Bob Thacker is Executive Director of Adopt-A-Classroom, a non-profit organization focused on raising monies to provide much needed supplies for our nation’s classrooms. 75 percent of all classroom materials are provided for by teachers. Adopt-A-Classroom has 85,000 pre K-12 teachers pre-registered for adoption. This represents 25 per cent of all public schools. Adopt-A-Classroom is the only non-profit in the nation that enables donors to identify and make contributions to specific classrooms.
Prior to joining Adopt-A-Classroom, Bob was Sr. Vice President, Marketing at OfficeMax. Joining OfficeMax in late 2005, he brought a strong background in marketing and brand development. In his leadership role, Bob led the company’s brand positioning and all customer marketing interactions.
Facing both an undistinguished brand and tight marketing budgets, Bob quickly recognized the value in non-traditional media as a solution. Bob gave voice to this strategy with, “Don’t Make Ads, Make News!”, a directive that generated highly successful, highly efficient marketing campaigns. Starting with standout creative campaigns such as “The World’s Largest Rubberband Ball” a national media event, Bob quickly leveraged non-traditional techniques to generate positive buzz and brand awareness for OfficeMax. With “ElfYourself”, a viral marketing phenomenon that has become a holiday tradition eagerly anticipated by hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide and, a unique promotional back-to-school campaign titled, “Penny Pranks”, the value equation of Bob’s strategy was strongly validated. With budgets equivalent to half or even one-third of conventional television ad production budgets, OfficeMax had eclipsed traditional audience reach and succeeded in engaging consumers with fun, appealing messages.
Bob’s career prior to joining OfficeMax includes being President/CEO of BBDO Minneapolis, and as Senior Vice President of Marketing at Sears. In the retail industry, Bob is renowned as the man who brought Michael Graves to Target. As Vice President of Marketing for Target (1989-98) Bob was responsible for launching the Target brand in new markets and successfully achieved tremendous brand reception. Bob’s work with Michael Graves Design Group started the wave of new partnerships with other companies and properties which were marketed exclusively at Target, and brought Target to a new level of consumer loyalty and national recognition as one of the true passion brands in American retailing
Bob’s awards include the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal as Minnesota’s Man of the Year in 2001. He was twice selected by Advertising Age as one of the Top 100 marketers in the Nation. Bob has also been elected to the Retail Hall of Fame, and also selected by Advertising Age as one of 24 top media authorities in the industry. Bob has lectured extensively in the United States, Europe, Australia and Africa. Recently he was profiled in BusinessWeek and other business publications.
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