After making the leap from aerospace and defense software engineering to advertising, Eli Ferrara has rocketed to the top as FCB Canada’s VP of creative innovation. In four short years, his facility with emerging tech has helped the agency explore AI, web3, gaming, blockchain and more for clients and reap more than 100 creative awards.
FCB Canada’s Eli Ferrara drives innovation with mixed reality, data visualization
Ferrara’s specialty is mixed reality, or the blurring of lines between physical and virtual spaces. For Canadian bank BMO, he brought financial services to younger audiences by creating a Twitch channel with games centered on finances—think building homes in Minecraft while discussing mortgages.
But Ferrara’s work that most impressed the judges was the Black Elevation Map, an immersive web experience that reimagines the American landscape by visualizing the heights of Black culture. For the map, he helped build an algorithm that pulled in an astounding 330 million data points that highlight Black populations and Black-owned businesses.
“It’s super impressive, super innovative and culturally relevant,” said one judge. It also won Creative Data Campaign of the Year at this year’s Creativity Awards.
Multiple judges said they saw consumers sharing the map in their social feeds, a testament to the work resonating beyond the advertising bubble. “I love it when the work shows up in group chats or regular conversations with friends,” said one judge. “It shows we are not just talking to ourselves.”