CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK - Bacardi boss boosts Breezer. Stella David’s enthusiasm has made the brand a top seller, Claire Cozens writes

You wouldn’t want to meet Stella David with a hangover. Energetic does not even begin to describe the new managing director of Bacardi-Martini, who has just been promoted after only 18 months in the marketing director’s job.

You wouldn’t want to meet Stella David with a hangover. Energetic

does not even begin to describe the new managing director of

Bacardi-Martini, who has just been promoted after only 18 months in the

marketing director’s job.



David is credited with having played a big part in turning around

Bacardi-Martini by developing products aimed at the younger market.

Arguably the most successful has been Bacardi Breezer, for which the

company launched a major ad campaign through McCann-Erickson last

week.



David feels a particular fondness for Bacardi Breezer, having joined

Bacardi-Martini in 1994, just as the brand launched nationally. Since

then, she says, Bacardi Breezer has become the leading pre-mixed spirit

and its advertising won two stars at last year’s IPA Effectiveness

Awards.



’When I first started on Breezer we had some not-so-good advertising

from McCann-Erickson, but now we’ve got some great work,’ David

says.



’It has been very successful. In year one Breezer was a 200,000-case

brand, now it is a three to four million-case brand.’



Bacardi-Martini is spending pounds 5.6 million on the new campaign,

which will run in cinemas and on TV and radio. The new work introduces

the line, ’there’s Latin spirit in everyone’. The two ads feature

respectively an interviewee and a patient on a psychiatrist’s couch,

both of whom appear outwardly calm and collected. But with each question

they are asked, the film switches to a memorably wild moment in their

lives.



It is a scenario that could be familiar to those who have encountered

David, who has a reputation for being as formidable in the bar as she is

in the boardroom.



Ian Priest, account director for Martini at HHCL & Partners, has worked

with David for the past four years. ’She definitely packs her weight -

we’ve had a lot of good evenings with her and long may it continue,’ he

says.



’The drinks industry is traditionally dominated by men,’ Ben Langdon,

chief executive and managing director of McCann-Erickson, says. ’Stella

has got to the top by being challenging and aggressive and refusing to

accept second best.’



David did a degree in engineering at Cambridge and spent her early

career as an engineer. She moved to Golden Wonder as a marketer for Pot

Noodle and has since built up a reputation for her boundless enthusiasm.

But won’t her promotion mean being less involved in those aspects of the

business she really enjoys?



’I’m enthusiastic about most things - that’s just the way I am,’ she

replies. ’There are so many other things to get involved in now. I need

to make people feel as engaged in the company as I feel. It sounds

idealistic, but I really believe that if people love what they do you

get the best out of them.’



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).