Friday, June 06, 2008

Words from the wise: Advertising Age's 2008 Women to Watch, part one...

On May 30, Advertising Age published the twelfth edition of its impressive annual Women to Watch Special Report. Recognizing honorees for having redefined the future of their fields, it's my pleasure to share some brief thoughts from or about these ladies who represent the class of 2008 in more ways than one. Below, you can follow the links to the full profile for each of the first 15 honorees (there are 30 in all for 2008, and I'll be highlighting the rest in my next pass). Also, Advertising Age now has each of the profiles from all 12 years online here.

Sandy Constan, Managing Director, Mindshare Los Angeles: ""I actually really enjoy mining the marketplace for talent. [I look for] individuals who like to create and get inside the consumer's head. I like to look under the hood, and I think it's important that our team is composed of opinionated thinkers."

Lisa Caputo, Chief Marketing Officer, Citi: "Hillary Clinton taught me about grit," says Ms. Caputo, who served as Senator Clinton's press secretary during Bill Clinton's first term as President of the U.S.A. "She taught me about work ethic and grace under fire. She taught me about the responsibility we as women have to each other."

Charlene Li, VP - Principal Analyst, Forrester Research: Clarifying that there are noteworthy exceptions, Ms. Li said, "Marketers are horrible at getting close to customers. They say they want it, but they don't."

Heidi Ueberroth, President - Global Marketing Partnerships and International Business Operations, National Basketball Association: Discussing the impact of the NBA's international expansion, Ms. Huberroth said, "Players like Yao... do bring more casual fans to the game, but the fans tend to be more sophisticated than that. They're talking about LeBron [James] and Kobe [Bryant], too."

Anne Bologna, Founding Partner - CEO, Toy: Asked about her main concerns, Ms. Bologna responded, "Resisting the temptation to do what everyone else is doing or says you should be doing."

Cheryl Catton, General Director - Car Marketing, Chevrolet, General Motors Corp.: "Cheryl's leadership and tenacity were instrumental in the successful launch of the Malibu, but it goes beyond that. She's helping to lead the relaunch of the entire Chevrolet passenger-car franchise," said Ed Peper, VP-Chevrolet Channel.

Anja Carroll, Media Director - McDonald's USA, McDonald's Corp.: "Everyone has a connection to McDonald's, and everyone has their favorite TV show, magazine, website, etc. I work with a team that develops the vision for marrying these two everyday pleasures together by balancing media choices that are right for the brand and relevant to our customers."

Karen Kaplan, President, Hill Holliday: "One of the hallmarks of Hill Holliday is that we give people tasks that are much bigger than they are or think they are, and I've been the beneficiary of that."

Pam Hamlin, President, Arnold Worldwide: "Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. ... I emerged from that whole experience as a much stronger person and somebody who could prioritize what was really important in life."

Bridgette Heller, Global President - Baby Care, Johnson & Johnson: "I did like doing something entrepreneurial. But I also liked having the resources of a larger organization to really grow a business for the long term."

Carolyn Kremins, VP - Publisher, Cookie: "When you have a big vision, you have the best talent, and then you couple that with working smart, we become a trusted partner for our clients."

Tracey Scheppach, Senior VP - Video Innovation Director, Starcom USA: "Tracey is the real deal -- smart, diplomatic, action-oriented and never shy about tackling the thorny issues or conventional wisdom that might derail progress or retard innovation," said Tim Hanlon, senior VP-ventures at Denuo and Ms. Scheppach's predecessor at Starcom.

Alison Tarrant, Senior VP - Integrated Sales and Marketing, The CW: "Our advertisers are trying to make a connection with a hard-to-reach audience. We learn something from every deal, and we apply those learnings to what the next innovation is."

Lauren Zalaznick, President of Women's Lifestyle Networks, NBC Universal: "Our success story is a long-term business strategy. It's not just about one night of the week, one show."

Melanie Healey, Group President - Feminine and Health Care, Procter & Gamble Co.: "I know how our competitors think, and how they think about us, too. ... We've been working very hard on our health-care strategy. We hope to be one of the future engines of growth of the company."