“Call my daddy”: Sweetheart of Jackson Mortgage shares special bond with her father’s business
by Sherry Kughn
Special to The Star
Jun 15, 2013 | 2953 views |  0 comments | 77 77 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Larry Jackson and his 15-year-old daughter, Kelsey, look over ads from past years at Jackson Mortgage in Anniston. Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star
Larry Jackson and his 15-year-old daughter, Kelsey, look over ads from past years at Jackson Mortgage in Anniston. Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star
You may have never met Kelsey Jackson, but you’ve probably watched her grow up. The 15-year-old is the “Call my daddy” girl of Jackson Mortgage Company, and photos of her have been standing tall on billboards across Anniston since she was a baby.

It was Kelsey’s mother, Karen, who had the idea to feature the baby in ads for “daddy” Larry Jackson’s business. The ads started when Kelsey was just 1 week old, and new ones have appeared several times each year. The ad campaign, which includes the phrase, “If you need a home loan, call my daddy,” has been a success.

“We kept it simple, and it’s branded now,” Larry said. “We can’t change it.”

The phrase started about the time Kelsey was 2 and was crawling around on her father’s desk and chair.

“We would tell her, ‘Say “Call my daddy,”’ and the phrase stuck,” said Karen.

Later, when Kelsey was older and was recording ads for television and radio, she added her own words before the plea — “And you remember … ”

Throughout the years, several customers have heeded her advice.

“Many times when I have answered the telephone,” said Larry, “a customer would ask if this was the company with the little girl’s picture on the ads.”

Kelsey’s photographs have appeared in about 80 ads in various types of media. She once appeared in a magazine honoring the heroes of 9/11 with her head bowed in prayer. She has been photographed dressed for the holidays — pink for Valentine’s Day, red for Christmastime. And for ads running around football season, Kelsey has sometimes worn a cheerleading outfit.

She has appeared in ads with her father and with her two older stepbrothers, Michael and Blake, — whom she refers to just as her brothers — but never with her mother.

“I am not photogenic,” Karen said.

Larry shook his head. “I’ve tried,” he said, “but she won’t do it.”

Kelsey, on the other hand, said she has enjoyed being in the spotlight.

“I am outgoing like him, and loud,” she said with a laugh.

But will she follow in her father’s footsteps, helping residents of Calhoun County find homes?

“I haven’t decided what I want to do, not even where I want to go to college,” she said, “but it’s being considered.”

She’s looking forward to Father’s Day, and said she and her mother have already picked out their gift. The family will attend church together and eat out for Larry’s special day.

And daddy’s always there when she needs help, like recently when she was driving on the interstate for the first time. She said she was tense about the speed, because it was the fastest she had ever driven, but her father just told her to relax, turned up the radio a little and pretended to dance, which helped calm her nerves.

“Some people will come up to me and ask if I am the girl on a sign or on a poster,” said Kelsey. “It makes me feel good to know I am doing this for my daddy.

Email Sherry at sherrykug@hotmail.com.

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