SVP and CMO, General Mills Inc.
Addicks made headlines in 2008 when he revealed he relied on a group of imaginary friends to help him market for General Mills. He uses the concept of "brand champions," or characters created around different General Mills products that typify the model consumer. Addicks, who ushered Frosted Cheerios into the marketplace in the mid-1990's, has become an industry leader in digital marketing, with a specific emphasis on community building through blogs. A mainstay at industry conventions and a go-to resource for the media on a variety of marketing issues, he has spoken at length about how brands are used by consumers as a solution to life's problems. "We look at their wants or needs and contrast that with the beliefs that they have -- so there's a natural tension and a problem that the brand should solve," he said. Addicks is responsible for the company's global brand-building strategy, including its advertising, promotions, public relations, design, packaging, online, licensing and multicultural initiatives. He also oversees some of our industry's most recognized equity platforms, including Box Tops for Education and the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.
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