Marc Levy | The Innovator 25 Asia Pacific 2018
Charting the future of public relations
Innovator 25 NA Marc Levy

Marc Levy

Partner/Director Strategic & Creative Planning 

Ketchum 
New York 

“We must establish a culture that punishes mediocre success and rewards heroic failures.”
Undeterred by risk, Marc Levy is credited with developing award-winning programs for some of the best-know companies out there — Gillette, MasterCard, Panasonic, FedEx, Yahoo, Visa, Ford, Samsung and Tropicana among them. He’s also built two tools at Ketchum to drive creativity  — a formidable feat considering the Omnicom-owned agency has consistently earned more SABRE nominations than any other agency and was recognized as the Holmes Report’s most creative agency in North America this year. The Break Through Barometer is a diagnostic tool, developed in partnership with Ketchum’s in-house organizational psychologists, often used at the beginning of a client relationship to establish a creative benchmark. Idea Court is built on the premise that indeed, there are bad ideas — they just haven’t been pushed hard enough to become great ones. The tools have upped the agency’s win rate and Levy  has worked over the past year with CEO Barri Rafferty on restructuring the firm to better spotlight its differentiators. 

In what area(s) does the PR need to innovate the most? 
Diversity, selling to our clients' CMO 

How would you describe the communications/PR industry's level of innovation compared to other marketing disciplines? 
More innovative then other marketing disciplines

Where is the PR industry's greatest opportunity for taking the lead on innovation? 
Content creation 

Who most influences how innovative a brand's engagement is? 
CMO 

How do you define innovation? 
The development and deployment of new systems and processes that help catalyze the creativity and products & services our clients demand.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
I thought Anheuser-Busch's "Turning Beer Into Water" was remarkable — for both the thinking and the bravery of execution.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.' 
The development of "Idea Court." Inspired by Pixar's "shredding" process and based on the (somewhat counter-intuitive) premise that negativity can help build and foster creative excellence.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation?  
Nicholas Negroponte

How do you get out of a creativity rut? 
Asking my daughters to brainstorm for me & practicing transcendental meditation

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation? 
We must establish a culture that punishes mediocre success and rewards heroic failures.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job? 
Beach bum, Haleiwa, Hawaii.

Favorite book/movie/podcast/article that's not directly related to PR/marketing/business? 
Catching the Big Fish, David Lynch