Eric Yoch, 29

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Marketing has been in Eric Yoch's blood since, as a third grader, he starred in a Wendy's commercial. Once the spot aired, Mr. Yoch was sure he'd see lines snaking around the local stores in response to his redheaded charm. "My parents had to explain, that's not quite how advertising works," he says.

Now 29, Mr. Yoch has learned plenty about how advertising works. As global brand development manager for Dove shampoos and conditioners, he's a rare under-30 brand manager in package goods, developing the global new-product pipeline for a $2.5 billion Unilever brand that's one of the industry's biggest success stories of recent years.

"As we focus on larger global brands, the logical extension is to also work on big new global [product] mixes," Mr. Yoch says, "and that's what I lead the development of."