Tonise Paul

CEO, Energy BBDO

Tonise Paul has been making waves in the ad industry for thirty-seven years, the last twenty as President and CEO of global creative agency Energy BBDO.

Early in her career—when older colleagues were still encouraging her to embrace the traditional back-slapping culture of the advertising world—Tonise left her secure position at Leo Burnett for the chance to work on a new Wrigley chewing gum at BBDO Chicago. (Conventional ad world wisdom holds that leaving a steady job for a new product is risky, if not foolish.)

Well, Tonise made a fool out of everyone who doubted her, and it wasn’t long before Wrigley executives started calling her a superstar.

Tonise believes that energy knows no rival when it comes to fueling creativity (no, the name Energy BBDO it’s not a coincidence). Considering Energy BBDO’s numerous awards under her leadership, including 2015 US Agency of the Year from Adweek and 2015 Global Network of the Year from Campaign Magazine, we’re not about to dispute that.

Tonise shares 5 ways she infuses creativity into agency culture:

1. Embed creativity in the vision. Putting creativity at the center of where you’re going forces you to evolve and keeps you on the leading edge.

2. The work, the work, the work. Energy BBDO’s mantra reminds us always that in the absence of great work, nothing else matters. Creativity should serve a purpose.

3. Diversity breeds creativity. The more regions of the world that are represented in your talent pool, the better. Period.

4. Promote great work and creators of great work. Find unique forums for sharing creative projects and personalities from both inside and outside the agency.

5. Culture of openness. Energy BBDO maintains an extensive work in progress wall so everyone can contribute to making the work better.

For more about Energy BBDO, click here.

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FIVEinSIXTY is our web series with thought leaders whose stories provide insights and inspiration for the next generation of go getters—our own little brainchild outside the wide variety of videos we produce for our clients.

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