Cindy Gustafson

Managing Director, Invention Studio, Mindshare

As founder and Managing Director, Cindy’s work in the Mindshare Invention Studio brings the concept of “Media-As-Creative” to life brings the concept of “Media-As-Creative” to life. She and her team merge data, science, and creativity to ignite media plans that have a real cultural impact for consumers. In doing so, Cindy drives a wide range of bespoke ideas for brands: ideas for new potential partners, emerging technologies, and never-before-done activations for existing platforms.

Cindy and her team work with Mindshare clients and teams across North America, including American Express, Kimberly-Clark, LG Electronics, Unilever, and more. Just recently, she partnered with Unilever to spearhead the #SpeakBeautiful program for Dove—a blockbuster campaign featuring a first-of-its-kind social algorithm developed with Twitter.

Cindy is also the architect of Planning for Agility – a proprietary framework and series of client programs that helps brands develop an adaptive marketing strategy across the entire paid, owned, and earned ecosystem. Using specially designed tools, she works with teams to do ‘culture mapping’ and to identify triggers that align with the brand’s DNA and campaign message. The end result is a toolkit of assets that can be nimbly applied in real-time, systematically harnessing the power of marketing (and media) moving at the speed of culture. 

Cindy has been recognized as an Adweek Media All Star, one of Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital, and one of Advertising Week’s Mad Men (and Women) 3.0. Her work has been honored by Adweek’s Media Plan of the Year, the Effies, IAB MIXX, and the OMMA Awards, along with shortlists at the Cannes Lions, Festival of Media, and more.

Prior to founding the Invention Studio in 2013, Cindy served as Managing Director for Mindshare’s Team Unilever. Before joining Mindshare, she worked at BBH New York where she honed her skills on the Levi’s and Johnny Walker accounts.  She began her career at Chiat Day in LA, working on the launch of XM Satellite Radio and the Wonderbra.

Cindy holds a BA in Communications from Ithaca College. In her spare time, she aspires to golf like Phil Mickelson, cook like Tom Colicchio, and shop like Rachel Zoe. 

Last Updated: January 13, 2016