Name: John McCarus
Who he is: VP-business development for Grey Global Group's Alliance entertainment marketing shop. He's responsible for soliciting business development across a range of categories as well as program creation and the mining of alternative revenue streams.
Where he's from: This magazine publishing vet spent a decade where he held a slew of senior sales and marketing posts including publisher of Saveur magazine and associate publisher of Rolling Stone and the New Yorker. "Frankly, I think what we do is graduate school for publishers. Great publishers nowadays are forced to be able to deliver marketing solutions for clients; it's no longer just about selling pages."
What he's done: To help launch the Kia Spectra, which is expected to become 60% of the marque's total volume, McCarus and crew at Alliance took the brand beyond its traditional advertising to craft a Spike reality TV series starring the band Sugar Ray—"a music industry version of 'The Apprentice'"—to offer reach to supplement an integrated marketing program around the band's music tour, which includes a partnership with Rolling Stone magazine. To restage Clairol's Natural Instincts hair-coloring brand, McCarus hit upon a concept featuring Mariel Hemingway to headline a series of yoga and alternative fitness festivals kicking off in July in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. McCarus also secured a series of vignettes on TBS with "Makeover and a Movie" where Hemingway will co-host.
What's next: "Figuring out a way to take branded reality programming and turn it into a sales tool—that is how do we sell something off-the-screen, online that can drive a true ROI metric which the space is hungry for." McCarus said Alliance's goal is to grow the shop's non-Grey affiliated business from 25% to 50%.
Stock-in-trade: "Clients want an agency solution; so if you think you're a specialist, you're going to struggle if you only want to handle one piece of a transaction."