Barry Bousfield

Manager of advertising and sales promotion, Black & Decker CanadaBarry Bousfield's career in marketing and advertising began in 1968, when he joined Union Carbide Canada as assistant to the advertising manager.Four years later, Bousfield, who has a bachelor of journalism degree...

Manager of advertising and sales promotion, Black & Decker Canada

Barry Bousfield’s career in marketing and advertising began in 1968, when he joined Union Carbide Canada as assistant to the advertising manager.

Four years later, Bousfield, who has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Maine and a diploma in advertising from Sheridan College of Applied Arts and Technology in Oakville, Ont., moved on to a national sales position with E.B. Eddy, a division of Eddy Match.

In 1974, Westinghouse Canada hired him as sales promotion manager on major appliances, small appliances and tvs.

Bousfield joined Tim Horton Donuts two years later as director of advertising.

In 1977, he moved on again, this time to become director of advertising with Midas Canada.

In 1984, Black & Decker Canada, having recently bought the household products division of G.E. Canada, was searching for someone to oversee the transition of the G.E product line to the Black & Decker brand.

Bousfield was hired as the manager, brand transition. After the transition was completed, he assumed his current title of manager, advertising & sales promotion.

- Launched Midas Canada’s ‘Top Guns’ campaign which boosted the company to a higher consumer awareness rating than rival Speedy Muffler King.

- Oversaw the transition of G.E. Canada’s household products line to the Black & Decker brand.

We asked:

Q. Are you a believer in marketing by science or intuition?

A. ‘A bit of both, really.’

Q. Was there a significant turning point in your career?

A. ‘When I joined Midas Canada as director of advertising. I had the freedom and creative environment to develop the `Top Guns’ campaign.’

Q. Who or what influenced you the most in your marketing career?

A. ‘Largely, the marketing guys on the brand transition of General Electric’s household products to Black & Decker in 1984.’

Q. What is your favorite marketing campaign (not including campaigns with which you have been involved)?

A. ‘The u.s. Miller Lite campaign, which featured all the old-timers from the sports world.’

Q. What is your favorite ad (not including ads with which you have been involved)?

A. ‘From that same Miller Lite campaign, where the guys are sitting around the camp fire and [u.s. actor/comedian] Rodney Dangerfield appears out of nowhere.’

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. ‘Hunt, fish, read military history and biographies.’

Q. What is the most recent book you’ve read?

A. ‘Battleground, by W.E.B. Griffin.

Q. What book influenced you the most?

A. ‘It would be a toss-up between William Manchester’s biography of Douglas MacArthur, American Caesar, or his series, The Young Lion, about Winston Churchill.’

Q. What do you love most about the marketing business?

A. ‘I like the advertising function best, and, within that, television.’


Creative/Strategic Sense:

‘We didn’t research Midas’ `Top Guns’ campaign before it ran. Barry didn’t want to research it because he didn’t think it would research well and he didn’t want to lose it.’

‘Barry will fall into bed with research in testing strategy. But he is not a fan of testing creative once it’s in the can.’

‘Barry is one of those rare individuals who is passionate about advertising’

‘He loves the communication business. Watching films, especially westerns, making videos – these things consume him.’

‘When Barry asks the agency for something, he knows what he wants. So you have to try and figure out what’s in his head, or you’ll get it wrong.’

‘He demands top creative work, and I’ve even known him to pass up a couple of media dollars for extra production standards.’

‘He’d love to be a director or an editor. I’ve seen him get right in there and do post-production editing for a sales video.’

‘Under Barry, Black & Decker does straightforward, to-the-point advertising. We don’t do `cutesy’ advertising.’

Management Skills:

‘Barry’s very much a people person. And he’s a leader. I think it’s part of his interest in the military and his military background. You know, he’s a member of the Queen’s Own Rifles.’

‘Barry supports his troops, and he is the first into the field. That’s the way he leads.’

‘Barry’s attitude to the agency was: `Guys, you know I like great advertising, and you know I’m willing to spend money to get it.’ Midas was a dream account.’

‘Sometimes you have to put a bridle on him. You have to pull him back and get him to look at the bigger picture. He’s passionate by nature and can become too focussed on issues.’

‘Barry doesn’t tolerate fools. You won’t last a minute with Barry if you approach the business in a flippant or silly fashion.’

‘If you’ve got a point of view, he wants you to put it out there. If you don’t have a point of view, you had better get out of the room fast.’

Business Sense:

‘Barry appreciates strategy and business objectives. There is no `throw it against the wall and see if it sticks’ attitude.’

‘When it comes to the dollars and sense of the business, Barry is a very tough negotiator.’

Competitive Sense:

Barry was focussed on Speedy as being the enemy much the same as Coke and Pepsi view each other. In his mind, it was the muffler wars.’

Next issue: Catherine Delteil, director of marketing, Evian Source de France.