Steve Stoute wins Ad Age’s Executive of the Year

CEO and founder of Translation Steve Stoute participates in "The Currency of Culture in Marketing" seminar during Advertising Week on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision for Advertising Week/AP Images)

By// Mariah Craddick

Former music executive now advertising honcho Steve Stoute has been named Executive of the Year by Ad Age. Stoute originally headed urban divisions at Sony Music Entertainment and Interscope Geffen A&M Records in the 1990s, managing artists such as Nas and Mary J. Blige and producing hit-makers such as Eminem.

In 2004, he set out to launch his own advertising firm (Translation) after seeing the movie Men in Black. Stoute noticed how the sunglasses worn by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the movie were suddenly experiencing a surge in sales.

“Everyone thought it was a coincidence, and I was like, ‘This isn’t a coincidence,'” he told Ad Age. “I just felt like there was an opportunity in the ad business, because clients’ ads were isolated from what was truly happening in culture.”

Since then Stoute has seen much success in the ad world, creating memorable campaigns such as McDonald’s “I’m Loving It” advertisement with Justin Timberlake and Wrigley’s ill-fated Doublemint jingle with Chris Brown.

When Stoute learned of this new title bestowed upon him, he took to Twitter tweeting: “I’m still up bugging and proud that I got such a prestigious acknowledgment format he Ad industry… Every ounce of hard work pays off.”