Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Out with the New at Old Navy

From AdAge:

Old Navy is on the hunt for a new chief marketer.

Amy Curtis-McIntyre, senior VP-marketing, quietly left the retailer earlier this summer after just more than a year in the job, a spokeswoman confirmed. "Given the challenges in driving traffic, Amy and Tom [Wyatt, Old Navy's president] agreed it was time to make a change in the marketing leadership," the spokeswoman said.

Old Navy, which spent $221 million on measured media last year, according to Kantar, introduced a new campaign, "Old Navy Records: Original hits. Original styles," in February. The campaign, introduced by Ms. Curtis-McIntyre, replaced the "Supermodelquins." Old Navy worked with music house Honor Roll on the campaign as well as industry heavyweight Joseph Kahn, who has won several MTV Video Awards and a Grammy. The commercials feature original tracks from various bands.

Wow. Who saw this coming? Oh, yeah. That's right...

I once didn't get hired to a marketing director job when I was asked what changes I would make and I told them, "none." The program was working, so much so that the person whom I would've replaced was hired away based on that success. They couldn't believe that I said I wouldn't make any changes. Every other candidate had come in with a list of changes they would make. I, on the other hand, said I would spend a few months researching the success of the current plan and familiarizing myself with it before making any tweaks. They were stunned and hired someone else based partly on that (and based partly on the fact that I said I didn't want to delegate everything and would still be involved in the creative.)

And you know what? Their next two marketing campaigns have sucked. When new creatives come in, their first instinct is often to dismantle or piss on everything the previous person did before. But many times that's completely unwarranted, especially "if it ain't broke."

I do, however, fully expect the next Old Navy marketing chief to burn Ms. Curtis-McIntyre's legacy to the ground and start over on the ashes. And rightly so.

No comments: