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Women of Wongdoody Chapter 5: “I love good writing — it lights me up”

Meet Jennie Moore, CD/CW out of our Seattle office!

When did you realize this was your field?

I decided in 7th grade I wanted to go into advertising. I can’t tell you why, I just started announcing that to everyone who would listen. I just remember having a fascination with the quirky satire and skits. I used to act out ads and create spoof ads with friends, so maybe it started there?

Where does your passion come from?

I love good writing — it lights me up to craft something really well written (or to read something by someone else) that makes me feel a strong emotion. It’s a bit of a lost art, but long copy and radio are my two favorite mediums. I love the crazy/funny/quirky people I get to work with, I love how diving into new projects and accounts makes me learn about things I never would have otherwise. I love the creative process and presenting that work and seeing clients’ faces light up. I feel like we’re lucky to get paid well to do what we do, and that gratitude helps keep me passionate.

Have you had any mentors?

Yes! John Schofield (A WongDoody LEGEND) has been my biggest and most consistent mentor — he taught one of my first copywriting classes at SVC over 20 years ago. After a second class, he helped me get my first copywriting job and we’ve worked together most of the time ever since. He’s had a huge impact on my copywriting style and also taught me a lot about staying open to constructive criticism and not taking things personally. He’s the most talented, but also the most humble writer I know. And he’s got an amazing, inspiring perspective on life. I feel lucky to know him.

Tracy Wong has also been really influential, with me having worked for him for so many years. His guidance and support have been invaluable since I’ve become a creative director.

Is it important to have a mentor early in your career?

Absolutely! No matter where you are in your career, it’s good idea to have a mentor, even if you don’t get to interact with them directly. I think it’s important to always have people who inspire you, who you want to impress, and who you can draw from for inspiration, motivation, or a kick in the butt. We should never stop learning, and I think the purpose of a mentor is to impart wisdom and guidance.

I also find that as I get more years under my belt, those who inspire me aren’t always more experienced. I find a lot of inspiration from interns and juniors, in seeing how you’re navigating your way into the industry, and also how well you handle yourself in new situations. Anyone who’s a rising star has the potential to be a source of inspiration just as much as someone who’s done it all. If you can find people on both ends of the spectrum to consider friends and advisors, all the better.

Why advertising? Why should women get into advertising?

Because advertising is fun! And beyond that really shallow answer, because your voice is unique and wanted and necessary. Women are finally getting recognized for the power we hold. As women, we have a ton of leverage and that leverage is being noted and valued. People now see it as a benefit and an advantage to have women on the team, rather than viewing it as an obstacle. Not just because of purchasing power, but also because of the value a female perspective brings, as the need to do more socially conscious work grows.

Whether you’re a female creative, account person, planner, or producer — in every role we all have the chance to make the industry more open and accepting of women and other underrepresented groups. The more diverse the industry, the more diverse the work.

Do you feel pressured to mentor/ hire women?

I don’t feel pressure, but I do feel a responsibility to be both encouraging and supportive. And I’m probably more likely to coach a woman on things I feel might hold her back or things I was guilty of early in my career.

How would you describe “being a woman” in advertising?

Oh man. That’s a toughie! I have two answers — then and now.

When I started, I would say being a woman in advertising felt like a fun anomaly, as well as a challenge — and I love a good challenge! I was proud of what I achieved being somewhat of a minority in the industry.

Now, I see being a woman in advertising as both a benefit and a responsibility. It’s a benefit because my perspective is valuable and necessary, since women are now recognized as the major purchasers.

And with so many (yay!) women coming up through the ranks, I feel a responsibility to encourage, support and do work that inspires the next generation of female creatives.

What’s the biggest change you’re excited about?

I’m so happy to see our industry and our clients thinking beyond the bottom line, and taking on the social good as a necessary part of business. And not in a “let’s do this so we look good” way, but in a genuine effort to change things for the better. We’ve got the resources, the reach and the ideas, it only makes sense. And it helps balance out the inevitable days when yeah, you’re just supposed to help sell more stuff. ‘Cause that is our business.’

Things you never knew about Jennie Moore!

I briefly considered art direction.

I went to junior high and high school in Singapore.

My daughter and I show horses competitively.

I pretty much only eat salads for lunch.

Jennie’s tips for when you first start out.

Stay true to your perspective.

Dig in and don’t do too much self-editing in your head.