Ogilvy’s Graceann Bennett Explains the Emergence of a Radical New Consumer That’s All About Individualism
Co-hosts Brad Forsythe and Ray Schilens interview Graceann Bennett, Director of Strategic Planning at Ogilvy and Mather. Graceann began her training in consumer behavior while growing up in the image-obsessed environment of Southern California, where every brand choice was made with the utmost care and consideration. She then went on to gain formal marketing credentials by obtaining a degree in Business Marketing at Brigham Young University. Upon graduation, she moved to New York City, via a stint in London, to put her credentials to work at Dunham & Marcus Consulting, advising companies like Pepsi-Cola, Stolichnaya, and Weight Watchers on global strategy and branding issues.
Following her indoctrination into the world of building brands, Graceann added other dimensions to her expertise by working at some of the country’s top creative shops, including Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano; tbwa/chiat/day; and Mullen. She helped develop brand strategies and inspired creative for Coca-Cola, Four Seasons, Fortune, LendingTree.com, Guinness, and Wonderbra, among others.
In August of 2001, Graceann brought her passion for building brands through great creative to Arnold Worldwide, where she led the Brand Planning group, dedicating herself to fostering an environment where creatives, account management, and planning work together seamlessly. In 2004 she made the move to Chicago to become Leo Burnett’s EVP, Director of Brand Planning. There she spent much of her time breaking down agency silos for better cross-fertilization of ideas, spearheading professional development of a department of 50 planners, and initiating groundbreaking thought leadership.
Graceann is now heading up the strategic planning department at Ogilvy Chicago, where she was brought in to build a fully integrated department to serve digital, activation, and brand planning needs. She also led efforts to further Dove’s campaign to broaden the definition of beauty while building its global business. She now oversees the global Kimberly-Clark business, Oscar Mayer, and important brand strategy projects.