18 Top Creative Leaders Whose Ads Are Breaking Through Into Culture 13th June 2017


Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign. Werner Herzog’s internet documentary Lo and Behold. The unsmuttifying of Carl’s Jr. The tireless pursuits of IBM’s Watson.

The executive creative directors and group creative directors—and creatives of comparable rank—on the list below helped make all the work above, which has gone well beyond the confines of the ad world and permeated pop culture. Read below about the creators of advertising that moves the needle for clients, and is also embraced on a mass scale.

Note: Instead of one big list of U.S. creatives, this year we’ve divided it into smaller lists based on rank. We have 1) chief creative officers, 2) executive creative directors and group creative directors (this list), 3) creative directors and associate creative directors and 4) art directors and copywriters. We’ve also gone international with a separate list of 10 global creative chiefs.

Laurel Boyd
Director of Media Content + Innovation, Mediahub/MullenLowe Group

Boyd is a master of using existing media platforms in delightfully new ways. In particular, her work for Netflix has defined next-level creativity in media.

For Black Mirror, she and her team found an on-brand way to bypass digital ad blockers, and ran messages that read, “Hello, ad blocker user. You cannot see the ad. But the ad can see you. What’s on the other side of your black mirror?” For Narcos, they filled airport bins with images of the items Pablo Escobar packed each time he fled to a new location.

But Boyd’s favorite work lately has been for two other shows: Grace and Frankie, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. For Grace and Frankie, she and her team took a fictional product from the show, Frankie Bergstein’s All Natural Yam Lube, and got Gwyneth Paltrow to promote it in the first-ever sex issue of her GOOP newsletter. For Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, they took over the YouTube masthead and ran old UGC content (like Double Rainbow, Pizza Rat and Girl Burning Hair) that Kimmy would have missed while in the cult bunker and overlayed her reactions as if she were watching them for the first time.

How does she dream up her great ideas? “Keep a mental collection of stuff you think stands out—a cool piece of technology, interesting content and personal experiences,” she says. “Then surround yourself with really smart and talented people to come up with unique ways to connect the dots.”

This article was first published on adweek.com