Amazon’s Ukonwa Ojo on Culture, Creators and the Childlike Magic of Marketing

The CMO of Prime Video and Amazon Studios dishes on her journey to the C-suite and what marketers should always take pride in

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While it wasn’t an easy decision for Ukonwa Ojo to make the move from CMO of MAC Cosmetics to CMO of Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios, it was a decision that quickly proved to be the right one for this culture-focused leader. And the draw of this new role for Ukonwa was two-fold: not only did she fall in love with the company culture and vision set by Amazon SVP Mike Hopkins, but also the opportunity to be at the intersection of culture and entertainment like never before.

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Ukonwa talked about one of the early moments in her role that validated she made the right move. “My first green light meeting was the green light for Coming 2 America. … I literally was sitting in this meeting thinking what are the odds that the first meeting I get to be a part to say ‘yes we should do this’ happens to be my favorite movie of all time?”

From the green light, came once-in-a-career opportunities for Ukonwa and her team to tease and activate such an iconic movie to the masses, complete with painting Amazon planes gold and sending out “sexual chocolates” (please watch this movie if you haven’t already!) to generate buzz for the Prime Video release. Ukonwa is also excited about all the work coming out of Amazon Studios and the diverse group of creators she gets to work with and market.

Ukonwa explained, “It’s very similar to a lot of other studios that you will see in Hollywood, where their role is to just make incredible shows, make incredible movies and just be a really great home for talent. … You want the best creators choosing you as a home for all the incredible work that they want to put out into the world.”

We also dive into Ukonwa’s background, growing up in Nigeria as the daughter of two entrepreneurs who gifted her with both analytical and creative DNA. Beginning her career in finance, Ukonwa quickly realized that her creative side was yearning to come out so she decided to pursue a different path—which led to formative brand roles at General Mills, RB, Unilever and Coty. She shares unrivaled advice for navigating a non-linear career and how taking pride in the work you put into the world is paramount to your reputation and success.

Tune in to hear more about Ukonwa’s journey to CMO, how she blends what she calls “the math and the magic” to drive business success and how to never let die the childlike, human side of marketing.