Rebecca Van Dyck’s career is a chronicle of cool: She shepherded Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign around the world, launched the iPhone and iPad at Apple, gave Levi’s its first global brand identity last year with the Go Forth campaign, and this past February joined the world’s largest social network. Here are lessons from a global nomad who evangelizes about American brands:
“I like to go places where I have to challenge myself,” she says, citing her most recent trip to Zimbabwe and Rwanda. “Seeing huge issues like AIDS or malaria being chipped away at community by community” led her to think more deeply about Facebook as a rapid communication tool to solve social problems at all scales.
“If someone gives me a statistic or data point, I take the other point of view or angle,” Van Dyck says. “I will surround it and see if it still holds true.” It’s a habit she picked up in part during college, studying abroad in Cairo and reading three different news-papers to get multiple perspectives on an event.
Soccer! Van Dyck has played since middle school–she started on a boys team (“I felt stronger for that”)–and still plays every Sunday. “It’s a nice little thing to have in my pocket. No matter where I’ve lived, I can always show up with my cleats, find a home, and be part of a community right away.”
Plays first competitive soccer game in middle school
Graduate from Macalester College
Begins 12-year stint as Nike global account director at Wieden+Kennedy
Named marketing communications executive at Apple; works on campaigns for the Mac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPad
Becomes chief marketing officer at Levi’s; oversees the brand’s first global marketing campaign, “Go Forth”
Travels to Zimbabwe and Rwanda with the board of global health organization PSI in January
Joins Facebook as head of consumer marketing in February