Digital 40 Over 40 2017: AJ Hassan, ECD, R/GA Chicago

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Kristi ArgyilanAJ Hassan
ECD, R/GA Chicago


A decade ago, few would have expected a feminine hygiene product to create a cultural conversation about gender stereotyping. Or an insurance company to take a stand on marriage equality. Or a deodorant to tackle bullying. But that was before Always, Essurance and Secret met AJ Hassan. If marketing in the digital age is telling stories that resonate across a breadth of channels, AJ Hassan has the key. 

Hassan is behind some of the past decade’s most successful cultural and social-driven marketing campaigns. From Always’ digital sensation "#LikeaGirl," which amassed 90 million views and 4.4 billion impressions in three months, tripled the brand's Twitter followers and increased the brand’s YouTube subscribers 4,000 percent, to Essurance’s popular Facebook video "#EqualDreams," which tackled the subject of same-sex marriage, and Secret’s "#MeanStinks" anti-bullying Facebook campaign, which at launch delivered 24 times engagement on the brand's page, Hassan creates messaging that is decidedly of-the-moment. All of the work owes a debt to her mantra: "When you move people, you move business." 

Having spent 18 years developing her craft at Leo Burnett, Hassan last year joined R/GA’s Chicago office, boosting the digitally led agency’s creative firepower with a breadth of brand-building experience ranging from packaged goods to financial services. 

An active member of the Television Academy and SheRunsIt (formerly ADNY in Chicago), Hassan’s "side hustle" is home renovation. She enjoys imbuing old homes with contemporary character—opting at times to live in them for a while—much like she has done with several brands.  


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