16: John Mendel

Senior VP-auto operations, American Honda Motor Co.

Published on .

POWER PLAY: John Mendel, 52, started the year with an 11th hour Super Bowl buy for Honda's Ridgeline pickup. But Mr. Mendel's big bang came in late spring with the launch of an all-new model. The Fit small car used 5-second TV spots, plentiful online components such as sponsorship of short, funny videos and preview parties. Mr. Mendel, who joined the Honda team from Mazda at the end of 2004 to oversee marketing, advertising and product planning, is also believed to be behind changes inside the carmaker that are sparking new Honda and Acura dealer ad groups to form and hold agency reviews.

DOWNSIDE: Mr. Mendel must figure out how to improve sales of Honda's flagship model, Accord, which are flat this year.

AD BUDGET: $1.33 billion


* RPA, Santa Monica, Calif.

* La Agencia de Orci & Asociados and Muse, L.A.
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