you how to properly age a sirloin? Lazard might know a thing or two about capital markets but when it comes to creamed spinach, they may as well be Lehman Brothers. Do we even have to ask what Morgan Stanley’s compliance division woul do when faced with quartering a freshJersey steer carcass?”

The piece centers on a highly redacted cover letter that appears at the top of the page. Every inch of the ad is designed to get you read the cover letter and then, if you qualify, to spend time as an intern at Smith & Wollensky (one of New York’s great steakhouses).

It’s an amazing piece of job specific employment branding. Knowing that they must compete with the big financial houdses for talent, Smith & Wollensky took the bull by the horns, so to speak. The piece is simple proof that winning the battle depends on smart tactics, not size or market dominance. Smith & Wollensky won’t have trouble filling their intern slots this summer.

Great employment branding is job and market specific: acknowldedges the company’s realities (in size and reputation); understands the supply and demand variables and maximizes share of voice.

Here’s the presentation we’ve been giving on the mechanics of data driven employment branding. This Smith and Wollensky ad is a textbook example.


 

 

 
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