Women to Watch China 2015

Ad Age Names Fourth Annual Women to Watch China Honorees

Execs Are From Alibaba, Cheil, Herborist, Isobar, J&J, Marriott, McCann, L'Oreal, Mindshare and Uniqlo

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Ad Age is proud to announce the 10 outstanding marketing, advertising and technology executives who have been chosen as this year's Women to Watch China honorees.

We have never had a more global group, a sign of what a key market China is for the world's marketers, and Chinese brands' interest in going international. Half of this year's honorees are marketers, from L'Oreal, Uniqlo, Johnson & Johnson, Jahwa Group's Herborist and Marriott. From the tech world, there is Alibaba's Tmall. And four honorees are from digital, creative and media agencies: Cheil, Isobar, McCann and Mindshare.

For virtually all of these execs, digital innovation is a major part of what they do, a reflection of China's growing leadership in areas like e-commerce and mobile devices.

Our 10 honorees will be celebrated at Ad Age's fourth annual Women to Watch China event, to be held on Oct. 19 in Shanghai in partnership with Thoughtful China. And we'll bring you their stories over the next couple weeks in Ad Age, starting today with Christina Lu, VP-marketing for Johnson & Johnson's consumer personal care division in China. Her story is here.

Ms. Lu is being honored for leading a digital transformation at one of the most established foreign brands in China. She shares some of J&J's best digital experiments, from hosting Wi-Fi in hospital waiting rooms to digital storytelling about the company's efforts to help save newborns with breathing difficulties.

Ad Age's Women to Watch China honorees this year include five executives from major marketers:

Asmita Dubey, chief marketing officer of L'Oreal China, is innovating in mobile marketing for China's No. 1 skin care player and second-biggest advertiser. She shares some of her team's latest initiatives, including one linking smartphones to a TV makeover show.

Jalin Wu, chief marketing officer for Greater China at Uniqlo, is building the fast-growing business in China by connecting online and offline experiences; "Style Your Life" let people try on outfits in front of monitors with fun backgrounds, and share the photos on WeChat.

Subrina Liu, deputy general manager of Jahwa group's Herborist, joined earlier this year to head marketing for this Chinese natural-products skincare brand and turn it into an international global brand, including a U.S. launch next year.

Peggy Fang Roe, chief sales and marketing officer for Marriott International in Asia Pacific, is leading innovations inspired by startups, including a contest for budding entrepreneurs to set up their own food and beverage concepts inside Marriott hotels.

On the technology front:

Janet Wang, head of international business development for Alibaba Group's business-to-consumer website Tmall, helps bring international brands on board for e-commerce. In a Q&A, she tells us about Tmall Global, a newer space for brands without a China business license to sell online to Chinese consumers. A Tmall Global hit: Costco.

And from the agency world:

Ellen Hou, group managing director and chief strategy officer of McCann Worldgroup Shanghai, has a talent for turning insights into strategies that connect with people's lives. An expert on China's version of millennials—all 135 million of them--she has five takeaways on what works, and what doesn't, in youth marketing.

Amrita Randhawa is CEO of Mindshare China, which has doubled in size since she took the helm in 2013. One strength: getting marketers to invest in generating content. Perhaps surprisingly, local Chinese companies are proving more nimble at seizing these opportunities.

Jane Lin-Baden, CEO, Isobar China Group, helps clients design their whole business around e-commerce, now the gateway to experience a brand in China. That includes creating new products, such as stickers and clothing that include wearable technology.

Daphne Chen, digital marketing business director for Cheil PengTai, is creating new opportunities for brands to use the internet of things. One project, for local dairy giant Yili, transformed the straps people hang onto in Beijing buses, turning them into health monitoring systems.

Ad Age has been honoring Women to Watch in the U.S. since 1997. Widespread interest in China made the country the clear choice for the first Women to Watch event outside the U.S. four years ago. China's success has helped Women to Watch go global. This year, there will be Ad Age's Women to Watch honorees and events in China, the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Turkey, and there are plans to add the U.K. and the Middle East next year.

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