"Oh the disadvantages of the new Benson and Hedges 100s!"
My name is Annye Wong. I live in New York and attend the Parsons School of Design.
I am a senior and major in Communication Design, concentrating in Advertising. I currently have dual internships at an advertising agency and broadcast design company, though I'm not sure I may mention their names.
My senior thesis will focus on TV Commercials and Ad campaigns. I believe an honest voice will always sell. I believe it's the "truth in advertising" that makes people remember the brand and the message you attempt to spread. I think Advertising is in the air we breathe. The ironic thing is that we too often do not realize that we are breathing in that air. My dream is to be part of what enables us to breathe in that air deeply and help produce an interesting environment to make that happen.
Ms. Wells Lawrence did that. Her work has greatly influenced my life and my desire to pursue advertising design as a career. Below is a passionate letter to Mary Wells Lawrence. Would you please post it on your website in the hopes that it may reach her?
Dear Ms. Wells Lawrence,
I love advertising. As I read your book, with every turning page, my passion for advertising burnt within me. Your words sustained me and keep me going today. I want to let you know how much of an inspiration you are to me. I thank Divine Providence for a mentor and role model like you.
Within the pages of your book, its obvious that your drive to move forward never held you back from taking risks, from being creative, from anything you felt ought to be done. I am venturing into the world of advertising. I am confronted with the reality that I feel as if the world ofo Madison Avenue fails to impress me. Then I begin to think about you and hurdles you were faced with.
I've wondered why someone I never met in my life has had such an impact on me and in everything I do. I chuckled on the part about your parents. They seem a lot like my parents. "They just simply don't talk" Also, the part about your life after college was my favorite because you began to learn about yourself and what you wanted and loved.
This is what I am experiencing right now. I've begun to realize who I am and in what ways I can apply myself, my discerning self, to advertising.
I am also inspired by Bill Bernbach. I believe in his philosophy and that's what I follow throughout my works. However, it's your definition of advertising that strikes me the most. I love your meaning of advertising.
"Advertising is .... you enlarge that person's life through his or her imagination."
I had to read the sentence a couple of times to fully conceive its meaning. Ironcially I see somewhat of a relationship to meditation and spiritual renewal; the promise a find a better world of tomorrow by making of the world of today meaningful. It's through the believers, or consumers' imagination, that their lives can be more meaningful.
Your continuous drive to success has fueled my DRIVE to work hard and climb the ladder. I realize that "it's not advertising that drives you; you drive advertising.: I must tell you I love your Benson & Hedges 100's cigarette TV commercial. You were right. McCann Erickson found you for a reason. The TV Commercial needed you at the time.
Annye Wong, Designer
Obviously, we were thrilled to receive Ms. Wong's email. We share her respect for Mary, which precipitated our publishing of an article when her book was published, Here it is for those who missed it: An Open Letter To Mary Wells Lawrence - A Sentimental Look Back)