Known as "Patty the Pioneer" to her agency, MediaVest USA, she has taken the company from "Capital Who?" -- as she jokes -- to a company with almost total brand awareness, thanks to TV campaigns such as the unforgettable "What's in Your Wallet?"
Ms. DeWees, 45, is known for her willingness to be part of state-of-the-art ad testing. The company excludes two unnamed U.S. cities from Capital One advertising to act as a control group that enables Capital One to measure ad effectiveness in other parts of the nation.
"Each year, we review our planning process: How can we improve following our consumers to fine-tune and target them in optimal venues?" she says, adding the company is exploring digital media to get a better grasp on its customer profile. "We don't mistake technology for strategy," Ms. DeWees says. She's pushing Capital One more fully into broadband advertising.
"Patty has been the main driver of our media machine over the last seven years," says Marc Mentry, managing VP-brand strategy, adding that Ms. DeWees "has been able to consistently deliver in-market impact for the Capital One brand through innovative media strategies and unique media properties that helped establish and grow the Capital One brand."
Ms. DeWees says awareness isn't sufficient, and she wants to see marketing initiatives propel consumer action. She has led the development of tools that merge Nielsen, MRI and IAG Research numbers to help measure the effectiveness of broadcast vehicles that also deliver brand engagement.
In July, Ms. DeWees spearheaded Capital One's debut on the retail-banking scene with tactics aimed at introducing a bricks-and-mortar presence in Louisiana, Texas and New York. Rather than sticking simply with TV in New York, Ms. DeWees designed a campaign that encompassed tactics such as a station domination, with ads covering the subway inside and out; kiosks; and other out-of-home venues, along with mainstream-media buys. DDB Worldwide, Chicago, and BBDO Worldwide, Atlanta, handle creative for the retail-banking effort.
"We have a national presence," she says of the local marketing effort. "We felt launching in TV alone wouldn't suffice because New York is its own marketplace."