Introducing the rising stars of Madison Avenue.
Whether developing breakthrough ad campaigns, using data in new ways, or coming up with new ways to reach consumers, this crop of young advertising professionals is turning traditional advertising on its head and shaking things up on Madison Avenue and beyond.
Criteria and methodology
Business Insider has in the past recognized the 30 most creative people in advertising under 30. This year we broadened the criteria to include rising talent in departments beyond creative while increasing the age limit to 35.
We've included people with a variety of roles and experiences, spanning planning, creative, strategy, business development, and talent. We looked beyond ad agencies to consulting companies like Deloitte Digital and IBM iX that are increasingly competing with them.
We finalized the list based on agency and peer nominations, our own research into their awards and campaigns, the influence they've had on their companies, and their potential to be future leaders in the industry.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination, and congratulations to our winners. (The rising stars are listed in alphabetical order by last name.)
Jess Watts, 30, RPA
Watts goes beyond the focus group with her research. In her recent report, "The Identity Shifters: A Gen Z Exploration," she combined qualitative and quantitative research to break down the Gen Z cohort to the agency's clients, including a "mobile appnography," which detailed their mobile-app habits.
After the 2016 presidential election, Watts led a group of ethnographic researchers to North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota to learn about the attitudes and values there that tipped the election.
On the client front, she was pivotal to helping win the social-media business for Farmers Insurance and Southwest Airlines and tied them in to relevant cultural moments like the Oscars and Netflix's "Stranger Things," with the campaign "Stranger Claims."