People – Steve Davis to svp-marketing at Heineken USA – Brief Article
Davis Sees Heineken in a ‘Different’ Light
The promotion of Steve Davis to svp-marketing at Heineken USA probably is overdue. He stepped in from PepsiCo in 1995 and led a marketing team that has since significantly grown the beer brand’s volume and profits. “Four years ago we laid out a very smart strategy and direction,” said Davis, who is based in White Plains, N.Y. “We took off on a journey from being an exclusive brand, and stuffy and stodgy, to where we wanted to make ourselves more relevant to beer drinkers 21-35, and be more relevant for more occasions, not just special ones. We had to jettison a lot of the baggage we had that was so powerful in he ’80s when status and greed were good.”
With his new title Davis picks up responsibility for launching the brand into Mexico. While the campaign, ‘It’s all about the beer,” gives Davis’ team the luxury of not having to revisit the program just for the sake of coming up with something new, he acknowledges the company is treading between staying with tried and true, and taking risks–as Heineken did with an Austin Powers film tie-in–to be bigger, bolder and better.
“There’s a fine line in terms of trying to maintain your specialness while trying to make yourself accessible and approachable,” said Davis.”The status quo is the far easier strategy to pursue, so anytime you go off on a different direction of significance you don’t know what is on the other side. But if you think it through, and get the right people involved, I think you can be successful. The big challenge is trying to get people to think differently about what Heineken can become.”
Davis will continue to focus on growing the Dutch import’s off-premise business, in part by boosting the profile of its keg can, currently less than 2% of its product mix, in quest of attaining a 10% target.
Sayetta Cutting Itsy Bitsy Licensing Deals
“Flirting is putting it nicely.” That is Robin Sayetta’s description of one of her almost fresh-out-of-college jobs as a regional marketing executive for Ford’s upstate New York dealerships and their decidedly male management, all of which is light years from her new job as president of off-screen entertainment marketing at Itsy Bitsy Entertainment in New York.
While not all the car dealers she encountered hit on her, Sayetta, 38, said the one-year Ford gig taught her how to “go toe-to-toe with big, bad, old men. I had a dealer who didn’t have any cars in his showrooms. He only had lawn mowers.”
At Itsy Bitsy since mid-December, Sayetta made deals at last month’s Toy Fair around the relaunch of Eloise, the 1950s four-book classic about a zany girl living in New York’s Plaza Hotel. Eloise has a Madame Alexander doll with FAO Schwarz appeal, and Itsy Bitsy just closed a tony promotion with the two-location New York spa The Rescue Lounge, which is planning “Eloise, Mommy and Me” spa days.
“It’s the antithesis of a big studio property built solely around a big studio film,” said the Manhattan-born, Long Island-raised Sayetta. “I was that little girl (Eloise). I had a big city aunt, Aunt Rose, and we would go to the Plaza. I can still remember my first trip.”
In between Ford and Itsy Bitsy, Sayetta learned about marketing and licensing through five years at the now-defunct Hamilton agency, then another five years at Scholastic (where she was a 1996 Brandweek Next Generation marketer) and three more years creating the Discovery channels’ consumer products unit. Her Internet battle scar came from worldwidemagnifi.net, where she said her short stay proves that time at a dot-com is “like dog years: seven months is seven years.”
Promotions: Maura Regan; dri-intl licensing for Asia Pacific at Sesame Workshop, New York, added responsibility for product licensing in Canada…Web Golinkin to vice chairman/chief marketing & sales officer at Norwood Promotional Products, Austin, Texas… Deborah Dugan to evp/mngng dir-Disney Publishing Worldwide, New York.
Coming/going: Dorothy A. Beeler joined Shell Oil, Houston, as mgr-corp communications. She was at Coastal…Lifetime Entertainment Television, New York, appointed Tom Hanft svp-marketing, advertising and promotion. He has worked at several major agencies… Christopher Clemmensen to vp-mktg at Participate.com, Chicago, a provider of online community solutions for business. He was at YesMail.com… Fox Family Channel, Los Angeles hired for new post of vp-mktg. She was at Mamamedia.com.
Promotions: SAI Marketing, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., upped Tisha M. Wester to acct suprvr from sr acct exec…Becky Chidester from president/CEO to chairman/CEO at RTCdirect, Washington. Catherine Bartholow, from CB Consulting, named new president…David Nobs from evp-consumer practice at Weber Shandwick Worldwide to gm of the Los Angeles office…KK&A, Chicago, upped Robert Koewler to acct dir from acct suprvr. Coming/going: Martin Blair joined Hill and Knowlton, New York as sr mngng dir-media relations. He was at Conde Nast Publications…Jeffery Walter to MWW Group, Washington, as vp/grp dir, from the Washington Group… Paul Fahey named acct suprvr at Media Logic, Albany, N.Y, from Fairbrother… Indico Bellum, Chicago, appointed Laurie Hachmeister vp-client mktg. She was at Cahners Publishing…Kate Miller joined Jennings/The Agency, Chapel Hill, N.C., as acct coord. Meanwhile, Jacqueline McNamara hired by related agency Jennings Consulting as brand consultant, She was at Eli Lilly…FutureBrand appointed Duane Knapp as exec dir, based in San Francisco and working on retail, food service and hospitality sectors. He continues as president of BrandStrategy… Eric Douglas aboard as vp/acct dir at SAI Marketing, Huntingdon Valley, Pa. He was at Douglas Marketing…Suzanne Laurita hired by Hill and Knowlton, New York, as dir-mktg for the corporate brand. She was at Bally.
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