Among the new staff members brought by recently appointed group creative director Robin Raj is Bryan Birch, former svp/co-creative director for Mazda at FCB's Orange County Office.
The other members of the creative posse include art director Ken Woodard and copywriter Suzanne Finnamore, who worked as a team at Hal Riney & Partners/S.F. on The Good Guys and Public Broadcasting Service and on Bank of America at Ketchum/S.F. Keith Weinman, an art director from Rubin Postaer & Associates/Santa Monica, Calif., who worked on that shop's Honda account, will team with copywriter Brian Bacino, the sole surviving member of the Taco Bell creative team under former chief Neal Sellman, who has since moved to FCB's L.A. office.
Evette Bradley, an art director from Ogilvy & Mather/N.Y., where she worked on Duracell U.S.A. and American Express Co., will be teamed with copywriter Barrett Rossi, who previously worked on Stroh Brewing Co. for Riney.
Until now, said FCB insiders, the creative team on Taco Bell had consisted of fairly junior people who worked largely on a cookie cutter approach to the advertising. Much of the work followed a fixed format, heavily promotion oriented.
Now that Taco Bell's value-pricing strategy has been widely copied, analysts said the company will need to shift strategies to distinguish itself from competitors.
'When they are part of the crowd, they loose,' said Tom Pirko, president of the consulting firm Bevmark Inc. in L.A.
Raj would not discuss the specific direction of the new campaign, expected to break this fall. His first effort at FCB though, a spot for the new Taco Supreme, which tries to restore meaning to the overused term supreme by comparing ordinary things with their supreme versions, represents a more sophisticated message that the shout-and sing style that's been Taco Bell's calling card.
FCB also last week named Thomas C. Cotton from Backer Spielvogel Bates/N.Y. vp/group management supervisor on the Taco Bell account. He begins Sept. 6.
Cotton replaces Dan Odishoo, senior vp/group management supervisor, who will now devote his energies full-time to Clorox.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)