Digital 40 Over 40 2018: Azher Ahmed, EVP, director of digital, DDB Chicago

Azher AhmedAzher Ahmed
 EVP, director of digital, DDB Chicago

For over 20 years, Azher Ahmed has spearheaded digital and technology efforts revolving around marketing, community building, branding and promotion across dozens of large brands including Walmart, OfficeMax, CVS, USPS, State Farm, McDonald’s, GEICO, Dell, Comcast, Tyson, Abbott Labs and Mars, Inc. Ahmed started his career as a designer and brings a good mix of creative thinking and usability to traditionally cut-and-dry technical approaches. Prior to joining DDB Chicago in 2011, Ahmed worked at the Martin Agency following time spent at Arnold Worldwide, Draftfcb and Townsend. He has led development of award-winning mobile, web, gaming experiential and social platforms for numerous top-tier clients.

His career highlights include Skittles "Exclusive the Rainbow" Super Bowl activation this year, which generated a total integrated reach of 1.35 billion impressions as of February. To date, it has more than 3.1 million organic YouTube views across the Announce video, the Build teasers, and the Reveal outro video.

Ahmed also oversaw McDonald’s "Lovin’ the Super Bowl" campaign, in which McDonald’s embraced brands advertising on game day and gave away a prize tied to every ad. This resulted in increasing positive sentiment for the brand by 96 percent and made McDonald’s the most retweeted brand ever on a single day.

For Capital One March Madness (Steaks on a Plane, Snack Hoodie, etc.), Ahmed’s team built and hosted games in display units, on the web and onsite via kiosks at the NCAA Final Four tournament and Jamfest concerts.

Ahmed is advisor for a handful of startups as well as Chicago-based inner-city non-profit IMAN—Inner City Muslim Action Network. This is a community organization that fosters health, wellness and healing in the inner-city by organizing for social change, cultivating the arts, and operating a holistic health center. He is a husband and father of three.

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