Cindy Gustafson

Chief Strategy Officer, Mindshare NA


As co-founder of Mindshare’s Invention Studio, Cindy Gustafson’s work 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 and real-time engagement for consumers. In doing so, Cindy drives a wide range of bespoke ideas for clients: ideas for new potential partners, emerging technologies, and never-been-done activations for existing platforms. Through her innovative work with Invention studio, Cindy was named Chief Strategy Officer in February 2016. 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, Cindy 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 tool kit of assets that can be nimbly applied in real-time, systematically harnessing the power of marketing (and media) moving at the speed of culture. Planning for Agility is now practiced throughout the global Mindshare network. Prior to founding the Invention Studio in 2013, Cindy served as Managing Director for Mindshare’s Team Unilever. She has been honored as an Adweek Media All-Star and one of Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital. In 2015, Cindy was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement. Her work has been honored by Adweek’s Media, the Effies, IAB MIXX, a Cannes shortlist, and more.