Aaron M. Walton
CEO, Walton Isaacson
Recognized as a trailblazer and thought leader, Aaron Walton’s focus on innovation and cultural engagement has transformed traditional marketing and advertising strategies, driving unprecedented results for clients. As the CEO / co-founder of Walton Isaacson (WI), a full-service advertising agency, with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and New York, Aaron’s focus is squarely on identifying unseen opportunities rooted in cultural insights and connections. He is transforming the definition of the agency model by prioritizing diversity of thinking, encouraging disruption, and homing in on strategic solutions that defy tradition.
Under Aaron’s guidance, WI engineered the partnership between the luxury automaker Lexus and Disney's Marvel Studios for the international blockbuster film, Black Panther which garnered much recognition, including an ANA Award for Best Multicultural Campaign, an AAF Mosaic Award for Best Integrated Campaign, Campaign of the Year and Auto Campaign of the Year at the Think LA Idea Awards and Best Multicultural campaign at Media Post’s Marketing Automotive Awards.
Founded in partnership with famed NBA superstar and entrepreneurial legend, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the agency has built inventive and dynamic business relationships with brands and organizations such as Lexus, McDonald’s, American Airlines, Bristol Myers Squibb, PNC Bank, and Amazon.
Walton began his career as a marketing executive with PepsiCo where he was quickly promoted to brand management for the Pepsi and Mountain Dew brands. After his stint at PepsiCo, Walton started his own company, Aaron Walton Entertainment (AWE), which he sold in 2002 to Omnicom Group’s DAS division. Aaron was named President of Omnicom’s Radiate Entertainment Group and led over forty networked agencies in strategic growth initiatives.
Walton grew up in Massachusetts and attended Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree with a double major in Management/Organizational Behavior and Communications. As just one of two African-American students in his graduating class, Walton served as Student Body President, and completed a term as a Trustee at Babson.
Aaron’s commitment to valuing differences and building cultural inclusion has helped WI win recognition as an agency from Advertising Age, Black Enterprise, Inc. magazine, OUT magazine, the Hispanic Public Relations Association, and The Internationalist. ADCOLOR, one of the industry’s most influential diversity change agents, recognized Aaron with an Advocacy Award for his exceptional contributions to the LGBTQ community, and Business Equality Magazine named him a Pride Legacy Leader. Additionally, WI was named Southern California’s Minority “Supplier of The Year” for their work with Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.–Lexus Division for an unprecedented sixth time in eight years.
His leadership in the advertising community has led to several industry Board positions including a 2022 appointment to the National Board of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). During 2020, Walton was elected to Co-President of ThinkLA after serving on the Board of Directors of this prestigious nonprofit advertising trade association for three years. He is also a member of the Ad Age Diversity Council and the AIMM/ANA Catalyst Committee.
Walton’s commitment to societal change is also reflected in Board and Advisory roles for some of the nation’s most influential cultural and advocacy organizations. In 2021, he was named to the Board of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. Walton had previously served on the Board of GLAAD from 2009-2011. He is also a board member of Young Audiences New York, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Tectonics Theatre Company, and a member of the San Francisco Symphony Advisory Council.
He is a recipient of Babson College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award, recognized by the 4A's as one of the 100 People Who Make Advertising Great, and has twice been selected as a recipient of the Ebony Magazine Power 100 list—an award given to the nation’s most influential Americans from the worlds of religion, business, media, and the creative arts.
Inductee, Advertising Hall of Fame
Last Updated: December 2022