Ketchum author Tony Balasandiran

Tony Balasandiran is not your traditional marketing strategist. With 10+ years of experience developing and leading some of the top multicultural campaigns worldwide, he is a culture expert and lifestyle specialist. With a network of strong influencer relationships, an ear to the street, and a finger on the pulse of pop culture, Tony brings a rare and unique perspective to brands by developing strategies that are led by multicultural insights and resonate with general market audiences, to help brands reach a total market consumer and media audience. Tony’s leadership in multicultural marketing has been recognized and honored by the industry, winning the 2014 PR News Multicultural Campaign of the Year, and as a national finalist for PR News’ Social Networking Campaign of the Year in 2015, and Social Media Professional of the Year in 2012. Since joining Ketchum in 2017, Tony has continued to lead with multicultural insights to develop marketing campaigns and strategies for Wendy’s, U.S. Cellular, and new business, working with multicultural influencers to build brand awareness and affinity with diverse, target audiences. In 2018, Tony developed a fashion collaboration with top luxury sportwear designer, Don C, for Wendy’s to launch its first ever streetwear collection during March Madness, drawing praise from the lead creative director for Louis Vuitton menswear, professional athletes, fashion influencers, hip-hop artists and producers. The streetwear collaboration was immediately followed by the surprise release of the Wendy’s We Beefin? hip-hop mixtape, which has earned top international creative honors at the 2018 Cannes Lions Awards, winning the Gold Lion Award for Entertainment, Audio & Radio, Retail, and the 2018 Clio Awards, winning the Grand Clio Music Award for Use of Music. Connect with Tony on LinkedIn.

Posts: Tony Balasandiran

hispanic heritage month

Hispanic Heritage Month: The Latin Influence on Hip-Hop

by Tony Balasandiran| October 10, 2019

When DJ Kool Herc and his sister Cindy threw a back to school jam on August 11, 1973 at a rec room in the South Bronx, it was the birth of a nation. As the Bronx was burning, hip-hop rose from the ashes – a culture born from the socioeconomic oppression and racist policies targeting Black, Latin, and Caribbean American […]

Can’t Knock the Hustle: The Blueprint of a Billionaire Brand

Can’t Knock the Hustle: The Blueprint of a Billionaire Brand

by Tony Balasandiran| June 26, 2019

This month, Forbes reported that JAY-Z’s fortune “conservatively totals $1 billion.” You already know the king in America’s royal couple is super rich, but how he built his dynasty is remarkable. Twenty-three years ago this week, he dropped his debut album with business partners Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs through their own imprint, because major […]


Watch #DemThrones

by Tony Balasandiran| May 17, 2019

At this time in human history, there are two types of people in this world. Those who religiously watch Game of Thrones. And, those who have never seen it. While we are as much at odds as the humans and White Walkers, we somehow coexist in a world in which the former group is talking […]

Nipsey Hussle

The Marathon Continues & Tha Hussle Don’t Stop

by Tony Balasandiran| April 19, 2019

Media worldwide has been consistently covering the death of a cultural icon, Nipsey Hussle. Knowing Nipsey’s work and mission very well, I’ve been surprised to learn that many of my colleagues don’t fully grasp his impact, and what it means for all of us who connect people every day. The story of Nipsey Hussle is […]

black history month hip hop

“You Never Thought That Hip-Hop Would Take It This Far”: How The Culture Took Over Culture.

by Tony Balasandiran| February 22, 2019

“We are culture. Nothing moves without us.” – JAY-Z In 2009, fashion photographer Tommy Ton posted a pic of Kanye West and his crew on his blog during Paris Fashion Week. You may not remember that pic. But, you may remember the infamous South Park episode it led to. No one pictured was technically supposed to be there, […]

Beyond the buzzword: Do you even multicultural, bro?

Beyond the buzzword: Do you even multicultural, bro?

by Tony Balasandiran| December 19, 2018

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say they have a client interested in multicultural outreach, my bank account would look like Jeff Bezos’. That interest is the first step in the right direction. And by first step, I mean baby step. While it’s a good thing brands are interested in […]