Helen Lansdowne Resor was an advertising pioneer who helped shape the industry in the early 20th century. She was a creative force behind some of the most iconic ad campaigns of her time and an advocate for using advertising to empower women. Resor's work and legacy offer valuable lessons for anyone interested in advertising, marketing, and branding.
The Trailblazing Rise of Helen Lansdowne Resor in Advertising
In 1886, a young girl named Helen Lansdowne Resor was born in London, Ontario, Canada. Her family soon moved to the bustling metropolis of New York City, where Helen would grow up and attend school. With an adventurous spirit and an insatiable curiosity, she soaked up all the experiences and opportunities that the city had to offer.
After completing her education at the prestigious Columbia University in 1908, Helen was ready to take on the world. She found her calling in advertising and was hired as a copywriter at J. Walter Thompson (JWT), one of the most influential advertising agencies of the time.
With a sharp wit and a knack for creative thinking, Helen quickly rose through the ranks at JWT. In 1916, she shattered the glass ceiling by becoming the agency's first female vice president. But that was just the beginning of her groundbreaking achievements.
In 1917, Helen became the first woman to lead a major advertising campaign, launching her into the history books as a true advertising pioneer. Her exceptional talents and innovative ideas didn't go unnoticed, and she was soon tasked with establishing JWT's Chicago office. From 1922 to 1928, Helen served as the office's manager, leaving an indelible mark on the world of advertising.
Breaking the Mold: The Revolutionary Work of Helen Lansdowne Resor
Picture this: It's the early 1900s, and advertising is a man's game. But there's a woman who's about to change all that. Her name is Helen Lansdowne Resor, and she's about to launch a campaign that will revolutionize the industry. "A Skin You Love To Touch" is not just any campaign. It's a game-changer. For the first time, a soap company is targeting women directly, and it's working. How did Resor do it? By using emotional appeals that connect with women on a deeper level. She knew that women were the decision-makers when it came to household purchases, and she crafted her ads accordingly. But that's not all. Resor was also a master of using real-life stories and testimonials to sell products. She believed that building trust with customers was key to long-term success. And that's why her approach to advertising still resonates today. Because at the end of the day, it's not just about selling a product. It's about connecting with people on an emotional level, building trust, and creating a loyal customer base.
The Legacy of a Legend: What To Learn From Resor's Work
Helen Lansdowne Resor was a force to be reckoned with in the advertising industry, but her impact went far beyond creating unforgettable campaigns. Her unwavering dedication to women's rights and gender equality set her apart as a visionary leader. Resor was a mentor to many women in the industry, empowering them to shatter glass ceilings and advance their careers. But she didn't stop there. Resor used her influence to promote products and services that empowered women, inspiring advertisers to think beyond just making a sale and instead make a meaningful impact. Through her actions, Resor not only changed the face of advertising but also paved the way for a more equitable and just society.
Resor's work and legacy offer valuable lessons for anyone interested in advertising, marketing, and branding. Here are a few of them:
1. Know your audience
Resor was a master at knowing her audience and crafting messages that would really resonate with them. For example, she recognized that women in the early 1900s were the key decision-makers when it came to household purchases. To appeal directly to them, Resor created ads that spoke to their desires and insecurities. Her famous "A Skin You Love To Touch" campaign for Woodbury Soap targeted women who were concerned about their skin's appearance and used emotional appeals to convince them that using Woodbury Soap would give them the soft, beautiful skin they desired. By speaking directly to this specific audience, Resor created a groundbreaking and highly effective campaign. So, the next time you're creating an ad, remember Resor's targeting expertise and think about who your message is really meant for and what they want.
2. Connect emotionally
People buy emotions and justify through logic. Resor knew that advertising was not only about selling a product but also about making people feel good about it and building trust. This is still important today because people prefer to connect with brands they have an emotional connection to. So, it's not just about the product, it's about how it makes you feel and building a relationship with the brand over time.
3. Use real-life stories and testimonials
Have you ever felt skeptical about a product or service advertised to you? Advertising pioneer Helen Lansdowne Resor had the solution to this problem over 100 years ago - use real-life stories and endorsements from satisfied customers! By showcasing the experiences of everyday people, brands can build a connection with their audience and prove that their offerings are truly worth it. Resor's approach was groundbreaking then and it still essential today. So next time you're on the fence about a product, look for real-life testimonials and see for yourself why they're so effective.
4. Be a leader and advocate for change
Resor's unyielding advocacy for women's rights and unwavering commitment to gender equality in the workplace are a testament to her exceptional leadership skills and unwavering dedication to effecting positive change. As marketers and advertisers, we wield immense power to shape culture and society, and it is our moral responsibility to leverage that power towards advancing a more equitable and just world.
As we close the chapter on the life and legacy of Helen Lansdowne Resor, her pioneering spirit continues to resonate in the advertising industry and beyond. Her trailblazing campaigns and unwavering advocacy for women's rights have left an indelible mark on the field, and her legacy serves as a guiding light for modern-day marketers and advertisers. From knowing our audience and connecting emotionally to using real-life stories and being unapologetic advocates for positive change, Resor's powerful lessons are as relevant today as they were a century ago. Let us take up the mantle of her innovative approach and carry it forward into the future, fueled by the knowledge that advertising has the power to shape culture and society for the better.