As President of BAV® Worldwide, Michael Sussman runs BrandAsset Valuator, Y&R’s proprietary brand positioning tool and the largest database and model on brands in the world. Michael’s brand positioning framework, Brand Tensity®, has become the standard Y&R approach to identify compelling platforms for clients.His strategy team works quantitatively and qualitatively with brands across sectors, including the NFL, NHL, Harley Davidson, Dell, Netflix, Target, Hilton, Campbell’s, and Cirque du Soleil. He has been awarded an Emmy, Effie, and Cannes Lion for his work.Michael is a contributor to Advertising Age, Advertising Week, and Campaign US, and a guest lecturer at Yale, NYU, and Columbia business schools. He holds a Ph.D. from Hofstra University and is an avid snowboarder in his spare time.
Saul Betmead is the Chief Strategy Officer for Y&R EMEA.He is an award-winning strategic, creative, and entrepreneurial thinker with over 17 years of international experience in leading marketing, new business, account management, and strategy planning teams.
Saul comes from a hybrid background; he has held senior client service, marketing, strategy, and planning positions throughout Australasia and Europe. He was recently asked to summarize his career in a tweet, here’s his attempt: “Psychologist to Ad Man. Cambridge to London to Sydney. Saatchi to Y&R. Suit to Marketer to Strategist. #neverstoplearning.
Before joining Y&R, he worked with Saatchi & Saatchi, Lowe Worldwide, Mitsubishi Motors Australia, Three Drunk Monkeys, and the Kia/Hyundai Group.
Saul is an Executive Member of the IPA Strategy Group and sits on the Board of Directors for the UK Charity, Contact The Elderly. He was the Captain of the North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club, the largest volunteer surf lifesaving club in the world — which, he admits, is a little strange for an Englishman. The Australian Prime Minister gave Saul a personal commendation for his contribution to the Lifesaving movement and the community. He spends his free time (what there is of it) swimming, rowing, reading, baking, and riding on two wheels.
Saul excels when solving lumpy problems with innovative thinking. He has worked for a wide array of clients such as Castrol, Citibank Global, Clemenger BBDO, Erste Group, Fosters, Insuranceline, LG Global, Lloyds Bank, The Multiple Sclerosis Society, Mitsubishi, NEC, Nestle, Nokia, NRL, Nova Radio, The NSPCC, The School of Life, Toyota, Unilever, UBank, The UN, and Vodafone.
José Antonio Varas is the BAV Regional Director in Latin America, where he manages the BAVLAB services in the region and coordinates Y&R’s BAV study in various countries including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico & Perú. He has worked on strategic planning and brand management for 12 years- including major brand engagements in the retail, telecom, automotive and the financial services industry.
José Antonio is based at The Lab Y&R regional planning hub in Santiago, Chile. He is focused on brand strategy, implementation, and strategic analyses for clients across a broad range of industries. José Antonio holds a MA in Consumer Behavior from Universidad Adolfo Ibañez and MA in Media Studies from The New School University. He is bilingual is Spanish and English, married with three children, and he spends his free time biking and practicing photography.
Hari Ramanathan has been a practitioner of advertising in various forms for the past 20 odd years. He got his start as a visualizer in an in-house agency of a fertilizer company, and went on to be a One Show and Cannes winning creative for FCB Singapore before transitioning into planning.
Hari strives to be close to where big ideas are born. Leading strategy for Y&R across Asia, he’s worked on Danone, LG, Caltex, Cerebos and M1 in addition to many clients across categories and the 12 countries in the region.
Along the way, he’s won awards including Effie Golds and the Cannes Chimera. He been invited to speak at a variety of events, and was the keynote speaker at the Singapore International Advertising Congress.
Hari has a 7-year old daughter who keeps his sense of wonder alive. His wife, a fashion entrepreneur (who also has a background in advertising), keeps him from getting excited about every idea he has.
Laura Jones is the VP, Director of BAV® North America. Laura has nearly 15 years of strategic planning and brand building experience across a wide variety of categories. As Director of BAV® North America, she leads the US team of analytical brand strategists to bring strategy to life through data storytelling. Laura is a skilled researcher, whose framework for strategy worksessions has helped senior executives and organizations move quickly into implementation and driving business results.
Her recent projects include business and brand strategies for the financial services, fine dining, technology, non-profit, and CPG categories. Prior to joining the BAV group, Laura worked in creative strategy for many integrated accounts at Y&R, McCann & Merkley & Partners, uncovering insights and developing strategies for world-class brands such as Dell, Barilla, American Girl, Fisher Price, Dentyne, MasterCard, Mercedes-Benz, U.S. Army, and Verizon Communications.