Thomas Jump, the former Long John Silver's and Leo Burnett executive who has joined General Motors' Buick division as advertising director, has held numerous positions on both the client and agency sides. But like many executives hired by GM in recent months, none of his prior jobs had a direct connection to the automotive industry.
What Jump does bring is brand-building experience, and his stints involving packaged goods clients--including work for Cheer laundry detergent and Philip Morris cigarettes while at Burnett--may actually be more relevant to GM as the automaker continues to head toward brand-focused marketing in advertising.
"I don't know the old GM all that well; I came to be a part of the new GM, and I'm pretty excited about some of the changes," Jump said. "The reason I came here is that I believe in the power of brand building. It's been my career both on the agency side and the client side."
For its part, GM is increasingly committed to becoming marketing- and consumer-oriented. "It's an industry that for a long time has been 'If you build a great product, consumers will buy it.' Now we're identifying the needs of the consumer and what they want," Jump said.
Jump, who joined Buick about three weeks ago, succeeds Jack Bowen, who was promoted to brand manager on a future Buick product that has yet to be announced. Jump said he is impressed with the work done by McCann-Erickson, Troy, Mich., Buick's national agency.
"I'd like to build on the strong foundation that Jack and the agency and brand managers have already put in place," he said.
Jump joins GM from Long John Silver's in Lexington, Ky., where he was vice president of marketing services. His other client-side position was at Pizza Hut in Dallas as a division marketing director.
Jump also spent a total of 10 years at Leo Burnett, mostly in the Chicago office, where he worked on multinational consumer goods accounts.