Gianinno Creates ‘Brand Optimization Unit’
NEW YORK–D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles has lured two creative executives from Ogilvy & Mather’s branding unit to its flagship New York office. Marc Burkhalter and David Micklewright have joined DMB&B to form a “Brand Optimization Unit” under chief branding and marketing officer Susan Gianinno.
Burkhalter and Micklewright were previously executive director and managing director, respectively, at Ogilvy’s Brand Integration Group, started by them in 1997. The division developed multi-level branding programs for clients including IBM, American Express and Kodak.
The defectors are the first high-profile hires for Gianinno, who joined DMB&B in January after a rocky stint as chief executive at J. Walter Thompson’s New York office. Gianinno said she has been charged with building the agency’s “distinct and unique competency” at brand building.
Burkhalter and Micklewright will help clients to better protect and incorporate brand identities within their organizations.
“Company employees at all levels need to understand and have the same vision of the brand,” said Burkhalter. “Senior level executives don’t always know what the brand is, or what it represents. We bring the client to one understanding of what the brand should be.”
“More and more clients [want to] create competitive insulation, not just for the brand in the marketplace, but also to attract talent,” Gianinno said.