Bronner Selects McCann, CMO for Upromise

Michael Bronner is banking on McCann-Erickson’s big-brand acumen and former Walt Disney Co. executive Judy Fearing’s marketing savvy to help successfully launch his “socially conscious” e-commerce venture.
Bronner last week selected McCann, New York, as the first agency of record for the $25-30 million Upromise branding assignment. The Brookline, Mass., Internet startup will formally launch later this year.
In a related move, Bronner named Fearing chief marketing officer of Upromise, charged with working with McCann to build a strong brand identity.
As executive vice president of Disney’s Go.com, Burbank, Calif., Fearing oversees marketing for numerous interactive properties including ABC.com, Disney.com and ESPN.com.
Fearing is widely credited with molding the risk-taking brand personality of ESPN for nearly five years before leaving several months ago for Disney, which now runs ESPN as a division. Fearing did not return calls by press time.
McCann dispatched Young & Rubicam, also New York, and Boston’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in a review run by Pile Co., the consulting firm in Boston.
McCann was selected largely for its “insight, strategy and big-idea capability,” Bronner said. The Interpublic Group agency’s membership in a global network was also a key factor in its selection, as Bronner plans on lanching overseas marketing efforts as soon as the brand becomes established in the U.S., Bronner said.
Upromise, which is alternately known as Lifetime Rewards.com, is positioned as an e-commerce vehicle designed to help Bronner “give something back” to society, he said. Believed to be based on a points system, the site is “bringing together major brands” to help families provide “an affordable college education” for their children,” Bronner said. K