The Google job experiment

Wanting a change to a creative advertising firm, which is often a highly competitive process, 28-year-old copywriter Alec Brownstein showed social media and marketing “experts” how to really leverage the power of the Internet along with some good old fashion psychology. While researching his favorite creative directors on Google, Brownstein noticed that there was no sponsored ad links (which appear at the top of the search results) attached to their names. If these directors were like the rest of us narcissists, he assumed they Googled themselves.

“Everybody Googles themselves,” Brownstein explained. “Even if they don’t admit it. I wanted to invade that secret, egotistical moment when [the creative directors I admired] were most vulnerable.”

Since Brownstein was the only person bidding on the names of the five creative directors he most admired, he was able to get the top search spots for a mere 15 cents per click. Whenever someone ran a search for one of the creative directors’ names, the following message appeared at the top of the page: “Hey, [creative director's name]: Goooogling [sic] yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too” with a link to Brownstein’s website,

It worked. As a result, he received inquiries from all but one of the agencies and eventually landed a job with Ian Reichenthal of Young & Rubicam New York. His entire hyper-targeted campaign cost him just $6, and won him “awards in the self-promotion category at two major advertising awards shows, The One Show and The Clios.” Fittingly, this story has gone viral.