Whether they’re building Manhattan’s buzziest women’s-only club or helping brands reach the next generation of influencers, these Young Influentials are paving the way in the marketing arena. For more up-and-coming talent in tech, media and entertainment, check out our full list.
Samantha Levine Archer
Director, client technology and solutions, Hearts & Science
Samantha Levine Archer dove deep into data during her four years at Annalect, the nerve center of a sprawling Omnicom operation that birthed the industry’s hottest new media network, Hearts & Science.
“When I explain what I do to my parents, I say, essentially, problem solving,” says Archer, 29. “It’s like cheerleading and being a boss at the same time.”
When Hearts & Science officially launched after winning P&G’s 2015 media review, Archer became director of client technology and solutions, an ambitious new role that requires her to oversee the agency’s Agile practice.
During the March brand safety freakout that led major advertisers to pull their ads from YouTube, she led a “Special Forces” unit that used guerrilla tactics to solve clients’ problems with near-surgical precision by running “dark” tests and wading through thousands of hours of offensive content.
As clients’ transparency demands grow, Hearts & Sciences aims to stay ahead of the game. Archer describes the agency as “a special starfish growing into a larger octopus” driven by “dramatic changes in what a traditional media planner and buyer can do.” —Patrick Coffee
Bennett D. Bennett
BBDO New York copywriter Bennett D. Bennett compares himself to a utility player in baseball, citing his versatility as a key strength. That versatility extends far beyond advertising: Bennett started college as a physics major, has an extensive fiction background and experience as a voiceover artist.
Bennett, 27, landed at BBDO in 2015, scoring a spot as the inaugural hire in the agency’s creative residency program after giving a speech at the AdColor Awards & Industry Conference. He continues to be involved with AdColor, as well as the AAF’s Mosaic Council, the 4A’s and The 3% Conference.
While Bennett thinks the industry is making some progress with diversity, he says, “I just don’t think progress is as quick and as impactful as it should be.” He adds, “There’s a large pipeline of diverse talent coming in, but not being included enough in conversations at agencies,” which means that much of that talent leaves for other industries before reaching senior-level positions. Bennett, who is currently working on campaigns for Macy’s and SAP, aims to eventually launch his own agency. “My goal is not just to expand as a writer, but to put that into practice through long-form story content, build brands from the ground up from a branding and identity perspective,” he says. —E.O.
Divisional vp, integrated marketing and community engagement, REI
From a young age, Sarah Crockett loved REI. As a child, she would visit the Seattle-based company’s co-op with her father, always leaving with a pack of freeze-dried “astronaut” ice cream. Now, at 34, she’s living her dream as an employee.
In her role as divisional vp, integrated marketing and community engagement, Crockett oversees a team of 50 people focused on integrated content, local marketing, paid media, events and social. Their goal? To spread the message that a life outdoors is a life well lived.
Some of her biggest accomplishments since joining the brand include supporting the award-winning “#OptOutside” work as well as “Force of Nature,” a campaign championing women who love the outdoors, and REI Outessa, a female-driven event platform that includes a three-day retreat where women can participate in various activities, bond with one another and focus on personal growth.