Monday, February 4, 2013


Twenty-one internationally-minded marketing leaders have been named Internationalists of the Year by The Internationalist. These individuals represent the people behind today's outstanding marketing thinking and brand communications.

Without their extraordinary efforts, inspiration and energy amid today's "always on" world with increased emphasis on accountability and responsibility, many marketing programs simply would not have gotten off the ground. These Internationalists represent a variety of industries, locations and number of years in the profession, but all take the role of brand champion to heart.  Many are reinventing the role of marketing in today’s society.

This year represents the largest number of woman as Internationalists, as well as more retailers given the extraordinary developments in shopper marketing and new concepts in demonstrating quality and luxury.  Interestingly, the list shows a balance of consumer-driven and business-driven brands.  Bank brands are redefining themselves in a post-crisis world, while hotel brands are looking at new ways of keeping today’s travelers loyal.  All recognize the complexity of our digital age, embrace the power of social media and are seeking ways to establish greater meaning and value for the constituents.

The Internationalists of the Year include: 

  • Janice Alfini- SVP Global Brand & Marketing at Diners Club International (USA- Chicago)

  • Linus Almqvist- Head of Brand Communications and Partnerships at Vattenfall AB (Sweden)

  • Nayantara Bali- Vice-President Global Skin Category/ Olay Brand Franchise leader at Procter & Gamble (Singapore)  

  • Bonin Bough-Vice President of Global Media and Consumer Engagement at Mondelēz International (USA-NY)

  • Christa Carone, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Xerox (USA- NY)

  • Frederique Covington Corbett- Central Marketing Organization Lead, Asia Pacific at Microsoft  (Singapore)  

  • Carmen D’Ascendis- Director of Global Marketing for Jack Daniels at Brown Forman (USA-Louisville)

  • Nancy Deck- Vice President, Multi-Brand & Loyalty at Hilton (USA-DC)

  • Gerardo Garcia- Group Director, Global Design at The Coca-Cola Company (USA- Atlanta)

  • Jason Hill- Director of Advertising, Growth Markets at GE (USA-NY)  

  • Mark Ingall, Managing Director/Head of Global Strategic Media at CitiGroup (USA- NY)

  • Maria Jobin, Head of Branding & Advertising at ABB (Switzerland)  

  • John Kennedy- Vice President of Corporate Marketing at the IBM Corporation (USA-NY)  

  • Sarah Manley, Chief Marketing Officer at Burberry (UK)

  • Marc Mathieu- SVP Marketing at Unilever (UK)

  • Diego Scotti- Chief Marketing Officer at J. Crew  (USA-NY)

  • Shiv Singh- Global Head of Digital at PepsiCo Beverage (USA-NY)  

  • Kensuke Suwa- CMO/ US & Europe at Uniqlo (UK)  

  • Susan Thronson-SVP Global Marketing at Marriott International, Inc. (USA-DC)

  • Sarah Wyse- Head of Marketing Strategy at Coutts (UK)

  • Maria Ziv- Marketing Director at Visit Sweden (Sweden)


Kensuke Suwa

Ensuke SuwaChief Marketing Officer- US & Europe

Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo, known for unique, high-quality, well-made clothing at reasonable prices, has made headlines for its dramatic global expansion.  CMO Kensuke Suwa would argue, though, that the hallmarks of the brand are the customer benefits, as well as the shopping experience—whether in store or online.   Uniqlo recently launched its e-commerce site to support its expansion, and Suwa-san admits that replicating the feel of the store and the hands-on nature of shopping was a challenge. (Although the “Have Some Fun” Apps certainly echo the brand’s personality.)

 He is also an advocate of delivering the Uniqlo message appropriately to the local market, rather than emphasizing the company’s Japanese roots.  Its 2012 New York effort included the “People” campaign, highlighting distinguished New Yorkers in both brand advertising and as an online destination.  Suwa-san has repeatedly said, "We want to be a neighbor, a New Yorker."  Other elements of the New York launch emphasized Uniqlo’s philosophy “Made for All,” then followed with variations like “Greener for All” and “Warmer for All.”  (Uniqlo states that it is inclusive of all ages, rather than targeting sought-out fashion demographics and younger age groups.) The retailer also introduced pop-up stores and “Uniqlo Cubes,” featuring a key product category at trendy summer events and festivals. 

 Kensuke Suwa joined the company in 2001 and has led global marketing since 2007. Uniqlo, founded in 1984, now operates over one-thousand stores in a dozen countries with flagship operations in Japan, China, France, the UK and the US.  Fast Retailing, Uniqlo's parent company, is targeting nearly $60 billion in sales by 2020, which means opening 20-30 stores per year.  So we expect to keep up with Suwa-san for many years to come.

John Kennedy

John-kennedy-ibmVice President, Corporate Marketing
IBM Corporation

 There’s no question that John Kennedy is an advocate for the role of the Chief Marketing Officer within the corporation.  As Vice President of Corporate Marketing for IBM, he also regularly discusses how Big Data is not only transforming the influence of the CMO, but how it is also affecting the future of Marketing. 

 “Data,” he says, “is an asset to the CMO in providing new capabilities, but it is also elevating the stature of marketing within the C-Suite.  Ultimately, Big Data will give marketers the ability to move from a transactional focus to a customer-centric conversation around the benefits of products and services.  And data is establishing an essential new dialogue between the CMO and the CIO.”

 According to John Kennedy, “We’re experiencing a tsunami of data.  Not only is there a tremendous amount of structured data—something that we can manage, but also volumes of unstructured data in the form of videos, tweets and vague information.  This is often the domain of marketing as we sift through this unstructured information for insights.”

 John’s diverse career with IBM has spanned 17 years, after an initial start as an Assistant Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble.  His roles have included Brand Management, Integrated Marketing Communications, Marketing & Sales, and they have spanned geographies ranging from the Americas to Asia-Pacific.  He was also based in Tokyo as Vice President of Marketing & Channels for IBM Japan.

 In fact, that experience, combined with IBM’s own C-Suite research, has resulted in John Kennedy’s regular discussions of today’s three new marketing imperatives:

1.       Understanding each customer as an individual.

2.       Creating a system of engagement that maximizes the value created at every touch point.

3.       Designing your culture and brand so they are authentically one.

 The basic truths of marketing are changing, but John Kennedy will be leading the charge to insure that the business of marketing only grows in its capabilities and significance.

Mark Ingall

Mark IngallManaging Director/Head of Global Strategic Media

With over 20 years of marketing experience, Mark Ingall has a keen understanding of the role of a brand within an organization. Citi was turning 200 years old in 2012. Through research, Citi found that unlike other categories where a brand’s reputation is only as good as its latest performance, the past matters in banking. Mark knew that if he could communicate Citi’s anniversary by focusing on the forward thinking of its 200 years of accomplishments, he could rebuild trust and strengthen brand perceptions. Mark created a new idea that broke the mold of all previous campaigns: Citi would showcase its 200 Years of heritage and innovation by bringing its “History Forward.”

In his current role as Citigroup Managing Director, Head of Global Strategic Media, Mark is a steward of the Citi brand on an international scale. He continuously works to strengthen Citi’s brand image and health metrics, which in turn work to promote the bank and its products.  Following the 2008 financial meltdown, Citi, like most banks, had been deeply hurt both as an institution and a brand.  Mark understood that regaining trust on a global scale was not about generating transactions or new customers— it was about making positive inroads into the hearts and minds of the population at large. The idea that the bank has been involved in great feats of innovation—from championing the Panama Canal to embracing the modern ATM— allowed customers to put cynicism aside and reconsider how they felt about Citi.  A balance of heritage and innovation was critical to turning the brand around.


Jason Hill

JMH headshotDirector of Advertising, Growth Markets

GE’s “growth markets” are countries outside the U.S. where GE is still emerging as a brand fully understood by the business executives and government officials who count as its customers. In the past few years, GE has launched customized, original, and highly creative marketing campaigns in nine growth markets—places where the brand has never before been supported through advertising. The person behind this effort, ensuring that the GE story is told in compelling ways around the world, is Jason Hill.

Jason manages GE’s strategic process, campaign development, and channel planning for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. He circles the globe to mine the best messages from around the company, translating them into sharp briefs that consider local cultural nuances, and partnering with top agencies to create 360-degree campaigns. With his commitment to marrying global strategy with locally relevant creative work, Jason is breaking the mold both for GE as a company with advertising that is new, fresh, and unexpected, rather than relying on global campaigns adapted to local languages. Jason Hill also brings a strong creative vision and spirit of innovation to a company known for its engineering heritage and love of rigorous process.

Marc Mathieu

MakMathieuSenior Vice President, Marketing

Marc Mathieu often quotes Albert Einstein by reminding us that, "We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them." Not only is this an appropriate quotation for someone who is often credited with reinventing concepts of marketing for our times, but it demonstrates how Mr. Mathieu cares deeply about new ideas and new values.

 As Senior Vice President of Marketing at Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch giant with claim to over 400 brands and the world's second-biggest advertising spender, he is responsible for the development of the company’s new global marketing strategy– “Crafting Brands for Life.”  This is the industry's most comprehensive program for driving consumer-led growth that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. It also supports the company’s growth ambition of doubling the size of its business while simultaneously reducing its environmental impact.  Unilever believes that its brands “play a major part in helping us achieve our sustainable living aims of helping more than a billion people improve their health and well-being; halving the environmental footprint of our products and sourcing 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably.”

 "Crafting Brands for Life" embeds sustainable living through a new marketing strategy. At the heart of this dramatic, large-scale project are two pivotal elements:


  1. It is not a "CSR" (Corporate Social Responsibility) program. In fact, Unilever dismantled their CSR department to demonstrate that "crafting brands for life" is not an "add on," but an essential part of the Unilever ethos.

  2. The marketing department needs to be the lead for sustainability. This may mean than an organization needs to be realigned, but it certainly requires an entirely new strategy to reinvent marketing that changes how people engage with brands.

 Which brings us back to why Marc Mathieu quotes Einstein…  In addition to making sustainable living commonplace, he is regularly talks about two other shifts dramatically affecting marketing. The first involves emerging and fast growth markets and the challenge of reaching new consumers with different needs, while the second is the impact of social media.

 Prior to joining Unilever, Marc Mathieu spent 17 years of his career in marketing roles at Coca-Cola, including SVP Global Brand Marketing, in addition to earlier positions in Southeast Asia and Division President for France & Benelux. Marc is also a co-founder of the strategic branding consultancy, BeDo, and an advisor to the social commerce start up, We&Co.  Marc started his career as a marketing director at Danone.

Christa Carone

Christa-carone-cmo-xeroxCorporate Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Christa Carone’s Twitter identification describes her as a “Curious marketer & communicator; on the hunt for cut-through creative, simple yet relevant messages…”  According to her peers, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

 Her Internationalist of the Year nominations underscore how Xerox’s “Ready for Real Business” campaign is not simply about advertising.  (“Real Business” cleverly demonstrates how Xerox helps companies handle their back-end operations so they can focus on their core business or what they do best.)  This landmark Xerox initiative is certainly a global, integrated platform, but it is also a rallying cry for the company that comes to life across all marketing and communications initiatives.  Christa Carone’s drive for consistency of message and the need for flexible integration have been paramount in creating the program’s success, as well as the redefinition of the Xerox brand, both internally and externally.

 The 2-year-old “Ready for Real Business” campaign is now evolving to highlight more services, while it continues to present its message through a variety of channels ranging from event sponsorships to social media.  In fact, its two-minute Web video called “A World Made Simpler by Xerox” recently won Gold in The Internationalist Awards for Innovative Marketing Solutions.  The video has received more than 650,000 views.

 Ms. Carone is responsible for global marketing strategy and initiatives that include advertising, experiential marketing, public relations, internal communications, integrated campaigns, interactive and social marketing, and the Xerox Foundation. She is also the steward of the company's brand, leading global activities that serve to protect the value of the Xerox name and multibillion-dollar brand.

 She joined Xerox in 1996 as Communications Manager for the company's manufacturing and supply chain division. Her various communications, public relations and media relations roles over the years ultimately led to her CMO title in 2008.  She  was appointed a Vice President of the corporation in May 2010.

Susan Thronson

SThronsonSenior Vice President, Global Marketing
Marriott International

 Susan Thronson is a veteran Marriott marketer who also cares about giving back to her industry.  Despite a formidable job with responsibility for leading the company’s marketing strategy across 17 lodging brands representing 3700 properties in 74 countries, she has just completed a term as Foundation Chair of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), an organization that has provided research and educational resources for the hospitality sales & marketing practitioner.

 She recently commented on the how the role of the marketing director has changed in the past 5 years by sharing three key points that are relevant to many marketers beyond the hospitality category. According to Ms. Thronson, today’s marketing upheaval is characterized by the fact that the target customer is changing, source marketers are changing, and go-to-market strategies are profoundly changing. 

 She elaborates by discussing how today’s generation of travelers views services like connectivity as a right, not a perk.  She adds that when people change what they value from a service organization, it undoubtedly affects the proposition of the brand. Plus, she now sees a different mix of global travelers from new markets visiting an expanding list of locations.  Susan Thronson advocates becoming expert in the cultures and current events about those source markets.  In fact, she believes that today’s marketing directors should achieve a new level of sophistication in understanding more about the peoples of the world, while keeping up with all the new channels of communications.

 Marriott is taking Susan’s thinking to heart as the company has been “reimagining the guest experience” while transforming lobbies and public spaces for a new generation of business travelers who blend work and play, demand style and substance, and desire high tech and high touch.  The company is introducing new concepts, such as purpose-built spaces for smaller collaborative meetings that are specifically designed for the way Gen X and Gen Y work. Marriott is also testing innovative technologies, such as applications for booking meetings on demand, to further differentiate the customer experience at its hotels.

 We have no doubt that Susan Thronson will continue to not only “reimagine hospitality,” but reinvent many new marketing best practices in the process.

Sarah Wyse

Sarah-Wyse_webHead of Marketing Strategy

There is no question that the banking industry has experienced the kind of upheaval over the last several years that has profoundly affected all issues surrounding the marketing of financial institutions. Coutts, long known as bankers to the Royal Family, is not only one of the UK's major private banking houses, but it is also the world's 7th oldest bank. Wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS), which in turn is majority-owned by an investment arm of the British government, Coutts international subsidiaries were renamed as RBS Coutts Bank in 2008.  However, in 2011, RBS Coutts decided to drop the RBS initials from its logo and simply rebrand itself as Coutts, as the firm appears in the UK.

 Sarah Wyse as Head of Marketing Strategy was responsible for the thinking behind all of Coutts marketing worldwide-- from the UK to the Middle East, to North and South Asia and Switzerland.

 Certainly, the RBS affiliation had its pros and cons.  It is one of the world’s biggest banks with the benefits of broad infrastructure, yet it had also been associated with negative press.  Nonetheless, the goal of Coutts was to reach consumers in markets where it did not have a strong share of voice in order to grow its non-UK business to roughly 60% of the total in just five years.

 Sarah Wyse describes the new values of Coutts throughout the world in language that is not often used by the banking industry: connected, cosmopolitan and human.  Her belief is that Coutts’ contemporary principles resonate well with today’s business ethos.

 In fact, the move to Coutts proved to revitalize the brand.  This success may also be instrumental in a bank marketing trend toward highlighting smaller sub-brands that bring new consumer credibility, rather than focusing on big bank associations.  Interestingly, Ms. Wyse also admits that despite the separation of logos, there is now a greater collaborative spirit between the two brands.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sarah Manley

Sarahmanley2-81_600Chief Marketing Officer
Burberry is deservedly heralded as a champion of digital innovation.  The global luxury brand has not only reinvented itself, but has taken bold risks in a world that has become far more socially relevant.  CMO Sarah Manley, a Burberry veteran with deep roots in luxury marketing, has undertaken daunting initiatives to insure that Burberry’s brand potential resonates with new generations in a fast-changing media world.  Despite nearly 160 years of history, Burberry behaves in a modern way.

Today’s social media aficionados may bear few similarities to the traditional Burberry trench coat wearer of earlier decades, yet the ability to create one’s own bespoke trench online via “The Art of the Trench” and London Fashion Week’s first ever Tweetwalk are just two ways that the brand has captured the attention of younger shoppers and fashionistas of all ages.

Although many are involved in the reinvention of any brand, it was Ms. Manley who championed the Burberry World website in six languages and 45 countries.  She also advocated multimedia and 3D technology to create interactive campaigns with motion-responsive images and videos. Her global infrastructure became the foundation for the brand’s digitization that has driven Burberry’s marketing and communications strategy in its four key regions around the globe-- Americas, Europe, Asia and Emerging Markets.

Each region has responsibility for developing specific plans, appropriate to their part of the world, based up on a worldwide marketing strategy.  Yet, Burberry still creates a number of initiatives centrally to drive consistency—their “one vision, one point of view and one marketing” approach.  It is critical, particularly in an age with such extensive online access, that in-store customers have a consistent experience whether in London, New York or Hong Kong.

In fact, Sarah Manley would admit that the company now acts in many ways more like a media brand than a luxury retailer. There’s no question that she is a keen observer of changing patterns of consumer behavior and believes that being at the forefront of digital marketing is central to the Burberry’s overall strategy.

 Prior to joining Burberry in London, Ms. Manley was an executive in New York for internet luxury accessories retailer where she oversaw their Public Relations and Advertising strategy.  Earlier in her career, she spent four years at Yves Saint Laurent and six years at Polo Ralph Lauren, where she was responsible for all Public Relations & Advertising in the UK for both brands.

Linus Almqvist

Linus-Almqvist8Group Head of Brand Communication and Partnerships


 How do you take a state-owned energy giant and make it more consumer-friendly, responsive and contemporary? Not an easy task, especially in an increasingly environmentally-conscious world that requires enhanced consumer and corporate marketing programs.  However, Linus Almqvist, Head of Brand Communication and Partnerships of Vattenfall, has some innovative answers. His role is to improve the company’s reputation, support its business operation and position its market image.

Vattenfall-- Swedish for "waterfall" and an abbreviation of the original Royal Waterfall Board-- is a Swedish power company that also operates in Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and the United Kingdom.  Its goal is to create a strong and diversified European energy portfolio, comprised of electricity, heat and gas, while also being a leader in developing environmentally sustainable energy production.

Linus Almqvist championed Vattenfall as the official sponsor of Swedish skiing and the International Ski Federation to serve both national and international interests by underscoring “energy for winter sports.”  Vattenfall emphasized how it produced electricity to make the skiing experience better—with energy to light slopes, run lifts and power snow-making equipment.  The introduction of their King of the Slopes app for downhill skiers with smart phones became their successful activation tool in the program and an inventive step forward for the company.

King of the Slope helps skiers of all levels monitor their performance, while results can be compared with other skiers at the same ski resort or throughout the world and easily shared on Facebook. Thousands of ski resorts are registered in the app’s database, which automatically sets a specific ski system via a mobile’s GPS. Anyone can add a favorite resort to the app via Vattenfall’s website. Plus, the Swedish national Alpine team tested the app.

Linus has been at Vattenfall in brand and marketing communications since 2004.  His prior marketing experience included Nordic regional roles at SAS/Scandinavian Airlines, Barilla Italian Foods and Arla, the largest producer of dairy foods in Scandinavia.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nancy Deck

NancyDeckVice President, Multi-Brand & Loyalty Marketing

Hilton Worldwide


Nancy Deck and her team have built one of the world’s most successful loyalty programs for the hospitality industry.  As Vice President of Multi-Brand & Loyalty Marketing, she is globally responsible for championing the Hilton HHonors brand and developing worldwide marketing strategies that create awareness, preference and market share for HHonors and the ten distinct hotel brands in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio.

 Recognizing that we live in the era of “the empowered customer,” she insures that HHonors guests receive more choice, more customization and more personalization.  As a global organization with 10 hotel brands, 3,800 properties in 90+ countries and millions of travelers each year, the program’s size and scale offered an unparalleled opportunity to understand guests’ needs and desires. Extensive consumer research enabled her to shift the conversation from points to possibilities, and effectively re-launch the Hilton HHonors global brand.

 In addition to overhauling the HHonors user experience by providing greater flexibility and a simplified tiered point system through a global website redesign, she appointed regional marketing directors to determine market needs and better tailor messages. For example, in China, a greater understanding of rewards membership is required, while North America emphasizes the unforgettable memories gained through HHonors.  Her initiatives with social media from a virtual treasure hunt for “Fast Ways to Free Stays” to a “Virtual Concierge” test program have been extremely well received.

 The HHonors’ member benefits extend beyond free hotel rooms and upgrades and programs with travel partners. They include a Global Shopping Mall with 20,000 products that can be purchased with points; Experience Rewards, which allow members to redeem points for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like flying a fighter jet; and Charitable Programs that provide points to members who make contributions to certain organizations, while also providing both cash and in-kind donations.

 Nancy Deck is also recognized by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Industry Association as one of the “Top 25 Minds in Hospitality Sales and Marketing.”  We think her mind is of interest to all in marketing—regardless of the business category.

Janice Alfini

JaniceAlfiniDirector, Global Brand & Marketing
Diners Club International

 Janice Alfini recognizes that any multinational campaign must adhere to consistency in the marketplace, yet allow for local market relevancy in execution.  When describing her dedication to a global role, Ms. Alfini’s team members describe her ethos best: “Janice handles the balancing act between brand enforcer and market supporter with efficient governance.”

 They continue, “Janice is on the front line, supporting an expansive global franchise network. As the point person for branding and marketing, she constantly promotes the value of establishing one global look and feel across the world.”

Diners Club International, owned by Discover Financial Services, is a globally recognized brand serving the payment needs of select and affluent consumers. When established in 1950, it was the first multi-purpose charge card in the world-- launching a financial revolution in how consumers and companies pay for products and services. Today, Diners Club continues to deliver on its original brand promise, and through a global branding campaign called “Belong,” celebrates cardmembers and honors the experience and sacrifices required of people to achieve success. “Belong” portrays cardmembers as citizens of the world who are always expanding their horizons through experiences—be they large or small.

 In 2012, Diners Club International announced its first global partnership with 20th Century Fox for the release of the film, Life of Pi.  The best-selling book by Yann Martel was deemed a natural fit for the “Belong” campaign as it describes a young man's incredible survival at sea against almost impossible odds.  This first global entertainment partnership was designed to bring the brand values of Diners Club to life.  "We are incredibly excited to help promote a film that celebrates a very unique, transformative journey," said Janice Alfini.

 The partnership also celebrates cardmembers' well-traveled, yet unending journeys through a worldwide photography contest. Aspiring photographers could submit a photo of a significant journey in their own lives to be judged by Claudio Miranda, cinematographer for "Life of Pi" and Andy Anderson, "Belong" campaign photographer.

 Janice Alfini is also a two-time honoree of The Internationalist 100.

Bonin Bough

Bonin-bough-pepsico-thumbVice President of Global Media and Consumer Engagement
Mondelēz International

 Bonin Bough has a way with words.  He has rallied an industry with concepts like “Digital Fitness” that characterizes most corporations as living in a Jurassic period of digital engagement and  “Don’t Let Perfection Be the Enemy of Good,” his rallying cry for inviting innovation and experimentation within an organization. 

 But he also has a way with moving an industry forward.  A natural risk taker, he constantly discovers ways that brands can interact in a new era of consumer engagement and media choice.  He is an advocate for challenging convention and creating a culture of change-- particularly within the marketing department, if not across the entire corporation.  He believes in the “beta economy,” a new business model in which change is constant and can lead to a “re-skilling” of any corporation. Bonin Bough is keenly aware of how marketing insights need to be shared globally across the organization.

 In fact, he recently stated an ANA conference on mobility that “I need to create a culture that deems change is important.”  The result is Mondelēz International’s Mobile Futures, or “the Future in 90 Days,” which provides their brands the opportunity to work directly with startups on fast-turnaround pilot programs in areas key to mobility, such as location-based advertising, in-store marketing and social TV.  According to Bough, “It’s not about bringing startups inside, but learning how to work in a time-pressured, fast-thinking entrepreneurial environment.  This helps to re-skill an entire organization through a collaboration model that brings new partners to the table.”


Bough’s role as Vice President of Global Media & Consumer Engagement at Mondelēz is a just a few months old.  He joined Kraft one year ago in the same role after serving as Senior Global Director of Digital and Social Media at PepsiCo for more than three years.  Before Pepsi, he was in a global director role at IPG’s Weber Shandwick Worldwide.


Mondelēz International is comprised of the global snacking and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc., following the spin-off of its North American grocery operations in October 2012. The Mondelēz name was created from employee input with Monde deriving from Latin for world and delez with an association todelicious. Its portfolio includes such billion-dollar global brands as Cadbury and Milka chocolate, Jacobs coffee, LU, Nabisco and Oreo cookies, Tang powdered beverages and Trident gums.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Shiv Singh

Shiv-singh_400x400-300x300Global Head of Digital

PepsiCo Beverages

 Ask people in the industry about Shiv Singh, and you’ll repeatedly hear variations of the word “pioneer.”  His interest lies in helping brands transform through consumer participation in digital and social media.  He is quick to point out that “Brands are not defined anymore by what they do – marketing, public relations, new product launches -- as much as they are being defined by how consumers perceive and talk about them. That’s a huge shift in the fundamentals of marketing.”

 At PepsiCo Beverages, his role as Global Head of Digital spans brand marketing, shopper marketing and food service marketing across paid, owned, earned and shared media.  He also leads the company’s involvement with real-time marketing, transmedia consumer engagement and new methodologies for measurement and consumer insights.

Shiv Singh not only understands the shifts now occurring in marketing and media, he is at the forefront of change by redefining how brands interact with today’s digital ecosystem.  Pepsi’s 2012 initiative with Twitter demonstrates how the brand is an active participant in music and contemporary culture, as well as an actual producer through pop-up concerts, live-streaming, and original content.  Concerts are announced on Twitter and also streamed live via @Pepsi. Twitter participants can also affect song choices at concerts. Plus, Pepsi is able to determine trending topics through the analysis of hundreds of millions of tweets via the Pepsi Pulse platform, now the homepage.  This effort is at the center of Pepsi’s “Live for Now” global campaign that inextricably links the brand with pop entertainment worldwide. 

 Shiv Singh is always generous in sharing his digital knowledge.  He’s also the author of “Social Media Marketing for Dummies,” released this year in its second edition. Prior to PepsiCo, Shiv worked at Vivaki and Razorfish for twelve years in their New York, London and San Francisco offices.  His agency tenure was preceded by running his own small web development company in Boston.

Nayantara Bali

Nayantara BallVice-President Global Skin Category/ Olay Brand Franchise Leader

The Procter & Gamble Company


Nayantara Bali’s career with Procter & Gamble in Asia has been long and varied, yet most people who have interacted with Ms. Bali in any of her roles agree that she is impressive, inspirational and an outstanding leader.  In September 2012, she assumed new responsibilities as Vice President of P&G’s Global Skin Category and Olay Brand Franchise Leader.  This follows the significant move by the company in mid-2012 to transfer its global skin, cosmetics and personal care business unit from its Cincinnati headquarters to Singapore in acknowledgement of the fast growth of the Asian Beauty Market.  The move puts P&G closer to its largest customer base. 


Other P&G divisions have already migrated from the company’s central headquarters in the US, including the Fabric Care and Braun business unit to Geneva, and the Baby Care division and Prestige Fragrance Group also to Singapore.  Yet, the relocation of a group as large as skin, cosmetics and personal care to Singapore underscores the company’s commitment to expand its presence in emerging, fast-growth markets.


Ms. Bali’s marketing expertise will be put to good use.  The global skin care market is estimated at nearly USD $100 billion.  Asia’s portion of the skincare pie has been rapidly increasing and now accounts for almost half of all category purchases.  Olay is already a multi-billion dollar brand, while SK-II, the P&G skin brand which originated in Asia, has also joined the billion dollar club.


Nayantara Bali joined Procter & Gamble India in 1988, moved to Bangkok and later to Singapore, and has a history of breakthroughs.  She is credited with dramatically growing businesses and turning around sluggish brands.  Her roles over the last decade in Singapore have included Vice-President Asia Male Grooming; Vice-President, Hair, Asean, Australasia, India, Korea; Vice-president , Baby & Feminine Care Asean/Australasia/India.  We look forward to following her extraordinary marketing career with this important new move.


According to Ms. Jobin, “Branding business-to-consumer or business-to- business products has similar functions, but different priorities. B2C’s first priority is image, while B2B’s is trust.  ABB’s re-branding journey focused on reputation and trust.” And the broader results from these efforts?  There has been 69% uplift on brand metrics associated with ABB’s rebranding.   

Maria Jobin

JorbinVP/ Head of Global Branding & Advertising

ABB (Asea Brown Boveri)

 Maria Jobin’s role for the past several years has been to bring the ABB brand to life through a major re-branding effort in 100+ countries and to drive preference across cultures.  While the company’s history dates back to the 19th century, today ABB is the world’s largest builder of electricity grids and is active in many sectors, with a core businesses emphasis in power and automation technologies. Her biggest consideration was how to reposition ABB for the future, while finding common ground among all divisions to communicate to a broader audience.

 Further complicating her formidable task was ABB’s matrix structure comprised of over 5000 profit centers, each with global responsibilities and significant marketing freedom.  Plus the company had also acquired 800 companies around the world during the last decade, resulting in many different uses of the brand. Plus, the company produces over 250,000 products—ranging in cost from a single dollar to billions of dollars. 

 Fortunately the company’s bold red logo was strong, and most sectors were using it.  It was ABB’s only identifying element, but Ms. Jobin saw it as a great opportunity to make a consistent difference.  It also became clear that ABB needed to build on its heritage and strength, while also emphasizing leading edge technology, its engineering-focus, and superior product quality.   The result was a new tagline: “Power and productivity for a better world.”

 According to Ms. Jobin, “Branding business-to-consumer or business-to- business products has similar functions, but different priorities. B2C’s first priority is image, while B2B’s is trust.  ABB’s re-branding journey focused on reputation and trust.” And the broader results from these efforts?  There has been 69% uplift on brand metrics associated with ABB’s rebranding.   

Carmen D’Ascendis

CarmenAscendisDirector Global Marketing- Jack Daniel’s

 Brown-Forman Corporation

How do you adapt a 145 year old-brand to a digital age so that it is both relevant and contemporary without sacrificing its core brand values?  And how do you make its deep-rooted American heritage resonate in 185 countries?  Not only does Carmen D’Ascendis, Director of Global Marketing for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, have the answers, but he proves how marketing cannot be separated from brand management.


In fact, Carmen D’Ascendis’ extraordinary career with Brown-Forman started 20 years ago when he entered the business as a merchandising representative for the company.  Since that time he has lived in seven cities on four continents while working in 40 countries on behalf of Brown-Forman and Jack Daniel’s, the world’s best-selling whiskey brand.  Forget statistics that measure the tenure of chief marketing officers in intervals of months, Carmen underscores how creativity, innovation and success come with longevity.


His roles and geographies demonstrate a process of brand experience and thought leadership that few achieve.  Carmen’s own roots in are in the US, not in Lynchburg, Tennessee—the famous home of Jack Daniels, but in the East Coast state of New Jersey.  However, he is unquestionably a true citizen of the world.  His international Brown-Forman career began in the late ‘90s in London as Area Manager of Duty-Free for Europe and Scandinavia.  He then relocated to Germany to take on his first country-specific Marketing Manager role.  That soon led to a new assignment and a new continent when he became Regional Director of Australia and New Zealand.  His next transfer took him to Japan as the country’s Commercial Director where he delivered the two best financial years in that market’s history.  While based in Tokyo, Carmen took on the additional role of Brand Director for Jack Daniel’s Asia Pacific and uncovered consumer insights that led to the redevelopment of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel as the new “face” of the JD trademark.


He then returned to the US-- to the company’s Louisville, Kentucky headquarters-- to use his international experience as Global Brand Director of the Jack Daniel’s Ready-to-Drink business around the world.  He worked closely with country teams in markets as varied as Mexico, Japan and Germany to develop market-specific offerings.  And now as Director of Global Marketing for Jack Daniel’s we’ve already seen the highly successful launch of the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey line extension, the “Barrel Tree” campaign that bring family and friends together, a new responsive-designed web site that adapts to any device from smartphone to tablet to computer, and a doubling the brand’s volume growth rate.

Gerardo Garcia

Gerardo GarciaGroup Director, Global Design
The Coca-Cola Company

Gerardo Garcia is the mastermind behind Coca-Cola’s “Design Machine,” a global web-based application that empowers more than 20,000 Coca-Cola marketers and agencies in 200+ countries in more than 20 languages, to dynamically customize and localize global marketing campaigns and related materials, while preserving brand integrity and myriad compliance requirements.  The concept of “Freedom in a Framework” powers highly relevant Coca-Cola marketing activations across multiple media around the world, driving faster time-to-market with more relevant and engaging marketing initiatives for a concurrent increase in marketing effectiveness and efficiency while strengthening brand stewardship.


Coca-Cola’s Design Machine has driven more than $100,000,000 in cost efficiencies, empowering Coca-Cola marketers and agency partners to drive significant increases in marketing volume and value per dollar spent.  Coca-Cola’s Design Machine is more than just a high-impact initiative - it is a harbinger of things to come in an increasingly global, relevant, interactive, multi-channel world.  And, yet, Gerardo is already plotting an inspiring next generation of this razor’s edge innovation!

Diego Scotti

Img-bios-diego-scottiGlobal Chief Marketing Officer
J. Crew

Last year—2012—was a watershed year for J. Crew and for Diego Scotti.  Diego joined the specialty retailer as Global Chief Marketing Officer to oversee all aspects of marketing in retail and direct mail for the company. Long known for its classic clothing, J. Crew has morphed in a fashion-forward brand while also becoming a popularized favorite of US First Lady, Michelle Obama.  In 2012, the specialty retailer doubled its advertising budget and went against the industry grain by using real customers in their campaign--brand enthusiasts who were accomplished individuals, rather than models or celebrities. Diego Scotti saw such “jcrewacholics” as having “an impact on our customers and culture in general.”

Plus, through its new “Hello World” website marketing campaign, J. Crew launched in 78 new markets in 2012 through a new global e-commerce platform.  The retailer can now market and ship to 107 countries with local language, currency and payment options.

Diego Scotti joined J.Crew as Global Chief Marketing Officer in November of 2011. Diego oversees all aspects of marketing in retail and direct mail for J.Crew and Madewell. Before joining J.Crew, Diego was Executive Director of Marketing at Vogue, where he was responsible for the overall vision and marketplace positioning of the magazine. Prior to Vogue, he was with American Express for fifteen years, where he held several domestic and international positions, departing as the Head of Global Advertising and Brand Management.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Maria Ziv

Maria Ziv

Marketing Director
Visit Sweden/ Curators of @Sweden

Maria Ziv is the bold initiator of Sweden’s now famous and highly-awarded Twitter campaign that embraced extraordinary transparency to showcase the country’s core values, particularly freedom of speech, through the voices of its citizens.  Research conducted by the Tourist Board found that travelers prefer to immerse themselves in a culture by getting to know local people, instead of having a “tour bus experience.”  As a result, a Swedish citizen became a weekly, rotating spokesperson for the official Twitter account of Sweden.  Their unedited tweets served to highlight the diversity and progressiveness of Sweden through the lives and views of its people.


Weekly “Curators of Sweden” must be Swedish citizens, nominated by fellow Swedes.  They must follow only three rules: They cannot promote products or services; they cannot write anything that threatens national security; they cannot break the law.


Maria’s goal was to make the initiative part of a long-term communications strategy to raise awareness and curiosity about her native country. Despite occasional controversy, 68,000 followers across the globe have paid attention to Sweden, and Maria Ziv’s breakthrough thinking has transformed Visit Sweden from a National Tourist Office to a communications company that is watched by the world.


Although @Sweden has numerous imitators—@PeopleofLeeds, @WeAreAustralia, @CuratorsMexico, among others—Sweden’s initiative remains the only program officially sanctioned by a government.

Frederique (Freddie) Covington Corbett

Freddie pixCentral Marketing Organization Lead, Asia Pacific


 Ms. Freddie Covington is not only a true internationalist who was born in France, raised in the UK, Belgium and Holland, and has spent her working life in the US and Asia, but she believes in “ideas that transform.” She leads Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific marketing strategies for all of the company’s offerings across both commercial and consumer audiences. Freddie regularly applies Darwin’s famous quote to brands: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”  Her definition of a brand champion is someone who is always spotting, interpreting, and managing change to build stronger brands.

 Her own “glocal” marketing models for Asia Pacific are breaking new ground while providing benefits for both Microsoft’s world headquarters in terms of efficiency and scale and for the company’s local markets in terms of cultural relevance and true localization.  She has also proven that “cultural clustering” is a more effective way of creating good work and developing campaigns that resonate with local customers.

 Her role as Central Marketing Organization (CMO) Lead exists to build and deliver a holistic marketing communications discipline for use across all Asia-Pacific markets in order to provide a new level of marketing innovation, planning, end-to-end execution, as well as digital and operational excellence. Freddie heads up the Asia-Pacific community of CMOs in the region providing region-wide marketing governance, metrics for marketing discipline excellence, marcom orchestration and the majority of marcom execution. Freddie, though, summarizes this vast job as “driving marketing innovation and inspiring consumer passion for our technology and brands.” And, in doing so, Ms. Frederique Covington always over-delivers.