Women to Watch 2007

Carole Irgang

Kraft Foods

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NEXT: Laura Klauberg

The challenges at Kraft Foods aren't so much weighing heavily as weighing optimistically for Carole Irgang, who in January joined the package-goods behemoth as senior VP-integrated marketing communications.

Carole Irgang, senior VP-integrated marketing communications, Kraft Foods

"There is so much energy at Kraft right now behind the new growth strategy, and a real openness and willingness to embrace new thinking and move quickly toward trying new things," says Ms. Irgang, 43.

In recent months, Kraft has turned traditional marketing on its ear with a slew of efforts that embrace new media. Among them is a product-placement effort for Oreo that tied a TV Guide scratch-and-sniff insert, featuring the scent of the iconic cookie, to the "Laugh 'n Sniff" interactive episode of NBC's "My Name Is Earl."

Kraft also recently tested the waters with its first-ever pop-up, or temporary, storefront to distribute samples of new DiGiorno Ultimate pizza and announced a plan to become the first package-goods sponsor of Phil's Supermarket on virtual-world website Second Life.

The exec and her team are focused on creating an agency roster that will "bring the best and most innovative thinking to Kraft." She recently announced a review of five of Kraft's top businesses -- Oscar Mayer, Ritz, Grey Poupon, Kraft Singles and Triscuit -- to get agencies' "bold, game-changing ideas."

With the very intense growth strategy Kraft has laid out, Ms. Irgang says, "we are determined to ensure we have the best ideas with the best agency partner." In short, Ms. Irgang is busy bringing Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld's growth strategy to life in the crucial marketing arena. "Be bold, be courageous, take risk -- that's what's on the agenda for Kraft," Ms. Irgang says.
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