Gary M. Smith
I have over twenty-five years’ experience working in advertising and design, with automotive representing a major component during this period. I served as Creative Director at agencies such as TBWA\\Chiat Day and MRM Worldwide. During this time I was responsible for creative strategy, concept development and web design for clients such as Nissan, Infiniti, General Motors and Indian Motorcycles.
Designing For Automotive
Automotive represents one of the most critical components of the U.S. economy, and perhaps no single product conveys my personal identity better than the cars I choose to drive. I have an extensive history in this vertical, extending back to the early days of the Internet when companies were scrambling to create their online identity and deciding how to utilize new technologies to market and sell their products. In many ways, I have worked with agencies and clients to help define the standards for successfully employing today’s digital tools and techniques.
• Internet Marketer of the Year award, 2003, Advertising Age, automotive category
• #1 Most Useful Manufacturer Site award, J.D. Power, 2002 and 2003.
• Best of the Web award, Forbes Magazine, 2004.
At the core of the GM account was BuyPower, a concerted effort to transform how autos are marketing and sold over the web. This included extensive development of new design and development strategies, including the evolution of “hero imagery” to forge user connections. Today this is a standard approach, largely informed by this pioneering work.
GM Ticket To Ride
The project, extending over several years. It demonstrated that digital marketing would not only work, but that it could outperform traditional techniques. As Ticket to Ride evolved, a core goal became targeting consumers in a manner that drove sales much faster than mail-based marketing could.
• Internet Merit Award, One Show Interactive, 2002 & 2003
GM’s Viewmaster campaign, “Secret,” sought to distinguish and evolve the quality perception of GM’s products. Aaron was assigned to the digital advertising segment of the campaign, including the implementation of some Internet firsts, like passing objects between two distinct banners. The campaign also represents one of the first major pushes to market to millennials, a group that had just become the fastest growing customer segment for the industry.
GM Ticket To Ride
Getting Nissan Back on Track
Repairing the brand remained the core long-term objective. Campaigns like “Future Driven” and “_shift” helped re-establish the company as forward-thinking, innovative and dynamic. I also oversaw the relaunch of the 350Z and Frontier, two iconic vehicles in the Nissan line-up.
Under my tenure, the auto maker saw an increase in total U.S. market share, from 3.0% to 5.98%…and that share continued to grow in the ensuing years as a result of one of the most successful brand refreshes in history.
During my time on the account, the G35 became Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, and went on to become a relaunch success story.
The campaign included a digital launch of the flagship motorcyle as well as other marketing materials.
Subaru All Wheel Green
Telling the Story
- Brand Positioning
- Content Strategy
- Campaign Development
- Competitive Audit
- Display Ads