The executive responsible for placing a Lexus LC in the film Black Panther will take over a newly created role at Walton Isaacson, the company announced Monday.
In what is now a juggernaut of a movie in box offices globally, one of the most captivating, and perhaps most memorable, scenes in Black Panther was undoubtedly the car chase that featured a Lexus LC. Dr. Christine Villanueva, whose business wins for Walton Isaacson include bringing the partnership between Marvel Studios and Lexus to life, will take over the newly created Chief Strategy and Brand Officer position at Walton Isaacson, effective immediately.
“We worked together throughout the entire process,” Walton Isaacson co-founder and partner Aaron Walton told Black Enterprise in February. “We were very focused on making sure that the Marvel brand and the Lexus brand complemented and supported each other. And again, there was just an organic connection between what they were both trying to do.”
Based on the agency’s Black Panther film integration and unique approach to the Super Bowl spot, Lexus awarded Walton Isaacson the broadcast creative assignment for the launch of the LS 500, the brand’s new flagship sedan.
“Christine is exceptionally well-qualified at establishing strategic brand foundations. A true pioneer of cross-cultural planning, Christine’s career has been steeped in both multicultural and broad-based consumer insight work and analytics,” Walton said. “She has impeccable credentials, perfect for this position. At the University of Michigan, she studied ethnicity and identity, the psycho-physiology of emotions, and evolutionary psychology.”
In her new role, Villanueva will lead and build out the company’s next-generation global strategy and will oversee all of Walton Isaacson’s branding efforts on behalf of the agency’s clients. She will also work with the agency’s cross-disciplinary leadership team on brand messaging and its unique position within the advertising industry.
Co-founded in 2005 by black advertising guru Aaron Walton, Cory Isaacson, and partner Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Walton Isaacson has been the go-to agency for strategic multicultural and creative solutions to some of the world’s largest and most aggressive brand marketers. Walton Isaacson ranked No.1 on Black Enterprise’s 100s list for advertising agencies in 2016 with $70 million in revenues and 150 employees. The firm was also named Advertising Agency of the Year in 2013.
Villanueva joined Walton Isaacson from McCann New York, where she served as Executive Vice President of Executive Strategy and Analytics Director, working with iconic brands like Office Depot, Nespresso, and State Street Financial. Prior to McCann, she was EVP, Head of Planning, Research, Analytics at GlobalHue, a multicultural agency where she also worked early in her career.
Over the course of her career, Villanueva has worked with Walmart, Coke, Chrysler, Jeep ,and Pepsi. She has also held leadership positions at Saatchi & Saatchi NY and Ogilvy & Mather where she was a Partner and Planning Director. Her work with OgilvyCulture and OgilvyEarth, focused on cross-culturalism and sustainability.
“Under Christine’s leadership, Walton Isaacson’s strategy team has delivered outstanding work for our clients and has contributed to the agency’s growth overall. In her new role, Christine’s talents, positivity, and vision will help drive us to the next stage of our agency’s evolution,” Isaacson said.
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