RealTime IT News

Yahoo! Names 'Superhero' Marketing Chief

Yahoo! announced on Wednesday the appointment of Cammie Dunaway as its chief marketing officer.

As CMO, Dunaway will take control of Yahoo!'s worldwide branding and product marketing efforts at a time when the portal is attempting to continue its momentum from the remarkable turnaround engineered by CEO Terry Semel. She will report to Dan Rosensweig, Yahoo!'s chief operations officer, when she assumes her post later this month.

Dunaway comes to the portal from a top post at Frito-Lay, where she won plaudits from the interactive advertising community by eschewing expensive Super Bowl TV spots for Internet ads. Last week, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) unveiled an ad campaign that features Dunaway as a "superhero" executive for her faith in the online medium as an integral part of the media mix.

"Cammie is a classically trained marketer who brings a consumer-centric approach that makes her the ideal candidate to lead our global brand operations," Rosensweig said. "As a longtime Internet proponent amongst her marketing peers, Cammie appreciates the potential of this medium and we believe she'll bring great value to Yahoo!'s overall business."

In 2002, Dunaway did the heretical in the ad community: She redirected the spending from Super Bowl TV spots for Doritos to online promotions. The move to increase interactive advertising by 9 percent was found by the company to increase sales of the snack food by 5 percent, with particular success in penetrating the lucrative teen demographic.

"I hope to combine my evangelism for the Internet with my passion for the consumer to help the Yahoo! brand realize its greatest potential," Dunaway said.

In the past year, Yahoo! has concentrated many of its marketing efforts around building awareness of key services the portal offers, from its HotJobs unit to its personals section to its revamped search. Today, for example, the company announced a playful campaign for its personals service that features 30 "chick magnets" and the new star of this fall's "The Bachelor," Bob Guiney.

In addition to personals, Yahoo! has revved up a large cross-media advertising push in support of its revamped Yahoo! Search.

Dunaway's anti-Super Bowl credentials will be put to the test: HotJobs has run advertisements during the year's most expensive media buy for the past five years. Yahoo!, after running a talking-dolphin ad in 2002, skipped the 2003 game.