Name: Steve Davis
Who he is: Senior VP-marketing, Heineken USA, White Plains, N.Y.
Where he's from: Davis' brand management track began at RJR Foods & Tobacco. He went on to work for PepsiCo in the restaurant and beverage group which included Pizza Hut and the Pepsi-Cola brand. He headed up all the non-cola business at PepsiCo including joint ventures with Starbucks and Lipton Tea. He joined Heineken in 1995 as VP-marketing.
What he's done: Davis has presided over a long-running ad campaign as well as high-profile integrations and co-branding partnerships into such Hollywood tentpoles as Warner Bros. Pictures "The Matrix Reloaded" and New Line Cinema's "Austin Powers" franchise. The "Matrix" deal was marred by misunderstanding and disagreement between the filmmakers and marketers, leaving brands like General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac unhappy. "Right off the bat, you decide that it's not worth it and you're not going to deal with it or you say it's going to ultimately be worth it and we're ultimately going to get there. It was arduous and painful but it was worthwhile," said Davis.
What's next: Shepherded by Los Angeles-based branded-entertainment consultant Julie Mulholland, Davis is developing some Heineken TV projects for fourth quarter.
Stock-in-trade: "We try to keep the checkbook out of it with the movies we do. What we bring to the party is value like our ability to put up 20,000 displays in grocery stores around the U.S. in a month. We can tag our TV and radio spots. We can come to the table with the studio with commensurate in-kind value. Some of the companies aren't as smart. It's easy to show up at the studio with just a checkbook. They get the IV hooked up and they're getting [a lot of money] to offset their production costs, and they're missing the big picture."