The senior VP-media director for Saatchi & Saatchi, San Francisco--and winner of this year's Veteran award-- engineered the six-month, $100 million effort by Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Enterprise Computing unit to build awareness for HP as an Internet innovator.
With the tagline, "The next e. e-services," the campaign was designed, among other things, to excite HP's employees about the company's future and boost the corporate giant's stock price. The 35-country campaign was publicly credited by HP executives for driving the company's stock price on its 1 billion-plus outstanding shares from $60 a share to more than $100 this summer, Ms. Bracken says.
"The perception was that HP was late to the Internet, out-positioned by IBM and Sun Microsystems as a .com innovator," says Ms. Bracken, who led a Saatchi team of 10 people in San Francisco, and others in Europe, Asia and Latin America. "The objective was to leapfrog the competition."
Her efforts apparently paid off. When the first campaign effort, a four-page ad in The Wall Street Journal, ran last spring, 85 companies contacted HP asking to participate in its Web vision. Subsequent single-page ads in The Journal plus ads in Red Herring, Business 2.0, Industry Standard and Wired kept the heat on. And advertising on cabs in London, buses in Singapore and a bridge in Brazil ensured international print support.
"A media strategy is not all about numbers," says Ms. Bracken, 42, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. "You have to have numbers, but it is so much more important to support the numbers from an environment standpoint. There's so much clutter, with people receiving something like 1,500 messages a day from all media. Today, it is about putting the advertising in environments where it can be impactful and reach targets."
A risk-taker mentality has helped Ms. Bracken adapt, says Peggy Green, exec VP-director of national broadcast, Zenithmedia. A colleague for many years, Ms. Green said Ms. Bracken dissects the target audience in meaningful ways.
"If someone is more efficient but bases decisions purely on age and sex, what good are they?" Ms. Green says.
Steve Howe, VP-advertising for The Wall Street Journal, says innovation defines Ms. Bracken.
For client PeopleSoft, for example, Ms. Bracken persuaded The Journal to create a dominant franchise location within the newspaper's pages. The HP campaign, meanwhile, marked the first four-color advertisements in the publication's history.
"She challenges her media partners to be innovative," Mr. Howe says. "And those