Staff Reporters
Nov 18, 2020

40 Under 40 2020: Daniah Ishtiaq, BBDO Pakistan

Not your typical planning director, there is little that will stop Daniah Ishtiaq from winning over clients.

40 Under 40 2020: Daniah Ishtiaq, BBDO Pakistan
Top-tier talent transforming APAC media and marcomms 

Daniah Ishtiaq

Planning director

Don't expect the usual from Daniah Ishtiaq: Her success comes from challenging the expected.  Destroying planner stereotypes, Ishtiaq will gladly stray from pure strategy tasks to do whatever it takes to find success, whether ideating new concepts, writing packaging copy, visiting markets to find out-of-the-box solutions or organising in-house skills workshops. At her agency, she’s known to think like a brand. Yet when visiting clients, she keeps agency capabilities top of mind.

You can have great expectations of Ishtiaq, however. After leaving Coca-Cola and stepping through Ogilvy’s doors in 2013 as a senior planner, she has had the chance to work for the best and biggest agencies in Pakistan: Ogilvy, IAL Saatchi, MullenLowe and most recently BBDO. In that time she’s run the gamut, working from cars to soaps to banks to tea to profit and non-profit, giving her all every time, as evidenced by her impressive record in the pitch room. In her first year at Ogilvy, Ishtiaq scored an 80% pitch-to-win ratio, bringing in brands like Engro, Brooke Bond and Cornetto, only to better her hit rate to 83% at MullenLowe with the likes of EFU Insurance and Kia, alongside a leading cricket team in the Pakistan Super League. This year, after joining BBDO in the midst of the pandemic, Ishtiaq has been nothing short of ‘pitch perfect’, winning every contest and adding strategic clients like Rose Petal tissues, Unilever’s Surf Excel and others.

While her business wins have elicited rave reviews from agency CEOs, Ishtiaq’s greater goal is to not only serve agencies and clients, but society as a whole. In 2018 as planning lead, Ishtiaq enabled Knorr’s ‘Aik Zaroori Baat’, a nationwide campaign to education children on stranger danger and self-protection, a subject that parents might otherwise shy away from.

Top-tier talent transforming APAC media and marcomms 


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