On International Women’s Day, Lisa Bennett celebrates inspiring creative and the inspiring women behind it.


Issue 25: Inspiring Creative Women

by Lisa Bennett, Executive Vice President/Creative DDB North America

When I was invited to author Lemon2020 on International Women’s Day, I was embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of “IWD.” Apparently, it’s a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women and it has been observed since the early 1900’s. In countries such as China, Russia and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.

Right about now, you’re probably asking how a woman who has been in business for 25 years and in management for 20 of those years could be so clueless. The only logical explanation is that I was in a client meeting every March 8th for the last quarter of a century or, I have been living in a man’s world. The truth is, it was probably a combination of both.

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Lisa Bennett, Executive Vice President/Creative, DDB North America

Lisa graduated from The University of Texas at Austin and began her advertising career at Leo Burnett in Chicago.  After five short years in the business, she was promoted to Creative Director. She led the creative on iconic brands such as McDonald’s, Disney and Coca Cola.  She served as Global Creative Director on Delta Airlines and HJ Heinz after leading the creative charge on both pitches.  In 2000, Advertising Age named Lisa one of “21 to Watch in the 21st Century”. In 2003, Lisa headed west to join DDB San Francisco as Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer. Within two years of her arrival, the agency won their first Cannes Lion and in the years that followed, their creative product was recognized in high profile award shows across a broad range of categories. Lisa was appointed as EVP/Creative, DDB North America this past year. She is also Chair of the DDB North America Creative Council and sits on the agency’s Global Creative Council. In 2013, Lisa was honored by Business Insider as one of the “Most Creative Women in Advertising.”

Susan Hoffman: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Susan Hoffman, ECD Wieden+Kennedy has a tendency to shake things up a bit. She’s injected her unique perspective into some of the most memorable ads of the last decade including the 2010 Cannes Lions Film Grand Prix and Emmy winner for Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”.

Katrien Bottez: Push to Add Drama

I was fortunate enough to serve on the 2013 Cannes Lions Film jury with Katrien Bottez, ECD at Duval Guillaume Modern.  Katrien was behind the 3x Gold Lion winning idea for TNT “Push to Add Drama”.  Not only is she incredibly talented, she is an incredibly nice person as well.

Merlee Jayme: TXTBKS

One of my favorite ideas from this past year is Smart Communications TXTBKS from DM9 Jayme Syfu (DDB’s agency in the Philippines.) It won the Cannes Mobile Lions Grand Prix and the 2013 Bill Bernbach Grand Prix.  The idea and the creative leader behind it –  Merlee Jayme, Chairman & CCO – both represent our core values of Creativity and Humanity.  Up close interview with Merlee

Susan Credle: Former Fill-in Receptionist

I first met the other “Susan CCO” (Susan Credle) at Cannes a few years ago.  Her President (Rich Stoddart) introduced us after singing her praises. It just so happened that her former CCO (David Lubars) was my Cannes jury President that year and he too couldn’t say enough good things about her.  Susan is obviously a shining example of how to get ahead in this business, so rather than sharing her work, I thought I would share her story.


Christina Yu:  Once More

One of my favorite people in the DDB network is Christina Yu.  Christina is ECD at Red Urban in Canada.  She is one of the most talented, hard-working creatives I have met in this business.  Christina manages a creative department, is a creative leader on Volkswagen’s Team Blue and just gave birth to twin boys.  She has also given birth to some wonderful work for VW including this recently launched campaign titled “Once More”. http://oncemore.ca

Jill Applebaum: Daily Twist

Who doesn’t love Oreo’s?  Thanks to Jill Applebaum, Group Creative Director at JWT, millions of people now love them even more.  Jill was the creative mind behind the highly acclaimed Oreo Daily Twist program—an initiative that pushed out 100 pieces of content over 100 days to celebrate Oreo’s 100th anniversary.  I think Jill deserves an Oct 2 daily twist (aka: high five).  oreo.com/dailytwist

Magadalena Drozdowska:  Hamburger Timetable

It’s always nice to watch talent blossom within our network, even if they are halfway across the world.  I’ve never met Magdalena Drozdowska, but she was recently promoted to Deputy Creative Director at DDB Warsaw, and for good reason.  Magda was the Senior Art Director behind the Cannes Lions winning “Hamburger Timetable” for McDonald’s.  She followed that up last year with another innovative idea for McDonald’s called “Chalkboard Menu”.  This year, she was invited to serve on the Golden Drum Executive jury after having won the Grand Prix at that show in 2012.  All I have to say to that is…we need more Magda’s!