Promotional feature
Publicis Health

Meet the 40 Over 40 honoree: Alexandra von Plato, Publicis Health

Campaign US celebrates senior leaders on our 40 Over 40 list with deep-dive personal profiles.

How did it feel to see your name on Campaign US 40 Over 40 list? 

Surprised, delighted and grateful to my team for nominating me.  

Sum up your career in five words. 

“Understanding” is actually a verb.

What are three essential qualities of a great leader? 

Great leaders know how to create a shared vision, actively listen and understand that leadership is not all about them. 

What drives you toward success? 

I’m driven by my frustration and dissatisfaction with the status quo.

What’s the most creative piece of work you’ve seen recently? 

Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness’ “Prescription Paper Pill Bottle” was a creative initiative that was more than a simple campaign idea. It solved an ordinary problem — difficult to recycle plastic Rx bottles — with an innovative 100% biodegradable design that’s eco-friendly and elegant. I love when creative ideas elevate the conversation, raise our collective consciousness and change behavior.

What do you love most about advertising? 

I truly believe our industry has the power to shift perceptions, create conversations and drive meaningful behavior change. I’m reminded of something Michelle Obama said during a conversation she shared last year with Publicis Groupe’s 80,000 employees: “Advertising and communications have the power to transform culture.” When we’re at our best, what we do can affect meaningful, positive change.

What needs to change most about the industry? 

We’re long overdue for a creative renaissance. To make this happen, we need to stop emulating the PowerPoint-driven approach of consultancies, rethink our unbridled worship of Silicon Valley and embrace the power of creativity to develop real social currency. Luckily, creativity is already on the cusp of reanimating the future of business — and I am so glad I’m living to see it!

What advice would you give to someone just entering the industry? 

Have ideas. Love ideas. Share ideas. Get really good at making other people appreciate your ideas. You are an idea.

Who is your biggest inspiration? 

I’m inspired by people who are brave and who have done the work to be informed. Inspirational people understand how to advocate for and support their ideas, and are able to convince others to their side. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by inspirational people.

If we took your team out for a drink, how would they describe you?

I’d like to think that my team would describe me as a loving and caring person who is nice and sometimes funny, but also deeply unsatisfied. I think my dissatisfaction is rooted in knowing that we can all do better and be better — myself most of all.

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