ELITE 2019 Disrupter Alisa Shakarian of Cambridge BioMarketing

Alisa Shakarian

Head of Experience and Artistry

Cambridge BioMarketing

Showstopping Art Installations

All creative directors claim to “live and breathe” creative. Well, Alisa Shakarian is one who truly savors every inhale, spreading with her exhalation the inspiration, wisdom, and leadership that every creative would be lucky to encounter. But the truth about Alisa is that she just can’t help it: She. Must. Disrupt.

As the Head of Experience and Artistry at Cambridge BioMarketing, Alisa knows it’s her responsibility to conceive artful experiences for clients. However, what makes Alisa different is that it’s not just the experiences themselves—but rather, their very creation—that she has coined as her art form of disruption.

Among Alisa’s creative achievements over recent years is the Horizon Pharma UCD tightrope experience, where, to show that rare urea cycle disorders (UCD) cause dangerous levels of ammonia in the blood at any elevation, physicians are charged with walking a tightrope across a trade show booth.

“Concepting with Alisa is like feeling her physically expand the capacity of my own brain,” says one colleague. “Just when I think an idea has reached its limit, she brings that one nugget that changes everything.”

At recent new business pitches, Alisa has created showstopping art installations, including living trees with handwritten notes from the rare disease community, to infuse life into her artful conceptual storytelling for prospective clients. Another recent new business pitch found her developing a video in which a young patient with spinal muscular atrophy tells the story of his pain—and only at the end of the video, as we are already brought to tears, do we discover that the patient was an adult all along.

Most creatives know that good creative makes us feel. However, Alisa seems to know something different: Creative makes us believe. It’s somewhere between this childlike faith in the impossible and a strategic vision toward an objective that Alisa thrives as the disruptive force behind the creative team at Cambridge BioMarketing.

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