Benny Thomas

Benny Thomas

  • Greater Los Angeles Area, US CA

Work History

Work History


Ignition Brand
Jan 2014 - Oct 2014

Brought in to help this entertainment creative services company evolve into a brand marketing agency from the ground up. Created a team and a philosophy that built upon the existing DNA: "The StoryMaker Agency." Won new business worth $10 million and deepened relationships with existing Hollywood, TV and gaming clients. 

VP/ Executive Planning Director

Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Jul 2011 - Jan 2014

Thought leader and co-head of strategic planning for one of the world's foremost agencies. Helped establish and build the Los Angeles office, knit a formidable planning team and win new business worth $80 million in billings. Led strategy for American Express OPEN, Microsoft, Best Buy, Charles Schwab, Caesars and Netflix. Some memorable assignments: Microsoft's first global integrated Windows family campaign; the first brand campaign for Netflix which paved the way for its emergence as a content house;  and repositioning Charles Schwab for affluent investors. Very proud of our pro bono work for Boys & Girls Clubs of America that helped redefine and relaunch the organization's mission. 

SVP/ Global Planning Director

Young & Rubicam
Aug 2008 - Jul 2011

Global head of strategy for three of the agency's blue-chip brands -  LG, Bacardi and Chevron. Helped the agency become lead partner for LG globally, spearheading campaigns for phones, appliances and TVs, as well as partnering with product teams on innovation projects. Lead strategist on the WPP SWAT team on Bacardi that created the first unified brand campaign in years: "Bacardi: Together."  Helped define and launch a new sub-brand,  Bacardi Oakheart Dark Rum, successfully in the US market. 

Group Strategic Planning Director

Jan 2006 - Jul 2011

Head of strategy on Mars petfood brands, notably Pedigree, as well as Whiskas and treats. Promoted to head of strategy for Nissan/Infiniti. Worked on the award-winning "We're for dogs" campaign for Pedigree and was the sole agency representative on the global task force that helped to define the Infiniti marque for its rollout in markets outside the US. 

Vice President

Oct 2002 - Dec 2005

Returned to the agency I helped build, initially as head of the Delhi office and then as national head of strategy. Helped turn around the Delhi office, defined the agency's core beliefs and toolkit and built strong relationships with top agency clients including Standard Chartered Bank, Mars, Henkel, adidas, Panasonic and Unicef. Chief evangelist for the agency's Disruption philosophy, led workshops with key clients including Apple, Pedigree, Standard Chartered Bank and Twinings Tea. 

Marketing Advisor

Measat Broadcast, Malaysia
Feb 2001 - May 2002

Headed marketing for Malaysia's biggest satellite broadcaster and helped them establish two FM radio stations in India.  AS HEAD OF MARKETING AT ASTRO: Headed a 15-member department – brand marketing, relationship marketing, research and communications teams.Oversaw growth of subscriber base from 500,000 to 650,000 households. Worked closely with the CFO to restructure the content packages for better consumer appeal and profitability. Developed one of the world’s largest digital ‘on-TV-magazines’, Easymag, qith Canal Plus, France, resulting in immediate savings of approx. US$1 million. Formulated business plans for  TV interactive services and loyalty club. Initiated cross-functional and cross-media partnerships with the company's radio, TV, internet, mobile properties. 

AS STATION MANAGER :Adapted international format radio concepts and software design. Led largest –ever media research in Eastern India, developed station brands and consumer segmentation and prepared launch plans for the market. One of those stations is still a leader in a now highly competitive city. 

Creative Director

Lowe Lintas India
Feb 1998 - Jan 2001

Creative lead on the agency's flagship Unilever Soaps business, as well as the country's No.1 car company, Maruti Suzuki, and Nestle  chocolates and confectionery. Relaunched Liril and Rexona soaps and launched Savlon soap for Unilever. Repositioned Nestle Polo and Bar-One. National campaigns for various car models, LG Electronics, Parker pens, and a once-in-a-century campaign for the "Y2K Bug" ( remember that? ) for the Government of India, that featured the company's top CEOs in ads for the first time ever. 

Senior Creative Director

Oct 1988 - Jan 1998

My first job in advertising: starting out as copy trainee, helped build this tiny startup into India's Top 20,  from $100k to over $10 million, and drove the partnership with TBWA International that eventually led to the agency merging with the TBWA network. Established the agency's core beliefs, toolkit and scrappy reputation in the market. Led national creative teams and won blue-chip clients including Sony, Electrolux, Coca-Cola Company ( Limca), Unicef, Population Services International and Gulf Oil. 



Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Literature

St. Stephen's College, Delhi University
Jul 1984 - Apr 1987

Read English literature and philosophy at India's leading liberal arts college and the oldest college in Delhi. Also part of the Shakespeare Society and  Debating Society. 

Ideas and Narratives


Brand strategy, creative strategy, workshop leadership, integrated marketing, copywriting