Lois Wyse knew how to turn a bad name into a great ad campaign.
Her slogan for the J.M. Smucker jam company--"With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good"--became a catchphrase and transformed a tiny Ohio business into an international brand. The slogan even inspired a memorable Saturday Night Live sketch.
Lois Wyse died Friday at age 80 in her Manhattan home. With her first husband, Marc Wyse, she had founded Wyse Advertising in Cleveland in 1951, and served as the company's creative director. She opened the agency's New York office in 1966, becoming one of very few female top executives in advertising.
The Smucker's website makes no mention of her contribution.
Wyse's naming acumen was at least partly responsible for another marketing coup. She suggested that a small retail chain called Bed and Bath change its name to Bed Bath & Beyond. Today the company operates more than 500 stores and has 34,000 employees.
Wyse's other clients included American Express, Revlon, and Carl Stokes, the first black mayor of a large American city. She and Marc Wyse sold Wyse Advertising to four longtime employees in January of this year.
A prolific writer of more than 60 books, a magazine column, and the lyrics for a musical revue, Wyse once said, "Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths." She also said, “The only people in the world who can change things are those who can sell ideas.”