- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 7, 2005

Charlie Jones has seen his advertising clients move their spending from traditional billboard and radio advertisements to a new form of interactive marketing.

And he has followed the money.

Mr. Jones, who until last month was a traditional advertising executive with three years of experience as chief marketing officer and director of account management at Arnold Worldwide, a D.C. agency, was appointed to the same position at RedPeg Marketing, an experiential firm in Alexandria.

Experiential marketing gives people interaction with a product in hopes they will like it and become loyal customers.

Mr. Jones, 39, hopes to help RedPeg combine traditional marketing of a brand with live interaction to get consumers invested in a product.

Advertising has changed, Mr. Jones said, and consumers require interaction with a product before it will grab their attention.

“It’s harder to establish a relationship with customers,” he said. “If they’re actually touching, developing a relationship … you have a much better chance of indoctrinating people to the brand. Ads are flat and suspect to many people.”

Mr. Jones said he likes the creativity required to bring an experience to life. For America Online, RedPeg put together interactive booths where prospective customers sat in a living-room-style setting and tried out high-speed AOL.

Although these methods reach fewer people, they are more effective than billboards, Mr. Jones said.

Mr. Jones was hired for his ability to manage top accounts and bring products to life to reach the greatest number of consumers, said Brad Nierenberg, RedPeg’s president.

“He brings us both the ability to be very creative and strategic with our clients’ marketing dollars,” Mr. Nierenberg said.

In his new job, Mr. Jones will be responsible for corporate marketing, developing new business and managing accounts. He expects to be challenged by experiential marketing, which is new for many of his clients.

RedPeg, which employs about 80 people, has been around for 10 years. Arnold Worldwide is much larger, with five offices in the United States and 13 offices in other countries.

“I like the idea of a frontier experience in a small, energetic company. It’s very different from a large ad agency,” he said.

Mr. Jones, who likes to fly fish, golf and play guitar, lives in Bethesda with his wife, Meg, and four sons.

Jen Haberkorn

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