Ad Agency Years/ Building Strong Brand Relationships
For 27 years Dom Rossi worked for NW Ayer, the largest independent ad agency in the country. During that time he worked within some of the most competitive marketing and advertising categories, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, telecommunications, automotive, retail, pharma, and QSR/ Fast foods. He eventually had account management responsibility for one of the most impressive client rosters in the business, including AT&T, General Motors, DeBeers, Procter and Gamble, the US Army, Bayer, Nestle, Citibank, Avon, JCPenney, , and others. Many of the marketing and advertising campaigns Dom was involved with remain, to this day, strategic and creative standard bearers in terms of how emotional and rational triggers can blend together to create distinctively powerful linkages between companies and/ or brands, and the consumers they serve. Some examples:
AT&T: Reach Out and Touch Someone. Gave a face to AT&T as the facilitator of emotional touch points between family and friends, and shifted the paradigm for long distance calls from something “you had to do” to spur of the moment personal interactions you “wanted to do”.
US Army: Be All You Can Be. By focusing on every young man or woman’s desire to “be someone”, this campaign re-positioned the all volunteer Army from a stop-gap career of last resort to a hugely attractive jumping off point “for the rest of your life”, be it in the Army or in any other career path you might choose. This “personal fulfillment” positioning (and the “Be All You Can Be” language) was eventually incorporated into every aspect of the all volunteer Army, from an on-going multi-million dollar multi-platform ad campaign to “one on one” recruiter scripts for potential recruits and their parents, and everything in between.
: The Best Part of Wakin’ Up. This campaign helped define the Folger’s experience in the context of what most coffee drinkers consider to be the emotional and sensory "gold standard” in coffee satisfaction…the first cup of the day. This position and this campaign created meaningful perceptual separation between Folgers and every other coffee brand within its competitive set and resulted in significant increases in sales volume and share.
DeBeers: A Diamond is Forever. It’s safe to say that as a result of this decades old campaign, the ritual of getting engaged has never been the same! The challenge was always to keep it fresh and contemporary. As a result “A Diamond is Forever” has become the platform for a ubiquitous retail promotional presence in this country, and has been successfully extended into multiple milestones in the life of a husband and wife. The emotional impact of this campaign has literally re-defined what luxury gift giving should be between a man and a woman.
Dom was also responsible for all new business activities at the agency, and some of the biggest account wins at that time, including JCPenney, Burger King, Seven Up, and multiple renewals of the All Volunteer Army account. Dom retired from the agency in 1996 after it was sold to D’Arcy and was ultimately merged into the Interpublic Group of Companies, the largest agency holding company in the world at that time.
Media Years/ Re-defining How an Industry (and an Icon) Goes to Market
After retiring from Ayer, Dom was approached by to help them re-define that brand within the advertising community, and to help monetize its rather sizable consumer database. The consulting assignment eventually led to Dom being named Publisher and then Group Publisher of Reader’s Digest Magazine (at the time the largest circ magazine in the world), and its sister publications. When he was hired he had no media sales experience, which at that time was unprecedented in the ranks of senior level media sales. But what he did have was an agency background that was grounded in client specific analysis and customized marketing and advertising solutions, a direction that all media sales would eventually move towards.
His legacy with was the repositioning of that brand as the standard bearer for serious, in-depth audience engagement at a point in time when consumers were becoming more and more elusive, and increasingly indifferent to advertising. Increased ad sales followed suit as did an industry wide awakening that audience quality (rather than quantity) and the ability to actually connect should become the primary currencies in media selection and negotiations. Dom also played a critical role in creating targeted editions of the magazine (which eventually would represent 40% of total ad sales) as well as a healthcare specific database that jumped the effective rate charged for reaching consumers with a specific healthcare need from $10 per thousand to over $100 per thousand. He retired from Reader’s Digest in 2006.
North Hill Consulting Years/ The Beat Goes on
When Dom retired from Reader’s Digest, he started North Hill Consulting, LLC which would give him an opportunity to continue to leverage his proven “problem solving” skills in the constantly evolving world of marketing, advertising and media. Select clients include (or have included):
Magazine Publishers of America: The definitive resource for industry specific sales and marketing guidance, serving some of the most successful magazine publishers in the country, including Meredith, Hearst, Conde Nast, Rodale, Time, Inc, AMEX and many others.
Morgan Stanley: One of the leading investment banks in the world.
Citibank: The largest retail and commercial bank in the world.
Huffington Post: Fastest growing news portal on the web
Marketing Evolution: One of the most and ROI research companies in the country.
LifeCare: The nation's premier provider of human resources work and family benefits, serving over 1,500 companies nationwide.
Nomad Editions: Advanced digital CRM solutions.
LeBiftheque: The leading steakhouse chain in Canada.
Additional Background: “But What’s He Really Like?”
Dom graduated from , and after serving for three years as a Lieutenant on a destroyer in the Navy’s Atlantic fleet, joined NY Ayer. A respected leader in the industry, he has been published in Ad Age and other trade publications on the changing consumer dynamic in advertising, consumer engagement, media accountability, and other critically important advertising and media topics. He has served on the boards of the and the Publishers Information Bureau. He lives in Westport, CT with his wife Val, and has successfully navigated through “the wonder years”, raising two beautiful daughters and one terrific son!