Dr. Ruth Brown
associate professor, Department of Communication, 308-325-1111 or

“Connecting with Consumers in a Fragmented World” will be the subject of a presentation by two Chicago advertising executives Thursday, April 1, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Valerie Brown, a manager of the Kellogg’s account at Starcom IP, and Kristie Betcher, an account executive who works solely with Applebee’s at Wunderman, will speak at 3:30 p.m. in Copeland Hall, Room 140. The presentation, sponsored by the UNK Advertising and Public Relations Club in the Department of Communication, is free and open to the public.

Brown will discuss what is new in advertising and how online advertising works for the client as well as the consumer. She will share case studies of online ad campaigns. Starcom IP (Internet Protocol) specializes in the development of innovative and highly measurable online communications plans. Betcher will talk about branding products and promoting brands to consumers. She will provide examples of each. Wunderman specializes in building brands by creating tangible, imaginative customer experiences that drive sales.

Brown began her career as a strategy planner at Starcom Worldwide in San Francisco after graduating in 2000 from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., with majors in sociology and communication studies. She moved to Chicago to become an associate at Starcom IP in 2002 and was promoted to manager in 2003. Brown works with clients at Kellogg’s and Legos to create, implement and evaluate strategic plans that are centered on reaching the target in innovative, relevant, meaningful ways through advergames, content integration, sponsorships and more.

Betcher started as a project assistant, then project director, at the Grand Group in Chicago after graduating in 2000 from Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill. She majored in business administration with concentrations in marketing and management, and she minored in sociology and German. At The Grand Group, Betcher worked with promotion of a number of brands, primarily Haagen-Dazs, doing in-store merchandising, direct response advertising, loyalty marketing and event marketing. Last year she joined Wunderman, which is a division of Young and Rubicam.

Both Starcom and Wunderman are award-winning agencies. Wunderman was ranked among the top three Worldwide Marketing Services Agencies in 2002 by Ad Age magazine. Starcom IP was awarded a Gold “e” in 2002 at Media Magazine’s second annual “e” awards. In 2003 Media Magazine named Starcom IP the “Best of the Net: Interactive Agencies.” Last year, Starcom was also named U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Ad Age and Media Magazine.

The presentation is being funded by UPFF. Refreshments will be provided.