2018 Advertising Woman of the Year



Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Reception: 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Program: 6:30 -9:30 pm


Radisson Blu
221 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL

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By encouraging marketers to embrace an ‘inside out’ perspective, Esther ‘E.T.’ Franklin has helped iconic brands – and the advertising industry at large – understand the cultural identities and media consumption habits of local and global audiences. Drawing on extensive industry experience across a range of agencies, audiences and geographies, Esther offers a unique perspective in any situation. Through her spirit of decisive collaboration, future-focused orientation, and innately creative, curious, open-minded, strategic nature, Esther has led several successful corporate "start-up" initiatives.

Today, she develops and drives the strategic vision for Spark Foundry and its clients as EVP, Managing Director Strategy & Cultural Fluency.  Esther leads her team in the design of the strategic underpinning of growth-delivering, forward-leaning communications approaches that deepen the relationships between people and brands.  

Previously, she led the creative vision of Starcom MediaVest Group - Americas, Human Experience Strategy.  At SMG, Esther spearheaded Beyond Demographics, a proprietary behavioral science approach, leveraging the role of Cultural Identity in driving brand growth. She also pioneered Cultural Communication Anthropology, which considers heritage, tradition and experience in communication consumption patterns.

A celebrated strategic human behaviorist, instrumental in  shifting the paradigm on how marketers communicate with consumers, Esther’s accolades include Judge of Cannes Lions, Advertising Age’s Women to Watch, AWNY’s Changing the Game, Ad Color Legend, Black Enterprise Top Women Executive in Advertising & Marketing, and MediaMaker, History Maker - The HistoryMakers.

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A congratulatory ad or sponsorship is a great way to show your appreciation and kudos to Esther. To lean more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lin Marie Carey at lcarey@chicagoadfed.org.




The Chicago Advertising Federation exists to foster momentum in Chicago’s advertising industry. The four pillars of the Chicago Advertising Federation are:

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