Against a backdrop in which the buying power of African-Americans continues to grow and digital media has increasingly become the medium of choice for consumers, BLACK ENTERPRISE unveils its first-ever roster of Top Executives in Marketing & Advertising in our February 2011 issue. Ranging from C-suite professionals to BE 100s leaders, these men and women promote the world’s most celebrated brands through initiative and innovation. They engage consumers using traditional mediums and social media, target influential multicultural segments and generate millions in revenues in the process. To give you an idea of the creativity and savvy of these high-powered professionals—our full list includes more than 100 execs—we have identified 12 with campaigns that demonstrate why they deserve to be among our best and brightest.
Using the “Responsibility” platform and positioning, Paul G. Alexander, Senior Vice President, Communications for Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. is the innovator that builds the brand of the nation’s fifth largest property and casualty insurer. To promote the company’s responsibility theme, Alexander went to one of the most iconic figures on the planet: Oprah Winfrey. Since April 2010, Liberty Mutual has been spreading the message ofOprah’s “No Phone Zone,” a campaign to end distracted driving habits that kill nearly 6,000 Americans a year.
GlobalHue Chairman Donald A. Coleman is the go-to man when companies want to reach the “total market,” representing various multicultural and generational segments. His strategy has paid off, placing his firm on the top spot of the BE ADVERTISING AGENCIES list with $483.5 million in billings. An example of Coleman & Co.’s prowess can be found in the the international Jeep campaign that promotes “life adventure.” The series of ads reveal a young, multicultural collection of rebels who provide testimonials that end with the bold declaration: “I live. I ride. I am.”
As National Media Manager for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Dionne Colvin leads her team to identify new platforms to reach legions of car buyers. She works with ad agencies to create out-of-the-box solutions and deliver campaigns stressing the automaker’s multicultural thrust. One example of her approach was making the 2009 Toyota Venza the official vehicle partner for the u.s. leg of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater‘s 50th anniversary global tour.
Frank Cooper, Senior Vice President & Chief Engagement Officer for PepsiCo, has been charged with initiatives to draw consumers across key operational areas for its Americas Beverages division, including digital, media, sports, multicultural and entertainment. The Harvard Law School grad and 2010 AdColor Legend Award recipient is always on the cutting edge, developing strategies using everything from online communities to video games. He has created the Pepsi Refresh Project to promote the soft drink maker as a change agent by raising money for environmental and cultural projects.
As VP & General Manager of Global Cosmetics Innovation, Branding & Operations for Procter & Gamble, Esi Eggleston Bracey is responsible for Cover Girl and Max Factor brands globally. Both represent more than $2 billion in retail sales. Making history as one of the company’s youngest GMs, she’s credited with signing entertainer Queen Latifah, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, and actress Drew Barrymore, all significant moves that contributed to Cover Girl being one of the nation’s fastest-growing brands.
As vice president of global marketing communications for Merck & Co., Charlotte McKines plays a big role in achieving the corporate goal of leveraging a consistent customer experience through multiple channels, including social media. Traveling the globe, she helps develop partnerships to enhance and engage the conversation around better choices in healthcare management and provide information on research and the development of products as varied as its NuvaRing contraception device and Nasonex allergy reliever.
As Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for the Portland Trail Blazers’ NBA franchise, Sarah Mensah handles communications one day and forecasting and pricing the next. Her primary goal, however, is to get fans into seats. How does she meet her game attendance goals? Through the creation of a series of campaigns promoting such stars as Roy Brandon, Marcus Camby and LaMarcus Aldridge while engaging potential ticket buyers year-round through the team’s Website and Facebook page.
On the job as eBay North America’s Chief Marketing Officer for only three months, Richelle Parham has laser-beam focus on her priorities. She’s developed a market plan to drive traffic to the world’s largest online marketplace, which generates 40% of revenues from auctions and 60% from “buy it now” products. The former head of global marketing innovation and initiatives for Visa wants eBay to be first stop for online shopping enthusiasts.
In creating tongue-wagging campaigns for brands like Nike and Snickers, Jimmy Smith earned his reputation for being a advertising dynamo who always keeps consumers and competitors buzzing. As Group Creative Director for TBWA/Chiat/Day, he is the creative force behind the“What is G?” commercial for Gatorade. The spot featured a voiceover from Lil Wayne and iconic sports figures such tennis phenom Serena Williams, basketball star Dwayne Wade and boxing legend Muhammad Ali—all of whom never mentioned the name of the brand in the 60-second commercial. Smith got a kick out creating this consumer mystery that quickly became a viral sensation.
Steve Stoute is the man that blue-chip companies call on when they want to connect with the young, urban demographic. The founder and CEO of Translation L.L.C. not only breaks the rules but attracts a whole new audience for traditional brands—and generates millions for his clients while he’s doing it. When HP wanted to make its Pavillion notebook computer relevant to young adult consumers, Stoute tapped the man who most symbolizes success for the hip-hop generation: rapper/entrepreneur Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. It’s all about having the right message in a powerful package.
Walton Isaacson’s creed is simple: We do one thing. Whatever needs to be done. But there’s nothing simplistic in the campaigns crafted by co-Founder and Co-CEO Aaron Walton, making a lasting impression though intriguing concepts as bringing Burger King together with Diddy or updating the Maytag Man. Walton has gained accolades from clients and envy from competitors by effectively branding products though entertainment as evidenced by his agency’s creative execution of the Lexus GX “Rushers” campaign, a strategic partnerships between the automaker, Universal Motown and BET.
Executive Director of Multicultural Marketing at Verizon Wireless is Richard Williams’ most recent appointment in his impressive eight-year stint with the telecom. Traveling across the nation, he gauges the activities of Verizon Wireless customers and ensures service providers fulfill those needs. The remainder of his time is spent learning about new developments, innovative applications and figuring out new ways to beat the competition.