Have you seen the ad with the gorilla giving financial advice to the guy in the sauna? Well, Barbara Goodstein has news for you. "I'm the mother of the gorilla!" Goodstein says with a laugh. And she's not entirely joking.

Since being named chief marketing officer at Axa Equitable three years ago, Goodstein has taken several bold measures to grab customers' attention. The most recognizable has been the gorilla ad campaign that she launched in 2005; it has won several awards and boosted the insurer's name recognition from five percent of those surveyed to 35 percent within two years.

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