In that job, her mission is to push -- and sometimes shove -- a growing client list into embracing emerging media. Her clients include Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp., Unilever and BP.
"She's really encouraged us to push the boundaries," says Richard Barker, VP-global retail advertising at BP. "She's gone as far as to create education forums to teach us about new technologies." Ms. Weinstein, who at 33 oversees 190 employees, says: "My line is 'Walk the talk.' We all say digital, gaming and emerging media are the future, but it's another thing to do it."
PROCTER & GAMBLE CO.
As an assistant brand manager in his native India in 2003, Mr. Bajaj helped revive P&G's detergent business. He came to the U.S. in 2005 to lead the turnaround of Herbal Essences.
The Target team, on which he was among the first P&G marketers to serve, let him stay in the U.S. and work with what he sees as some of the nation's top retail marketers.
"It's been a good challenge ... learning to be a consultant, not just being there to sell P&G products," Mr. Bajaj says.
At Pizza Hut, Mr. Niccol spearheaded a study revealing that "Dad was a bigger purchaser than we actually gave him credit for."
So the team reset its target from moms to 20-something men and head-of-household dads. Sales reignited, and Pizza Hut gained a full share point, to 16% of the fast-food category. "I haven't seen this type of movement in brand attributes so quickly," says Mr. Niccol, 33, now VP-marketing, strategy and consumer insights at the unit of Yum Brands.
Management has noticed. Pizza Hut Chief Marketing Officer Bill Ogle says: "He'll be CMO soon enough, but he'll be a president of one of the Yum brands. I see nothing stopping him."
The 38-year-old joined the automaker in 1995 in the parts logistics unit after graduating with a degree in info systems. In the late 1990s, she moved to a small team inside Toyota called Genesis that created separate marketing for youth-targeted models. She then shifted to the new Scion team, where she worked on "Hot Import Nights" events to help launch the Toyota sub-brand in California in 2003.
Now, as manager-sales promotion for Scion, Ms. Yoshizu oversees lifestyle marketing, including art tours, CD compilations, music, films and fashion. Her job is to identify up-and-comers in those areas and introduce them to her target of young trendsetters.
"I credit her with her ability to keep in touch with the real world of our audience and understand where they live and play," says her boss, Scion VP Mark Templin.
RESTAURANT MARKETING GROUP
"Arjun has made her a partner in his company," says Jim Adams, Chipotle's director of marketing, when asked whether Ms. Sen is a legitimate marketer. "She's delightful and bright."
Already Ms. Sen is shaping up to be an innovative boss.
"Instead of picking my friends, I picked really good workers who had things we needed," she says.
So will Ms. Sen follow in her dad's footsteps? Not precisely. "I want to go to NYU fashion-design school," she says, "and eventually market my own designs."
During Mr. Essig's five years at Men's Health, the Rodale magazine has enjoyed consistent ad-page and revenue growth, lapping Maxim as the best-selling men's title on the newsstand.
Where Mr. Essig, 37, has truly left his stamp, however, is in the creation and staging of brand-friendly events. To showcase an ad category that has long supported the magazine, Mr. Essig devised the annual Men's Health Grooming Awards. In 2006, he went one step further with the first Men's Health Urbanathlon & Festival, a daylong series of races and climbs around New York City.
"The Urbanathlon is so on-brand for us," Mr. Essig says. "It's a work-hard, play-hard day." Sponsors lined up behind it, and the event will expand to Chicago later this year.
ALISON LANGE ENGEL
Microsoft Corp. bought out Massive last year, and Ms. Lange Engel is driving a major research push, tapping data across the Microsoft network and beyond. "As a new media form, especially now, when we're all driven by such high levels of accountability, we have to be able to deliver audience demographics and explain exactly what advertisers are getting for their budgets," says the 34-year-old marketing director.
Cory Van Arsdale, Massive CEO and Microsoft general manager-online services, cites Ms. Lange Engel's role in making Massive "a key strategic investment" for Microsoft. "Her work in audience profiling and measurement is critical for our global advertisers."
Blue-chip marketers such Amazon, Walt Disney Co., Anheuser-Busch and the Oxygen cable network are playing along. Toy's fourth-quarter-2006 campaign of viral microsites -- including breakout hit "Elf Yourself" -- for OfficeMax racked up more than 40 million visits in less than five weeks.
Previously executive creative director of Fallon's New York office and a copywriter at Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Toy's 37-year-old co-founder earned accolades for work such as his Fallon effort for Time, the "Pendulum" billboard that stopped traffic with arresting visuals.
The future promises still more superlatives for Toy's creative director. "I just don't think there's anybody out there who wants it more than Ari," says former employer Alex Bogusky, chief creative officer at Crispin. "And that's a powerful thing."
Patrick Keane, 36, the web giant's former head of sales strategy, joined CBS Interactive as chief marketing officer in March to take on a unique role in helping the TV portal become more than just a broadband site. In the ensuing months, CBS Interactive has snapped up hot properties such as the streaming-radio site Last.FM and the online comic series "Wall Strip." CBS was the first network to syndicate its shows, including "CSI" and "Jericho," off-site on blogs and MySpace pages. Later this summer, CBS will partner with Joost to further establish a leadership position in the way consumers view their favorite shows online.
"It's a great time to be in the content business," Mr. Keane says. "When I was at Google, the focus was on distribution for companies, the client base of Google. But here it's just really interesting to see the power of content."
"That was really inspiring," Mr. Szaky says. Thus was a green-marketing phenomenon born. Mr. Szaky, now 25, quit Princeton to launch TerraCycle, a brand of all-organic, worm-poop-based fertilizer packaged in old soda and milk bottles, many of them collected through recycling programs at schools and churches.
It's far cheaper to pick up bottles at recycling centers, says Mr. Szaky, TerraCycle's CEO, but consumer involvement in the school and church programs is a core part of TerraCycle's marketing.
Sales are expected to hit $6 million this year, up from $1.5 million in 2006.