Marketing for Change, a research and creative agency focused on behavior change,  announced the promotion of Karen Ong to executive creative director.

A principal and executive leader at the Alexandria-based agency, Ong held the role of creative director since 2010, playing an integral part in the agency’s most successful campaigns anchored in social psychology and behavioral economics. She supervises an award-winning team of graphic designers, copywriters, developers, and video producers and editors.

“Karen pushes our creative teams to tap emotions and make people laugh…but it’s her deep understanding of behavior that sets her apart,” said Peter Mitchell, chairman and chief creative officer. “It’s not just about breaking through. It’s about changing the perspective around a tired subject and triggering behavioral determinants that drives how the audience reacts.”

Since joining Marketing for Change in 2008, she has overseen the creation of award-winning public health and advocacy campaigns for organizations and government agencies including the National Cancer Institute, American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Safe Kids Worldwide, US Department of Justice, Horizon Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ong developed the agency’s behavioral-focused branding methodology and has led a range of notable campaigns, including combating misinformation and disinformation while establishing trust in the mail-in voting system for the Center for Democracy & Technology. She also led the agency’s work for the “No Kid Hungry – The Longest Summer” campaign to end childhood hunger in the U.S.

Ong has focused much of her work helping children and pregnant women. That includes directing the American Academy of Pediatrics work for the Campaign for Dental Health to ensure that all people have access to the most effective and affordable way to protect teeth — water fluoridation; and she led the strategy and creative for an oral health toolkit for low-income moms that makes it easy to connect them to the oral health answers they need.

Ong is recipient of awards and recognition including a Best of Public Service ADDY; multiple Gold ADDY awards; Golden Image Award; Silver Telly; Communicator Awards and more. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from Rochester Institute of Technology.

She is on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion taskforce for IPREX, the world’s leading partnership of independent communications firms, and serves on the Operations Council for Action for Racial Justice. She is a strong advocate for working moms as she welcomed her daughter, Vera, to her family in November 2020.

A Capitol Communicator sponsor, Marketing for Change is a research and creative agency propelled by behavioral science. The agency uses research-driven strategies to design and implement marketing, branding and communication campaigns that move the needle on behavior change. Marketing for Change is a founding member of the Pandemic Behavioral Working Group and a member of the global platform IPREX, connecting more than 1,200 independent communications and marketing professionals in 84 cities across 29 countries.

To learn more, visit the agency’s website and subscribe to the “Fun, Easy, Popular” blog.

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