|Bea Perez, VP-Media, Sports and Entertainment Marketing Coca-Cola North America|
But in her first year of expanded duties as VP-media, sports and entertainment marketing for Coca-Cola North America, Ms. Perez, 36, has added lost fictitious airline passengers, celebrities and American Idols to her talent stable.
In October, John Hackett, Coke's North American senior VP-marketing, gave Ms. Perez added responsibility for media and entertainment in addition to sports and charged her with testing new-media approaches. "This role will be critical to accelerate our work in the changing media space," he wrote in a company memo. An executive close to the marketer says Coke has committed a $25 million investment to new-media innovation. A Coke spokeswoman declined to comment. That means finding new ways to reach consumers through digital, events and TV.
She wasted no time in tackling the job. In one of her first moves last year, Ms. Perez drew notoriety in the media world when Coke pulled many of the entertainment-marketing duties in-house from Creative Artists Agency after 15 years. Coca-Cola declined to make Ms. Perez or other executives available for this profile.
Known for her insistence that marketing relationships "bring value to value" rather than merely delivering efficient numbers, Ms. Perez refused to slavishly fall in line to the upfront TV market.
"Bea knows what moves people and makes Coke part of culture today," says Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN Customer Marketing & Sales, in a statement. "She makes the Coke brand contemporary by using sports with a nimble and multimedia approach for ESPN Fantasy Football."
Last fall, Coke joined three other marketers to create viral campaigns around the runaway hit TV show "Lost," integrating its relaunched Sprite brand into the complex mystery's story line across the web. As part of "The Lost Experience," Sprite's "Obey Your Thirst" played a key role on the online game and show's final episode.
* Held onto upfront dollars
* Pulled back CAA duties
* Reworked strategic outdoor network coverage for campaign