Boeing Frontiers
November 2003
Volume 02, Issue 07
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
New and Notable

The stars come out

The stars come out

Recruiting ad featuring Hedy Lamarr creates 'buzz't


Above: A Boeing recruiting ad showing legendary actress Hedy Lamarr has generated interest inside and outside the company. Lamarr helped develop a breakthrough torpedo guidance system.
A Boeing recruitment advertisement featuring World War II-era Hollywood starlet Hedy Lamarr has stirred considerable interest inside and outside Boeing since its debut in late August.

The advertisement, the second phase of the "Don't Let History Happen Without You" campaign, focuses on the fact that the actress was also the co-inventor of a frequency-switching system for torpedo guidance. The ad features a young, sultry Lamarr, nicknamed "the most beautiful woman in films," against a background image of a current satellite antenna, with the title "A moment of insight that helped secure the future."

The campaign is part of a broader effort by Shared Services' Global Staffing organization to attract candidates for approximately 5,000 highly specialized job openings, most of which are in the engineering, science and information technology fields, with many requiring security clearances. In addition to newspapers and trade journals around the country, the advertisement also serves as the centerpiece of, a Web site designed specifically for the campaign.

The campaign made its debut in June featuring Robert Goddard, the inventor of the liquid-fueled rocket. It really blasted off, however, when Lamarr's image replaced Goddard's in late August. The Web site received 149 visits per day during the first three weeks of August, but jumped to 385 per day after Lamarr's introduction. Promotions throughout the month of September pushed average daily visits to 623 for the month.

Boeing employees also have been enthralled. "What an excellent way to show the importance of diversity in the workplace," wrote Jeff Ahrens, an Industrial Participation employee for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in St. Louis. "You've done a great job in helping parents show their daughters to strive to achieve great things."

"It's been great to see the positive reaction to this campaign," said Patty O'Connor Lauritzen of JWT Specialized Communications, the agency Boeing uses for certain recruitment.

The first of Lamarr's six husbands started manufacturing military airplanes in the mid-1930s, and, according to the Inventors Assistance League Web site, she "clearly learned things from him, because she and her co-inventor, George Antheil, later went on to invent the torpedo guidance system that was two decades before its time."

"Frequency hopping" is the current term used for the Lamarr-Antheil patent on a frequency-switching system for torpedo guidance. The Lamarr-Antheil method, similar to player-piano rolls, allows frequencies to be changed randomly and codified. While it remains the basis of the field, satellites are involved in creating these secure signals today.


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