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Former Walmart and Disney Creative Executive Launch DANG Creative Consultancy

16/04/2024
Marketing & PR
Los Angeles, USA
503
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DANG from Karan Dang and Shruti Dang helps brands evolve at the forefront of culture, building strong connections with next gen consumers

Renowned creative executive Karan Dang, whose award-winning career spans running in-house advertising agencies at Disney and Walmart, and UX/UI expert Shruti Dang, are launching DANG, a creative consultancy built to guide brands to captivate the next generation of consumers through innovative strategies and creative excellence. Whether pioneering metaverse and AI applications, crafting viral social media strategies, or instilling future-fluent creative capabilities within organisations, DANG empowers brands to lead cultural conversations and drives exponential growth in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

DANG will leverage its deep expertise in youth culture, emerging platforms, and transformative experiences to help clients forge unbreakable bonds with gen z and gen alpha audiences. These generations have upended advertising norms through their love of digital experiences, the metaverse as well as their passion for cultural diversity and purpose-centred beliefs, presenting a departure from traditional agency thinking and solutions. 

"Modern creative brands must navigate at the pace of culture, anchoring their brand experience around the largest growing audience - gen z," said Karan. "Gen z defies a singular mould; they are multi-dimensional. Rather than bombarding them with ads, we should strive to cultivate authentic relationships through experiences and formats that resonate with their lifestyle, found on social platforms, gaming realms, and experiential engagements."

To reach and resonate with gen z and gen alpha, Karan and Shruti have developed the user-centric process, Next-Gen Centricity, to unleash relevant creativity within an organisation. DANG develops and optimises brand strategy, offers innovation sprints to unlock brand’s experiential frontier, devises creative and social playbooks and develops in-house blueprints for marketers to implement. Alternatively, DANG can build a team with its network of more than 100 Next-Gen Centricity experts spanning creative, strategy, and culture - an agile collective that blends diverse specialists like cutting edge creatives and gen z ambassadors to craft and produce campaigns. 

Shruti will serve as DANG’s COO, leveraging her extensive experience as a project leader in UX and UI design and product development, most recently at BlackLine, a pioneering force in financial technology. Through her career, Shruti has integrated creative solutions to optimize people’s brand experiences and interaction, seamlessly connecting with younger, digital natives. DANG will leverage Shruti’s boundary-pushing creativity and successful track record for delivering transformative solutions to help brands reach new audiences. 

“Today, brand communications live in digital formats,” said Shruti. “From social, sharable video to social commerce, new formats are constantly emerging and CMOs are tasked to stay up-to-date to connect with younger audiences. DANG can help them assess new formats for relevance and go on to implement creative, category-leading campaigns on time, at scale.” 

Shruti and Karan will be supported by an advisory board of top marketing executives, including Denetrias Charlemagne, director of cultural strategy, Walmart; Sahil Saini, founder and CEO, AKOS Web; Marty Muller, former SVP, global creative, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products; Michelle McSorley, founder of PR consultancy, E=M² Communications; Jean Batthany, fractional CCO and a former executive at Walmart and Disney; Jay Haines, founder, Grace Blue Partnership; Stephen Larkin, SVP, executive director growth and development at R/GA; and Claire Kwon, former head of product design, Blackline Inc.

"Karan has a unique skill set; he has the ability to creatively problem solve complex business strategies and distil those strategies down to compelling, breakthrough creative that grabs peoples attention and drives business results,” said Marty. “He is an exceptional culture vulture who knows what’s going, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact the DANG team will have on brands’ biggest challenges.”

Through Karan’s career, he has developed distinctive brand visions and expressed them through breakthrough creative across platforms, activations and experiential. 

Most recently, Karan was head of brand creative at Walmart, and his work there focused on building a young and diverse customer base. 

Key programs included Dear Dad, a series of short films aimed at addressing the media’s flawed portrayal of Black fatherhood, through positive stories of Black dads at the centre of their families. Another campaign led by Karan, WalmartLand, marked the global retailer’s first foray into the metaverse. WalmartLand, which was recognized by Ad Age as a Top 5 metaverse activation of 2022, brings together the best of Walmart’s “isles” to the virtual world. 

Prior to joining Walmart, Karan led Disney’s 250-person, in-house agency Yellow Shoes, where he created marketing programs for Disney Parks experiences and Consumer products. One memorable launch, the Avengers Campus was driven by the insight that today, young people want to become their own version of a superhero, rather than pretending to be a character. As the pandemic upended Disney’s theme park business, Karan and team quickly launched #DisneyMagicMoments, an ever-expanding content ecosystem that recreated the Disney Parks virtually during a time of great social isolation and despair. Incredibly, the #DisneyMagicMoments program has garnered 683 million social impressions (and counting) and one in four American families are aware of its content, and all of this impact was achieved without a single cent spent in paid media.

During this year’s Super Bowl, Karan partnered with Special US to lead social strategy for Uber Eats, serving as social executive creative director. Karan’s career started at traditional agencies, including 180LA, Deutsch LA and TBWA/Singapore, each role emphasizing creativity in digital spaces. 

Karan’s work has been widely recognized, receiving over 150 international awards, including two Cannes Lions Grand Prix, Ad Age’s Campaign of the Year and Webby Best Digital Campaign. Karan was named to Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 in 2021 and ranked as the #6 Creative Director in the World at the Cannes Lions Global Report in 2017 amongst others. 

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