JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA // After years as a writer and creative director in Dallas, Chicago and Seattle, what is Mary’s first word of advice to clients? Beware the sea of sameness. You know, those all-too-common, forgettable “me too” ideas that fail to capture people’s attention. Much less their hearts, minds and wallets.
She is a firm believer in the power of simple emotional connections—be it laughter, empathy, wit or even heartstrings. The true test, she says, comes in understanding which emotion will best resonate with a brand. And delivering on that connection in an authentic, respectful way. She knows it’s not always the easy answer. But it is the answer for brands that want to truly strand out.
Like DiGiorno Pizza. Under Mary’s creative watch at FCB Chicago, DiGiorno passed the coveted billion-dollar sales mark. And the Tabasco® Brand Jalapeño Sauce launch she worked on at DDB Dallas was so successful, the work had to be pulled due to a global jalapeño mash shortage.
Creatively, Mary’s work has been honored by Cannes, The One Show, Clio, D&AD, ADDYs and Effie. She has been featured in Communication Arts, ARCHIVE, Print, Best Spots, Creativity Pick of the Day, Adweek Creative All-Stars and The Wall Street Journal.
Her work for Group Health Cooperative (a Northwest closed health care system) was lauded in The Seattle Times two years in a row as one of Seattle’s favorite advertising campaigns by popular vote and was selected for D&AD. Recently, her work for The Polyclinic health care network shortlisted in Communication Arts and received a gold Healthcare Ad award as well as an Obie award for outdoor effectiveness.
Mary is often asked to speak at industry events and has served on several prestigious juries including The One Show, Communication Arts, Effie, The Pele Awards and the National ADDYs.
She lives on an island in the Puget Sound with her husband, two children (one of each), four dogs and somewhere around nine chickens.