Dean Donaldson


Transformation strategist.
Consumer evangelist.
Digital futurologist.

Scuba-diving Brit and world-renowned media visionary and initiator, Dean Donaldson is best known for utilising the true potential of ad:tech and delivering next-generation media engagement. Fusing creative technology and genetic profiling with brand messaging, his passion and expertise draws together converging digital media product development and mainstream marketing – being intensified through healthcare interfaces.

Dean is a digital visionary who makes you instantly re-think strategy and approach with solid facts and information. At a recent presentation Dean invigorated my will to make further changes within the business at Activision. Truly inspirational!
Mark Cox, Activision
Just want to say a big thank you for the presentation to John Frieda. The client has been amazed by very high quality of the presentation. They are now very excited by all the creative opportunities available for them.
Marie-Anne Garnier, Zed Media
Dean seems to live and breathe digital advertising – One of the most driven and passionate people I’ve met with regards to his work and has lent a plethora of support to the Microsoft Advertising business over the past few years…
David Pugh-Jones, Microsoft
I had the pleasure of choosing your Spotlight [at iMedia Florida] and loved your presentation. What I saw in your presentation is exactly the message I try to deliver to prospective clients… it was in my humble opinion, the best part of the Summit!
Maryalice Peterson, Localeze
Dean is a true digital evangelist who is bursting with enthusiasm. He has become an essential part of our client digital days at PHD Rocket and has a fantastic ability to imbue clients with his contagious digital passion!
Le'Nise Brothers, PHD Rocket
Dean is quite an extraordinary character and a rare breed – a fiery, persuasive and energetic evangelist, a visionary mind and an inspiring creative with endless imagination and drive. He’s the guy every team needs to breathe life into the day & bring it all together in time for the deadline.
Alexander Cameron, Digital TX
Dean is an true online advertising evangelist – he walks the walk as well as talks the talk. His grasp of the business is second to none and he’s able to really communicate his passion to a non-geek audience, from the nuts and bolts right up to the more esoteric theories…
David Burrows, Phorm
Dean is a passionate and super knowledgeable expert in the digital space. Always thinking creatively and relentlessly pursuing best digital solutions for clients and partners. It has been a fantastic experience working with Dean and Eyeblaster!
Andy Chen, Isobar Global
There is probably no one else who knows as much or is as passionate about Rich Media than Dean. If he’s working with you on a project, innovative and reasonable decisions will be made, and things will work well when they need to, which is a rare thing in the online world…
Alec McCrindle, Yahoo!
Dean is one of a rare breed of extremely passionate digital marketer/ technologist/ ideation master. When I needed a fresh, challenging, assumptions-checking perspective on an industry issue or a business problem, Dean was a always a great person with whom to talk it through.
James Sandoval, Neo@Ogilvy
I would really like to take this opportunity to thank you for joining us in our event & make it a huge success. I’m really very glad about how the event was shaped from the great presentation that you shared with us! I’m quite sure that everyone who attended the session share with me the same vision.
Mohamed ElSayad, MSN Arabia
Dean is an excellent public speaker who manages to translate the geeky world of online marketing into something that all marketers can relate to. His knowledge about the digital environment and his skills as an evangelist is extremely valuable for all companies operating within new media.
Even Aas-Eng, McCann Worldgroup

“It’s all about engaging consumers where they are rather than where you want them to be.”

This consumer-focused perspective helps create practical solutions for marketing teams, agencies and clients that cut through the digital noise, break out of media silos and  deliver meaningful and measurable results, whilst respecting highly personalised data origins.

With more than 35 years of design, marketing and digital experience, Dean is a recognised expert at navigating through the maze of emerging media. He tells numerous stories to help simplify digital complexities and illustrates how digital has shifted consumer behaviour; moving from direct mail to app-driven social, through mobile and contactless NFC / RFID interactivity and converging into screen-neutral media (including ACR enabled Dual Screens, streaming OTT / CTV).

He challenges people to re-look at the permeation of all advertising channels, including out-of-home, inCar or inStore by exploring how digital crept across the media landscape from fixed digital billboards in New York City’s Time Square to as far east as floating eSignage on Shanghai’s Huangpu River, all powered by AI-driven insights and algorithms driving retargeting though media exchanges.

Yet to Dean, all this is simply a precursor to the next wave of genetically-targeted brand engagement – facilitated by the BioTech gold-rush into healthcare interfaces – and how location-based advertising will shift to genetic profiling and bring a new brand relevance to consumers. Balancing such advancements and remaining composed on the concerns surrounding user profiling requires us to ask if BlockChain holds the answer to finally turn the consumer’s shift of power?

Dean believes the future of healthcare is the biggest challenge facing (and yet opportunity for) humanity.

Focussed on tackling the ethics of shaping the future of addressable advertising using Near Field Communication (NFC) and Genetics – fuelled by the rise of personalised healthcare tracking – Dean is an active vocalist on moral obligations and privacy concerns in light of tracking via technology or biology as we approach GenoMedia. He seeks to ensure the continued commercialisation of content across a fragmented range of viewing devices – with targeting based on people’s own DNA – is balanced against a consumer who is truly in control, lest we concede defeat to AI.

Dean’s investigation into privacy concerns surrounding proximity based advertising earned him a Masters degree from the UK’s leading research and innovation centre based at Bournemouth University, and led to him advising European Ministers on the effects of media convergence on future EU policy. His genetic profiling research led him to complete a CRISPR: Gene-editing Applications course with Harvard, and he is also an active RSA Fellow.

His latest international partnership project, Kaleidoko, is a change agency working with global brands, agency networks, industry bodies, charities and governments – from start-ups to Fortune 500;

  • Helping with the difficult but necessary journey of realignment; empowering organisations to transform by realising their true potential to grow into market leaders.
  • Filtering a futuristic outlook through a consumer-focused lens and infuse it with grounded research to provoke all stakeholders to rethink ways that can impact their bottom line and overall ROI.
  • Optimising an organisations’ brand strategy and position them with the best possible advantage to embrace new technology, offering creative and innovative product and marketing solutions that drive actual and measurable business change.
  • Taking responsibility for driving vision and articulating a structured approach to rollout, adoption and implementation, working closely with necessary teams to bring ideas to fruition.

Dean has published multiple articles and frequently serves as an industry source for leading business and advertising trade publications including AdAge, Adweek, Adotas, Bloomberg, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, OMMA Magazine, Media Post, ClickZ, iMedia and Revolution among others. He also serves on the video, measurement and mobile councils at the IAB, consulting frequently for leading brands across the globe about new ways to measure and integrate offline and online channels. An engaging public speaker and powerful creative storyteller, he has delivered presentations at over 250 industry events across more than 35 countries from the Americas through out Europe to across Asia. Recent speaking engagements include PromaxBDA, EGTA, ScreenForce, iMedia, OMMA, AdTech, IAB, JDPA, ClickZ, dmexco, i-Com Global, SIME as well as MSN Roadshows, DG’s Inspire Series and MediaMind’s Digital Experience Days.

Dean has also led research in personalised programmatic connected television with VR; BioTech / IoT / M2M and connected devices, loyalty programmes and contactless payments; the relationships between AR and AI or proximity and privacy; genetic data profiling and hyper psychometric personalisation for DNA targeted intelligence via the plethora of healthcare interfaces (GenoMedia).

And when he’s not living out of a suitcase, Dean ‘sometimes’ resides on the Sussex Coast.

Dean is currently seeking new opportunities.

A copy of my current resume is available to download from here.

NB. The opinions and stances expressed here are entirely personal and as such may not reflect those of any client/employer.


A small selection of Dean’s interviews, discussions and presentations.

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An overview of forthcoming and previous speaking engagements.

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A  small collection of what other people are saying about Dean.

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A  collection of clippings of authored articles or quotes.

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Dean is an active Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Seeking to influence positive changes in society through innovative contribution to human knowledge.

Find me online or get in touch

Random Facts


Dean has been an active participant in the IAB on both sides of the pond, sitting on their Video Councils, Research Councils and Mobile Councils and helping to define a range of future guidelines for online video, interactive display and mobile advertising as well as metrics for consumer engagement and effectiveness methodology


Dean was the strategist behind the NMA Digital Advertising Award 2003 for achieving 47% sales growth for London’s Sanctuary Spa and was a finalist in both Campaign Digital Awards 2005 for a cross-channel campaign to promote ITV’s Celebrity Love Island and Revolution Awards 2007 for a creativology solution to increase test drives for Honda’s Civic.


For his assistance on behavioural technology solution behind Levi Strauss ‘MoonBathing’ campaign, Dean helped push the client into Retail Finalist in Revolution Awards 2007 as well as get them second place in MSN European Creative Competition 2006 in FMCG and Social Networking.


Dean helped claim a Campaign Excellence Award in Eyeblaster Creative Awards 2007 for Sony Ericsson’s launch of the K550i across CEMEA; Awarded to a campaign that excelled in its innovative use of digital advertising resources and in the resulting campaign performance.