Growing up an only child in Toronto, Colleen DeCourcy always wanted to be a spy. Though she didn't fulfill that childhood ambition, her curiosity about what other people think, feel and do remains fierce, and is a catalyst in many ways today.
|Colleen DeCourcy, VP-chief creative officer, Organic
As VP-chief creative officer at Organic, Ms. DeCourcy has led the agency in finding innovative ways to understand and connect with consumers for DaimlerChrysler and other marketers. She hired set designers from the Detroit Opera Theater Co. to build "persona rooms," located in Organic's Detroit offices and inhabited by typical Chrysler customers to help the automaker's marketing teams and agency partners better understand and empathize with consumers.
"Colleen's a natural creator of a story and a story line," says Mark Kingdon, CEO of Organic. "Her ideas are not about banners. They're about thoughtful engagement with consumers."
Another case in point: "The Mudds," a campaign that launched in 2005 and incorporates Webisodes, geocaching, sweepstakes and virtual tours to promote the Jeep Commander.
Ms. DeCourcy, 41, was promoted to her current role a year ago; she joined Organic in Toronto in 2001. Her early career was a crazy-quilt of experiences: She left college and a journalism major for jobs that gradually shifted her from content creation (film and video, including a stint in TV) to interaction (Internet).
Today, Ms. DeCourcy oversees all of Organic's 100 or so creatives in its five U.S. offices and leads work on DaimlerChrysler. "Creative direction is my career," she says.
In June she moved to New York from Detroit with her 12-year-old daughter, Emma, her "inspiration. She's a child of the Internet generation. She instant messages me from her bedroom when she wants a snack and pays for her cellphone account by doing tasks around the house."