Blockbuster Appoints Johnson CMO

NEW YORK Blockbuster today named Rebeca Johnson CMO to lead the video rental chain’s overall branding and marketing efforts.
Johnson, who has a background primarily in the food industry, comes to Blockbuster from Brinker International, a casual-dining restaurant company, where she served as chief marketing and global branding officer. At Brinker, Johnson oversaw brand development strategies, consumer insights, culinary development and marketing communications for brands including Chili’s Grill & Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill and On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina.
Prior to that, Johnson held various general management, marketing and sales roles at PepsiCo/Frito-Lay/KFC for 16 years. Her work included developing growth strategies for the Doritos and Cheetos business units.
“Becky is a seasoned veteran with more than 25 years of experience in retailing and consumer packaged goods,” Blockbuster’s chairman and CEO Jim Keyes said in a statement. “Her expertise in consumer insights, history of successful marketing/brand development, and proven ability to redefine the customer experience will be a tremendous asset as we continue to transform Blockbuster to offer consumers convenient access to media entertainment.”
The client spent $85 million on ads last year, but its outlay is way down so far in 2008, totaling less than $3 million from Jan.-April, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Independent Doner in Southfield, Mich., was lead agency on the account but parted with the client last year.
Blockbuster has more than 7,700 stores across America, Europe, Asia and Australia.