Zeynep Arat, Strategy Director


Zeynep’s career began with WPP’s prestigious grad scheme: the Fellowship. Starting at Kantar, studying future trend analysis, she then learned planning fundamentals at Ogilvy NYC, and finally found her calling in communications planning at Essence. She is now the strategic lead on major clients such as Google - Consumer Apps, Airbnb, Peloton and Financial Times.

She is best known for tackling client challenges through her people-first approach to strategy with the use of empathy. Her work bridges the use of data, media and creative- grounded in having a strong audience outlook. This looks like building bespoke research pieces such as leading Essence’s first EMEA trend reporting series: the Takeaway, or understanding Gen Z’s evolving media behaviours during lockdown. This analysis then informs client work, for example through creating a partnership with Netflix’s Sex Education and Google’s Chromebook, which positioned the laptop as the go-to resource for students and resulted in an 11% sales uplift. With the Financial Times, she also made use of insights from Project Phoenix, an end-to-end segmentation on types of readers, revealing unique content areas for the brands acquisition strategy. Zeynep’s people-first approach extends into other areas of her work too. She’s a mentor in Essence’s graduate scheme and across Migrant Leaders (an NGO helping equip young migrants to take on leadership roles). Across WPP she serves as a Mental Health ally and believes that caring for our co-workers is critical.