onewild thought

A collection of our views, rants and thoughts on design, branding, communication, and any other thing we find interesting.

Caroline R. Jones

#OneWildWoman: Caroline Robinson Jones

I do what I have to do to get the job done”

Caroline R. Jones, stereotype smasher, out-of-the-box thinker and way-maker.

 

Who says that? A person who has no qualms getting in the grind, busting ass for as long as it takes to get the goal in the net. A person like Caroline Jones.

You see, that time when all about advertising was headed in a direction just like a herd of sheep, Caroline was the lone wolf that took a different path veering into minority advertising and as result helped diversify the industry. We are talking about centuries ago (in advertising years) when women were still seen as back-end players.

Of course, it wasn’t a cakewalk for her. It took a lot of persistence and guts for her to first get started as a copywriter at J. Walter Thompson, the global frontrunners in advertising at the time. In the blink of few weeks, she was promoted to the position of a creative director. In case you do not realize the import of this, it means she’s damn good.

Hey copywriters, how many copies do you have to write before one gets approved?

Down the line, she helped found a number of agencies like Mingo-Jones and Caroline Jones Advertising. The quality of your clients say something about you right? Well, this ceiling-smasher had an impressive client list that consists of American Express, National Urban League, Toys ‘R’ Us, KFC, Mc Donald’s and others. And why did they seek her services? For one, she was able to create a fresh perspective on the brands, changing the way Americans viewed them. And two, she was the doorway brands pass when they want to delve into minority advertising.   

Sadly, she died young at the age of 59. In the world of advertising history, she’s a legend. In Naija-speak, she has two heads.  

#BallBusters Series: Helen Landsdowne Resor

 

When it comes to raking in firsts, Helen is a boss. As the first female copywriter, she blazed a path wide enough for those coming behind. You know that time when women were not allowed to vote? Her copy writing career started then. Must have been hell of a fight getting her thoughts heard right? I imagine she must have been regarded (at first) at work with as much affection as you have for a stack of bills. But looking at her profile today, she did a hell of a great job getting her self out there. So great in fact that AdAge has her as #14 on the list of 100 advertising people of the 20th century.

Helen was one of those bold enough to introduce sexual themes in magazine ads in those days. In case you have no idea, the “hot look” of then is the “modest look” now. A man, then, could get an apoplexy from glimpsing a lady’s shank.

Helen Landsdowne Resor

Apart from this she introduced the use of celebrities in adverts, leveraging on the reach of their audience to the advantage of the brands she advertised for. Power of testimonials was also one of her innovative styles that she used in getting the interest of target audiences. Because of these, she was crowned master of conversion writing.

Her copy writing game is off the scale, pushing boundaries and grinding accepted rules to dust. As long as the copy is believable and not fairy tale spun string of words, she’s for it. Simply put, she’s a “copy bender”, one of her kind.

Remember the Mad Men era? Good. There were the Mad Women and Helen is a lead of the pack. She kick-started agency initiatives that supported women, growing to wield huge creative influence at the time.

Currently, she has an international scholarship in her name. If that’s not a testament for you that this ball buster is a legend, you can read this article again.