The Most Powerful Advertising Executives...Episode 1: Marco Scognamiglio, CEO of RAPP Worldwide

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

This series profiles the most prominent and influential advertising executives in the country. They talk about how they broke into the industry, what drives them, and what they have their eyes on, among other topics.

In this episode, I sit down with Marco Scognamiglio, the CEO of RAPP Worldwide.

Background information on Marco:

The Interview:

Intro, Early Days, and Initiation into Marketing:

Marco Scognamiglio, an 18-year veteran at RAPP, grew up in Wales and played rugby and other outdoor sports before going on to study Chemistry as an undergrad in England. The decision to do a post graduate diploma in marketing was partially influenced by the lure of traveling as a marketing executive, and to a certain extent, by more opportunity to play rugby. Marco’s first marketing job as a Graduate Trainee hooked him to marketing forever.

Most Recent Marketing Campaigns

According to Marco, a marketing company’s performance is measured by hard core sales, sales leads, or the number of clients it serves. Of course, awards cannot be the be-all and end-all of one’s existence, but winning them helps in not only putting RAPP on the map, but also attracting great talent. The very recent and extremely popular Toyota Forerunner “Let’s Go Places” campaign is one such example.

Your Clients Make You

Great clients provide RAPP great opportunities to do great work. One such example is a commercial for PayPal highlighting your frustration to get your buddies to pay up. The diversity in RAPP’s list of big name clients makes the work interesting.

Staying Focused

Marco tells how important it is to stay focused on their clients’ work rather than be distracted by the awards, especially in view of the number of new awards that one could go after in today’s environment. Keeping the desired-awards bar higher keeps the agency’s creative department engaged and motivated.

Does Data Kill Creativity?

RAPP’s philosophy is that at the end of the day, data is personal. It’s you and it’s me. Data is all about how individuals act or react. RAPP doesn’t consider data as simply hard numbers. For them, data is about understanding individuals which in turn helps develop emotional connections between the creative and the consumer.


RAPP Labs is a catalyst that creates a sense of gravity for an environment where people can explore and express freely without the presence of usual suspects such as client budgets, strict guidelines, or heavy expectations. Recently RAPP brought together some of the leading tech minds to share their innovation with RAPP and to learn how tech can be used more creatively in its work.

I Would Like to be Known as the Person Who Makes People Cry

Marco talks about a charity whose campaign made people cry in empathy and wanting to contribute to the cause. Making people cry might seem to be the very antithesis of great work but sometimes that’s what is the true measure of great work in marketing.

Secrets for Personal Success

Don’t underestimate the importance of a good network. You never know who is going to come to your rescue in your hour of need - professionally or personally.

UK or the US?

Marco has lived in New York only for less than a year, so obviously UK is where home is. UK is where his family is, but he finds New York to be a wonderful place teeming with diversity and life.

Marco answers rapid-fire questions, including “What’s one trend you would like to see disappear forever?” and “What’s the first film you saw at the cinema?”:

Popular in the Community