Esther (E.T) Franklin

Chief Strategy | Cultural Fluency Officer

Spark Foundry


Lurie Children's Hopsital
Chicago Urban League
The Family Institute @ Northwestern University



Member since:


Membership Type:


Esther *E.T.* Franklin is the Global Chief Strategy & Cultural Fluency Officer at Spark Foundry, where she develops and drives the strategic vision for the agency and its clients. Spark Foundry was shortlisted for Campaign US’s 2023 “Media Agency of the Year and was named Ad Age’s 2022 “Media Agency of the Year” and Adweek’s 2022 “U.S. Media Agency of the Year.”

In her role as Global Chief Strategy & Cultural Fluency Officer, Franklin is instrumental in pioneering Publicis’ approach to strategy. Her expertise and creative viewpoints have enriched successful pitches for clients such as Kimberly-Clark, Macy’s, Marriott International, Southwest Airlines, Mattel, and more. She has helped iconic brands – and the advertising industry at large – understand the cultural identities and media consumption habits of local and global audiences by encouraging marketers to embrace an “inside out” perspective. Franklin offers a unique perspective in any situation because she can draw upon her industry experience across a range of agencies, audiences, geographies, and international markets.

Franklin is responsible for pioneering the agency’s current approach to strategy, Spark Plus, which is grounded in audience identity, cultural fluency, and the tension modern brands face between brand and demand goals. With this framework, she helps enable brands with an understanding of the cultural identities, needs, motivations, and media consumption habits of local and global audiences.

Franklin is an integral leader in Chicago’s local advertising community, where she has had a career for over 20 years. In 2018, she was named “Advertising Woman of the Year” by the Chicago Advertising Federation. In 2023, Franklin received the Campaign US “Inspiring Women” in the “Making Media Matter” category for making a meaningful impact on media planning and buying.

The Chicago Network