THE BLOG

Bringing the Power of Advertising to Giving Back

06/11/2013 09:26 am ET | Updated Aug 10, 2013

Jenifer Willig knows a thing or two about what motivates consumers and companies. She made a career engaging consumers through advertising for nearly 15 years at agencies like M&C Saatchi NY and TBWA/Chiat/Day SF. Thriving on the diverse mix of clients and industries as well as the balance of creative with strategy and account management, Willig never anticipated leaving the field. Then she met Susan Smith Ellis, the CEO of Product (RED), the organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver to fight AIDS in Africa.

Willig was hired to be the Global Chief Marketing Officer of (RED), and to professionalize the brand and build out its partnerships. Willig -- who says she has a passion for the private sector getting involved in grand-sweeping social -- is now focused on educating for-profits on alternative business-building initiatives that are invested in social change. Since helping (RED) raise over $185 million and attract a social following of over 2.5 million users, Willig co-founded motive, a social innovation consultancy, and Whole World Water, a social enterprise uniting the hospitality and tourism industries to raise money for clean and safe water initiatives.

Growing up the daughter of a military father, Willig was exposed to many different cultures and experiences. Her career has been inspired by this childhood on the move. "Being able to see different parts of this country or other countries that we lived in, inspired me towards challenges," she says. "One shouldn't be punished by where they live. It's not about charity or handouts. It's really about accessibility. It's just looking at people around the world and what makes it so much better for me than them and wanting to try to equal that out a little bit."