Few women have achieved "household-name" status in the advertising world. These women are the exception. Find out how they got started in the business, what stumbling blocks they encountered on the way up, and what advice they offer young creatives about reaching their full potential.
Susan Credle, CCO, Leo Burnett
Joyce King Thomas, President, CCO of McCann XBC
Vida Cornelius, Chief Creative Officer, GlobalHue
Moderator: Barbara Lippert, Editor-at-Large, MediaPost
"If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem," is the guiding principle that has propelled Vida Cornelious throughout her 18-year creative career.
Never one to shy from a challenge, her first ad campaign win, called "Freestyle," was an exponential success and enabled the Sprite brand to be one of the first to authentically connect to hip hop culture and become the soft drink of choice among its influential audience.
And she is still finding solutions today.
Currently, Cornelious is Chief Creative Officer at GlobalHue. Just three months into her tenure with the agency, her pivotal AOR win of the U.S. Jeep business jumpstarted the creative evolution of the veteran multicultural shop. The agency has been an integral part of the brand’s success and has contributed to the Jeep brand lineup’s claim as the highest selling SUV in the country. Most recently, the Jeep brand placed fifth in the USA TODAY Ad Meter poll of the 2013 Super Bowl ads for the agency’s spot titled "Whole Again," a tribute to our nation’s troops that featured the voice of Oprah Winfrey. The spot has been regarded highly by ad critics and consumers, garnering more than 8 million YouTube views.
As a VP, Creative Director, Cornelious created award-winning work for DDB Chicago during her 10-year career with the legendary firm. She received accolades for her work with McDonald’s Corp, Bud Light, Kraft, JCPenney, State Farm and Dell Computer Corp, to which she gave talk value with the tag "Dude, You’re Getting a Dell," a line that became part of pop culture.
Her work has been recognized and awarded at Cannes, Chicago Creative Club, London International Awards, Effies, Summit International Awards, Addys and The D Show. She has garnered accolades for her creativity and for generating marketing results. Her career and work has been featured in noted media outlets: Advertising Age, AdWeek, Shoot and Diversity in Business. In 2008, she was honored as an ADCOLOR "Change Agent" award winner, one of AdAge’s "40 Women to Watch in Advertising of 2009," listed on Black Enterprise’s coveted "Top Minority Executives in Advertising and Marketing" in 2011, and as one of the magazine’s "Top Women Executives in Advertising and Marketing" in 2013.
Every agency says it wants "to do great creative," but for Chief Creative Officer Susan Credle, it’s the reason why that matters. "Great creative has to build helpful, meaningful brands for the long-term," she says. "That’s the sum of what we at Leo Burnett do, and what I’ve set out to do my entire career."
She came to Leo Burnett in the fall of 2009, after more than two decades at BBDO in which she rose from "bathroom-break girl" for the agency’s receptionists to EVP Executive Creative Director. There, Susan reinvented the iconic M&M’s characters; turned Cingular Wireless from a start-up into a leader brand; and created other consistently award-winning work for such clients as Bank of America, FedEx, Gillette, Lowe’s, PepsiCo, Pizza Hut and Visa.
Since joining Leo Burnett, Susan has spearheaded a creative renaissance at the agency through an eye for new top talent, a commitment to work that benefits brands and the world, and a vision for clients that always looks beyond a single campaign or ad.
Susan’s leadership, inspiration and in-the-trenches contributions have led to legacy-respecting yet forward-looking campaigns like McDonald’s Happy Meal "Happy Tales," Kellogg’s Special K "What Will You Gain When You Lose?" Secret’s "Mean Stinks" anti-bullying campaign and, one of the most beloved and awarded platform ideas, Allstate’s "Mayhem."
"I believe in purpose-driven brands and having pride in something in lasts," she says. "And, as we say here at Leo, that creativity can transform human behavior."
Susan serves on the Boards of the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Foundation for EXXcellence and the Creative Circus. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Media Council at the Paley Center for Media in New York, the Creative Review Board of the Ad Council and is a supporter of Marwen and One Million Degrees in Chicago.
Joyce King Thomas
Joyce King Thomas is President and Chief Creative Officer of McCannXBC (ExtraBoldCondensed), a new unit of McCann focused on leading all of MasterCard’s global marketing efforts, from advertising to digital and events.
Joyce is best known as the writer behind MasterCard's "Priceless" campaign, which runs in 100 countries and has been spoofed by everyone from Ralph Nader to Bart Simpson. During a 17-year tenure that saw her rise to Chief Creative Officer of McCann Erickson NY, the NY agency won over a billion dollars in new business from brands like the US Army, Verizon, Nikon and Weight Watchers. She led the creation of iconic ideas, such as the Staples Easy Button campaign,which went beyond an ad campaign to become Staples’ best -selling product.
During a two year hiatus from McCann, Joyce became a partner at Longreads, at twitter fueled social reading site that New York Magazine called “highbrow and brilliant.” She also joined the board of the Nurse Family Partnership, a group that teaches parenting skills to young mothers living in poverty.
Joyce has won numerous awards and served as a judge in the industry’s most prestigious award shows, including Cannes, the One Show and the Clios. She has spoken at numerous industry events, and was commencement speaker at the University of Missouri Journalism School, the renowned journalism school from which she graduated. In 2012, Advertising Age named Joyce one of the 100 most influential women in advertising.
Most importantly, along the way, she managed to raise two lovely sons.
Award-winning writer Barbara Lippert joined Mediapost in June as Editor-at-Large. In this new position, she continues Mad Blog, her close review of every episode of Mad Men, opening it up to cover the intersection of creativity and pop culture, reviewing ideas and work in all forms and on all platforms. Lippert was for many years the author of the Adweek Critique; as a media commentator, she has often appeared on the “CBS Early Show,” as well as “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Oprah,” and “Charlie Rose.” Her writing on women and the media has also appeared in the NY Times Arts and Leisure section, The Washington Post, Vogue, Glamour, and Self. Her cover story for New York Magazine, “I’m Martha and You’re Not,” was the first to position Martha Stewart as a living brand. Last year, she moved to San Francisco, and the agency side of the business, to become the Curator of Pop Culture for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Her return to New York City will allow for a return to journalism, and “fewer kayaking accidents,” she says.