It’s often hard to get attention as a young person in the advertising industry, but the field is nonetheless brimming with bright, young talent and exciting new ideas.
That’s why Business Insider makes an annual call for nominations for the 30 most creative people in advertising under the age of 30. Our honorees represent the next generation of leaders. They might not be household names just yet, but they have done the sort of inspiring work that could very well get them there in the near future.
We constructed our list based on a combination of agency and peer nominations, and our own research into awards, campaigns, and innovative potential. Thanks to everyone who submitted a nominee, and congratulations to our winners.
Christie Marchese founded Picture Motion two years ago to help market movies focused on social issues, like 2013's Fruitvale Station, a film based on the racially-charged killing of a San Francisco man by a police officer.
Picture Motion partners with activist groups likely to see a given film and creates ways viewers can continue to interact with the relevant issues after the movie is over. For 'Inequality for All,' a recent documentary on income inequality, Picture Motion helped coordinate more than 700 home viewing parties for the film, after which participants were invited to a national conference call with economist Robert Reich and U.S. senator Elizabeth Warren to discuss ways to tackle the issue at hand.
Picture Motion coordinated with artists to paint this mural of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old whose murder was at the center of the film Fruitvale Station.
Advertising attracts creative people from a diversity of liberal arts disciplines, but not all of the industry's history majors get to apply their expertise as directly as Argonaut's Marika Wiggan. While working at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Wiggan put her museum studies degree in action by doing an anthropological study of Chevrolet Camaro owners to determine how best to market to them.
Wiggan has also left her handprints on advertising's biggest showcase, helping Chevrolet plan an award-winning mobile app for the 2012 Super Bowl and working on Volkswagen's campaign for this year's game.
Wiggan helped Volkswagen show off the lighter side of its German engineers at this year's Super Bowl.
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Megan Man is in charge of American Express' brand design at Huge and has been responsible for more than 50 creative projects for the credit card giant. Man also led the re-design of Newsweek when it first moved to an all-digital format in 2013, drawing praise for merging what people like about magazines (large, striking images and the curation of relevant content) with the multimedia and social tools made available by the web.
Ross Fletcher is an art director at Barton F. Graf 9000, the off-kilter and very funny agency created in 2010 by advertising legend Gerry Graf. There, Fletcher worked on Dish Network's popular campaign for the ad-skipping Hopper, which played on the funny way New Englanders pronounced the product and taught the country how to 'Talk Boston.'
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Ray Sison was the lead designer of the groundbreaking Nike+ FuelBand, a smart wristband that tracks people's physical activities and how many calories they burn. The R/GA team that made the FuelBand was heavily awarded for its efforts, and Sison himself was the second most-awarded art director of 2013, according to Ad Age.
Sison has also been influential in helping R/GA win several new business pitches and has a side business as a wedding photographer.
25 -- 24) Kyung Wan Kang, Age 27, and Westley Taylor, Age 25: Art director and copywriter at Anomaly
Westley Taylor and Kyung Wan Kang have been creative partners since they were students at Miami Ad School. There, they devised a social campaign for Jet Blue that would have filled empty seats without losing the company money and a donation box for Apple's App Store to turn unused apps into charitable donations.
Now, Taylor they work on the Anomaly team charged with promoting Google Glass, which recently made a cool video showing how North Carolina firefighters were using the new technology to make themselves safer.
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Yisha Zhang has been instrumental in helping Team One build the Lexus brand's reputation for groundbreaking work at the nexus of the physical and digital realms.
This includes helping create CinePrint, a technology that allows people to place their iPads behind a print magazine ad to make it come alive with additional motion and sound. Zhang also worked on the Lexus Instafilm, a project that combined the efforts of 212 Instagram users to make a stop motion film of the Lexus 2014 IS. Next on Zhang's agenda? Leading Team One's research on the Chinese luxury market.
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Rachel Mercer's achievements include developing an app for Pizza Hut that allowed users to place an order with just two taps of their smartphones and creating Panelizr, an interactive website to help people see which South By Southwest panels were happening at a given time and what people were saying about them on social media.
Most recently, she helped make an app for Esurance that predicts the price of gas.
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Jared White has worked as an art director on several high-profile social/digital campaigns. In 2011, he won a Cannes Cyber Lion while at R/GA for his work on 'The Social Interview,' which posted questions about R/GA internship applicants on their Facebook walls for their friends to answer about them.
After graduating and serving in various finance and consulting jobs on Wall Street, Jesse Pujji and two college friends founded Ampush, an adtech startup that helps brands and direct-response marketers advertise on social media and measure the success of their campaigns.
The company has since been named one of Facebook's strategic preferred marketing developers, and in 2013, brands used Ampush for $US70 million worth of online advertising buys. Next year, it will expand internationally to Asian Pacific and Latin American markets.
Jessica Shriftman is best known for helping create Underheard in New York, an initiative to give mobile phones to four homeless New Yorkers so they could share their stories by tweeting about their lives. The campaign raised awareness in the form of television and web coverage, and helped one participant get a job offer and another reunite with his daughter after being separated for more than a decade.
Prior to making the jump to freelancing, she spent three years at BBH New York, where she worked on popular ads for Google Chrome, like this one where a man uses the internet to win back a lost lover. She has recently done work for the likes of Wieden+Kennedy, 72andSunny, and Johannes Leonardo.
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Inspired by his twin brother and leukemia survivor Britton Douglas, Graham partnered with Help Remedies to create a Band-aid that came with a kit for collecting and donating bone marrow. This way, when people got cut, they could immediately donate their blood to a good cause.
On a completely different note, Douglas also made waves when he helped create a website for Ikea that was formatted like a porn site to highlight the Swedish furniture giant's 'hot' Malm beds. The site, HotMalm.com, carried links to 'videos' like 'Hot Malm's Bottom Stuffed' that led to places where people could look at and purchase bed frames.
Matt League is the creator of one of our favourite advertising side projects: Mother Recommends, a LinkedIn account that skewers the site's silly 'recommendations' feature by offering recommendations as if they were written by a user's mother. Sample: 'It is strange to think that the young, strapping gentleman you know as Cameron Rapelye Van der Veer III was once just another bun in my primordial oven.'
Prior to joining the advertising world as an intern at CP+B, Chris Avantaggio was a snowboarder who rode professionally for Burton Snowboards and Winter Park Resort in Colorado. Since then, he has helped Samsung launch its Galaxy Tab with a clever campaign showing off its versatility and asked local shopowners to allow The VIA Agency to paint ads for The Salvation Army on their windows, furniture, and pizza boxes.
In his free time, Avantaggio still snowboards, and runs a Maine lifestyle and clothing brand called LiveME.
Currently an associate creative director at BBDO, Derek Blais is perhaps best known for his work on McDonald's 2012 'Our Food. Your Questions' campaign at Tribal DDB. The Cannes Lion-winning campaign helped assuage consumers' concerns about the fast-food chain's ingredients by answering user-submitted questions with interactive responses, including ones that shed light on why McDonald's hamburgers look better in ads than in real life and which ingredients are in its famed Big Mac sauce.
Blais has also won praise for a startling digital campaign that highlighted the danger of active land mines, and one for the Canadian burger chain Harvey's that allowed people to design and trademark their own menu items.
Melissa Rosenthal is responsible for a department of 40 that produces the sponsored content that funds the site's growing media empire. According to a recent report from Bloomberg, the site brought in $US60 million in sales last year and is hoping to double that figure in 2014 -- no small amount of responsibility for a 25-year-old.
Some of Rosenthal's achievements include her 'big ideas' team, which brainstorms brand integrations like Friskies' 'Cat Internet,' and crafting campaigns for more than half of the world's 100 biggest brands.
13 -- 11) Yunha Kim, Age 24, Paul Jang, Age 29, and Kaushik Pendurthi, Age 25: Co-founders of Locket
Noticing how many times they unlocked their smartphones each day, these three entrepreneurial minds saw a business opportunity and pounced. In March 2013, they launched Locket, an Android app that pays users to allow advertising on their mobile home screens. Users looking to unlock their phones can then either swipe to engage with the ad they're presented with or swipe the other way to ignore it.
So far, Kim, Jang, and Pendurthi have run ad campaigns for the likes of Sears, eBay, and Amazon, and have received funding from none other than model Tyra Banks.
10 -- 9) Rebecca Nadilo, Age 27, and Zach Pentel, Age 27: Directors of digital strategy at BBDO New York
Together, Rebecca Nadilo and Zach Pentel have helped the New York office of industry titan BBDO keep up with an uncountable number of specialised competitors in the digital space.
Pentel is the man behind Lowe's Home Improvement's popular 'Fix in Six' series of Vine videos, which demonstrated a number of simple, helpful home repair and organisation tips. The series won rave reviews from consumers and industry folks alike, garnering BBDO a Cannes Lion in 2013.
Nadilo has worked on two major campaigns for AT&T: The long-running 'It's Not Complicated' ads featuring comedian Beck Bennett and a group of children, as well as 'It Can Wait,' AT&T's anti-texting and driving push.
Even before he got into advertising, Lincoln Boehm had impressive writing experience for Sporting News radio and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Since entering the industry, he's only added to his impressive resume with a Nike Basketball microsite that changed based on how much people were tweeting about Kobe Bryant, and funny commercials for Tide starring Betty White.
Boehm's most recent hit was one of our favourite ads of the new year, a moving commercial for Duracell that tells the story of Derrick Coleman, a Seattle Seahawks running back who made the NFL despite being deaf.
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Since getting her start in advertising as a 19-year-old intern in her native São Paulo, Bianca Guimarães has become one of the most awarded young people in the industry, garnering recognition from The Clios, Cannes, The One Show, and others.
In 2012, she worked on an augmented reality mobile app that turned Band-Aids into an interactive Muppets show. She followed that award-winning effort last year with an app for allergy medication Zyrtec that analysed weather conditions, pollen levels, and people's symptoms to help them determine what was making them feel bad.
Since founding the mobile advertising startup Kiip in his late teens, Wong has worked with 75 members of the Fortune 500 (including Disney and Procter & Gamble), and received investments from the likes of American Express and advertising goliath Interpubilc Group.
Kiip helps brands reward mobile users with coupons, discounts, and free products when they reach certain 'moments' of achievement within mobile games and productivity apps like MapMyRun. In 2013 alone, the company offered users more than 2 billion of these rewards.
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Prior to joining TBWA earlier this winter, Perlow worked at Lowe New York, AKQA, and Deutsch, where she helped create a number of campaigns that melded innovative strategy with sharp design.
For Target, Perlow worked on a project to share personalised outfits with Twitter users that were created by fashion writer and celebrity stylist June Ambrose. And for the video game MLB '13, she helped create a digital election of sorts for the baseball player that would be featured on the game's cover. The plan featured several funny videos of players pleading their cases to the fans and richly detailed stadiums that allowed fans to track the progress of their favourites.
In her free time, Lauren is also a co-creator of the website thenicestplaceontheinter.net, where people having a rough day can go to get a series of virtual hugs set to soothing music. She recently moved to TBWAMediaArtsLab, where she works on the Apple account.
Here's one of the virtual stadiums Perlow designed for MLB '13. The campaign generated more than 1 million site visits.
4 -- 3) Jasmine Clark, Age 29, and Richard Langhorne, Age 27: strategist and copywriter at Mother New York
Clark and Langhorne teamed up on two of the most creative ads of recent vintage for Virgin Mobile. In 'Retrain Your Brain,' the duo unleashed on the world a bizarre, totally enthralling ad that sought to hypnotize viewers into learning about the benefits of switching to Virgin Mobile.
They then expounded on that same message in a webcam-enabled interactive experience called 'Blinkwashing' that allowed users to change video scenes just by blinking. The 'Blinkwashing' experience earned Virgin Mobile more than 50 million media impressions.
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2 -- 1) David Justus, Age 26, and Will Davie, Age 25: Technology director and brand strategist at Droga5
Will Davie and David Justus collaborated on one of the most exciting digital campaigns of the past few years, the Prudential Challenge Lab. The immersive, interactive experience creatively convinces people of the importance of saving for retirement and offers them helpful tips for doing so.
In addition, Davie helped create UNICEF's Tap Project, a Facebook campaign that prodded users to enlist their friends to make charitable donations and Justus worked on Droga5's cool campaign for The New Museum, which transported users back to 1993 to coincide with a retrospective art exhibit.
This video from the Challenge Lab explains the brain science behind why people don't save for retirement as much as they should.
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