Energy is the Best Medicine: Tonise Paul

Casey Gordon | September 8, 2016

Some people march to the beat of their own drum. Others would rather invent their own instrument to march with.

Some people march to the beat of their own drum. Others would rather invent their own instrument to march with.

Guess which one Tonise Paul is.

Tonise 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 has always believed 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, unsurprisingly, is known for her seemingly inexhaustible energy — so much so that her colleagues sometimes speculate that, in addition to being one of the 30 Most Powerful Women in Advertising, she may also be a superhero.

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.

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