* AGE: 40
* TITLE: Director of FCA US brand advertising and head of Ram brand advertising
* BIG BREAK: Joining Chrysler Group from BBDO as the automaker was coming out of bankruptcy
arissa Hunter and her husband got a new puppy late last year, an energetic terrier/border collie mix that she named "Farmer."
If the name seems odd, it shouldn't. It was also the name of a highly praised Super Bowl commercial that Ram aired in 2013. For Hunter, the spot's success wasn't measured in its 18 million YouTube views or even in what it did for Ram pickup sales, but in the way it got people talking.
"It generated a conversation around the American farm family. It got people communicating about those issues," said Hunter, who is head of Ram advertising. "I believe advertising, if done effectively, provokes consumers to think about your brand and what it stands for."
Born and raised in rural Michigan, Hunter longed to be a gymnast. The daughter of a high school English teacher, she trained for 15 years, spending countless hours in the gym, pursuing her dreams of going to the Olympics. It didn't work out, but she says pursuit of that goal taught her things.
"It's given me a good sense of discipline and the importance of having confidence in yourself," Hunter said. It also taught her that success demands taking chances.
Hunter joined Chrysler in August 2009 after a decade working for advertising agency BBDO Worldwide, primarily on the Dodge account. She came to the automaker just as it was emerging from bankruptcy.
"I came to a place that needed to very quickly turn itself around and get healthy," she explained. She works closely with Olivier Francois, Fiat Chrysler's global chief marketing officer, whom she credits for being fearless about taking chances.
Hunter said FCA is a different place today compared with when she arrived nearly six years ago, adding: "I don't see that there's any end to the growth here."
-- Larry P. Vellequette