O&M's Eicoff Taps Ex-Bozell Exec for Creative Chief

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Ogilvy & Mather's A. Eicoff & Co. division hired Mike Powell to head creative at the world's largest television direct response agency.

As executive creative director of the $350 million billings agency, Powell will push Eicoff's creative product to meet higher standards and will protect its standing as a top DRTV shop.

"I look at the potential of creative here in terms of evolution, not revolution," Powell said from his Chicago office. "The worlds of direct advertising and traditional advertising are continually merging, and we need to embrace this convergence. There's room for more deeply insightful strategies and surprising creative solutions to deliver results.

"As more Fortune 500 companies realize the effectiveness of direct response advertising," he said, "there's going to be an increasing need for more targeted creative, which requires us to think harder about the consumer, to know more about who they are, what they think, how they buy."

Powell most recently was creative director at Bozell Chicago and Campbell Mithun. He also served 15 years in key creative positions at Tatham, now Euro RSCG Tatham Partners.

At Eicoff, Powell will work on accounts like Sears, Galderma Laboratories, AARP, The Scooter Store and Bose Corp. All work is DRTV.

Powell said the industry's creative output improves each year.

"There are spots that use humor, images and mood to generate results," he said. "This may well be because clients are aware of the homogeneity trend and are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, and they understand how valuable a strong concept can be.

"I also believe there's an increased emphasis on building brands as well as producing results, and you need a truly creative approach to achieve both goals. There's always going to be comfort and security in the tried and true. Our job is to divine new ways to evolve the creative product to be even more successful than what's worked in the past."

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