Liz Vanzura was marketing director of one of the most successful auto ad campaigns in history, the launch of the New Beetle. As HUMMER’s global director of marketing, every award-winning, humorous or memorable HUMMER commercial since 2001 was the work of her team. Behind the scenes, her Volkswagen and HUMMER teams redefined their brands’ images into global powerhouses. Just weeks ago, Vanzura was named global director of marketing for Cadillac. A graduate of General Motors Institute with a Harvard MBA, Vanzura has been inducted into the AAF Advertising Hall of Achievement and has received numerous awards for her work.

At the February 16 meeting of the International Motor Press Association, Vanzura will discuss the importance of using creativity – not huge budgets – to create memorable images and strong brands. She will show examples of highly creative advertising from the automotive and other industries. Her remarks will range beyond the work in which she has had direct involvement.

The program, beginning with a noon reception, followed by lunch, Vanzura’s presentation and a question & answer session, will be at the 3 West 51st Club, 3 West 51st Street, New York. Tickets are $35 for IMPA members, $45 for others.

Her formal General Motors biography:

Liz Vanzura, global marketing director, Cadillac, General Motors Corporation

As director of global marketing for Cadillac, Liz Vanzura has responsibility for developing and executing Cadillac’s overall marketing strategy, positioning and branding for Cadillac’s products worldwide. Vanzura leads an internal staff and provides direction to Cadillac’s advertising agency Leo Burnett.

Prior to her position at Cadillac, Vanzura was the global director of marketing for HUMMER from 2001-early 2006 and Director of Marketing at Volkswagen of America from late 1996 through 2000. In that capacity, she directed one of the most recognized and successful advertising campaigns in automotive history, including the historic re-launch of the Beetle as well as all of HUMMER’s new product launches to date.

Liz began her career in 1982 as a GMI (General Motors Institute) engineering intern and worked in sales, marketing, engineering and design departments within General Motors.  After graduation from GMI with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with honors, she became a product planning manager with GM.  She received a scholarship from GM in 1988 (known as a GM fellowship) to pursue an MBA at Harvard University.  Following graduation from Harvard in 1990, Vanzura served in a variety of product planning, market research and marketing roles, including the position of assistant brand manager for the Pontiac Sunfire in 1994.  She joined Volkswagen of America in 1996 as director of marketing, charged with relaunching the brand with five new car launches over a four-year period. 

Highlights of Vanzura’s career include 2005 AAF Advertising Hall of Achievement Inductee,  three-time Automotive News All Star for Advertising in 1999, 2000 and 2003, a 2004 Gold ADDY Award/Best in Show TV finalist, 2003 Brandweek Top Marketers of the Next Generation Award, 2003 Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune Best Ad of the Year, Advertising Age 2003 Highest Recalled and Most Likeable Advertising, 2002 Business 2.0’s 20 Young Execs You Need to Know, 2001 Advertising Age Top Women to Watch Award, 1999 Best Overall Client Clio Award (any industry), Advertising Age 1999 Top 100 Marketing Professionals, 1998 Cannes Grand Prix Winner, 1998 USA Today Best Overall Advertising Campaign and 1998 Advertising Age Marketer of the Year.

Among the achievements of which she is most proud, Vanzura recently initiated and developed a six-year partnership between HUMMER and the American Red Cross that resulted in a $4 million donation of HUMMER vehicles and cash to support the Red Cross relief and recovery infrastructure. 

Vanzura has been a featured speaker at a number of marketing and advertising conferences and serves on the board of the Detroit Adcraft Club.