Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Mars former global chief marketing officer, Bruce McColl, has joined the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia Business School.
McColl, who was at the helm of Mars for the past 10 years and with the confectionary and food brand for the last 24 years, retired from the organisation in June. He has now stepped in as an industry professor and will bring his experience into the classroom as well as advise post-graduate research students.
McColl has been a corporate sponsor and advisory board member of UniSA’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, and previously took research spearheaded by the organisation to establish the Mars Marketing Science Laboratory. The Institute is a marketing research hub aimed at advancing marketing knowledge through evidence-based approaches.
In a statement, director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, Professor Byron Sharp, said the insights McColl brings will be invaluable for the students and industry partners.
“The kind of experience Bruce has is unique, he’s seen great changes in the industry and is a leader in the application of scientific knowledge to marketing practice,” he said. “Corporate sponsors of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute as well as students will benefit from his experience in marrying creativity and science.”
Pro vice-chancellor of business and law, professor Marie Wilson, said McColl’s appointment was an example of the university’s strong focus on providing education and research connected to industry best practice.
“Bruce has had a stellar career in marketing at the highest international level,” Wilson said. “His engagement with our staff and students ensures that we can offer commercial, leading-edge perspectives in our teaching and research.”
Among McColl’s milestones as a marketing leader are winning Advertiser of the Year at the Cannes Lion Awards for Creativity in 2012, Marketer of the Year at the International Food and Beverage Awards in 2015 and 2016, and 2015 Client of the Year at The One Show.
McColl’s role at Mars was replaced by chief customer officer, Andrew Clarke, as part of a remit that encompasses media, consumer marketing and sales.