Adweek’s Brand Genius Class of 2016: Meet Marketing’s Most Talented 10

Plus, Brand Visionary Arnold Schwarzenegger


Robert Ascroft

As the most contentious presidential race in modern history grinds to its end, it seems like Americans can't agree on much. But take heart, fellow citizens, for all is not lost. According to a recent study, there's one thing nearly all of us can agree on: We like shopping. Eighty-five percent of us report feeling better when we shop—and buy the brands we like. Engendering those pleasant and powerful feelings—and actions—is, of course, the job of marketing. In this, the 27th year of Adweek's Brand Genius Awards, presented this year by Deloitte Digital, it is our work to identify the very best of it.

Here, we salute 10 marketers whose vision and creativity has transformed their brands into the products we respect, desire and ultimately purchase. In addition, Adweek salutes its Brand Visionary for innovations that span an entire career.

Finally, our Brand Save recipient warrants special recognition for excellence in the world of nonprofits. So go ahead, America, fight about politics all you want—when it's over, we'll all go shopping together. 

Brand Genius Winners: 

Jonathan Mildenhall, Airbnb

Bridget Russo, Shinola

Marisa Thalberg, Taco Bell

Elizabeth Windram, JetBlue

Olivier Francois, Jeep

Steve Fund, Intel

Meredith Herman, Flonase

Denise Karkos, TD Ameritrade

Jane Lauder, Clinique

Lisa McKnight, Barbie

Brand Visionary:

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Brand Save:

Pencils of Promise

This story first appeared in the October 24, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.

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@UpperEastRob Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.