ADVENTURES OF AN ADVERTISING WOMAN by Jane Maas

ADVENTURES OF AN ADVERTISING WOMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Like any good ""liberal English major type"" Maas first ""sneered"" at a career in advertising. After a Fulbright scholarship, a year in Paris and at Cornell University, Maas' first choice for a career was in the theater, the second in journalism. Attributing a lot of her advertising expertise to David Ogilvy, Maas also cites her experience working on ""Name that Tune"" for her success in the field. ""My experience with contestants gave me a grass-roots feeling for how Americans talk, and even more important, how they respond emotionally. I have drawn on this knowledge for the rest of my career."" Her career started in the 1950's and eventually brought her to the presidency of Muller Jordan Weiss. Her cheerleader/superwoman personality, she says, enabled her to have a loving husband and two kids through it all. After having her second child, she recounts how she walked from the hospital, handed the baby to a nurse, and went back to work. Ironically, for all Maas' progress in a male-dominated industry, the National Organization for Women gave her their ""Most Offensive Commercial of the Year"" award for showing women at the kitchen sink. Maas was the woman behind all those Dove commercials and coffee ads where the wife was responsible for making her husband want a second cup. ""Our target audience for Dove Liquid was women with dry hands. The benefit: Dove would make hands soft and smooth. The support: a mixture of protective ingredients never before found in a dishwashing liquid."" As for the coffee excuse: ""All of us at the agency and the client knew from our mountains of research that the best strategy for any coffee in a jar is a promise of fresh-perked flavor. Another important element. Men had negative veto power over coffee purchase."" This strategic thinking made Maas the brains behind many a successful campaign. She was also the one behind the ""I Love New York strategy."" Maas here describes her routines, habits and tips for having a career, and any self-respecting yuppie will eat it up. For example, her morning routine: some jogging, a shower, a car waiting outside, try not to get to office before 7:30 a.m. and meet husband at 21 for dinner. Although Maas' tone much resembles that of an overbearing cheerleader, she sprinkles her story with juicy details, and does an inordinant amount of name dropping. Her ability to grasp ""how Americans talk, and even more important how they respond emotionally,"" will keep most readers--ad types or no--interested here. She seems to know the territory.

Pub Date: Feb. 3rd, 1985
Publisher: St. Martin's