Lorraine Twohill, VP of Gloal Marketing for Google, has been named Adweek’s Grand Brand Genius in an awards ceremony held this evening at Capitale, the century-old former Beaux-Arts bank building in downtown Manhattan. The magazine’s panel of judges chose Twohill from 10 overall winners of the Brand Genius Award, one for each major branding category. Each winner is profiled in the October 24 issue of Adweek and also can be viewed on Adweek.com.
As the chief marketer charged with custodianship of one of the most ubiquitous brands in the world, Twohill was singled out for her efforts in both shaping Google’s public image directly as well as her willingness to allow its users do some of that work. Having the Creative Lab, Google’s widely respected in-house talent shop, Twohill led efforts that included the memorable spot starring Lady Gaga in which the performer uses Google Chrome to affectionately communicate with the countless “little monsters” who make up her fan base. At the same time, Twohill has known when to loosen the reigns of control enough to invite Google fans participate in its marketing directly, such as letting grade-school children design their own versions of the brand’s iconic logo.
Prior to the award presentation, Twohill told Adweek that “users feel like they own our brand,” and, because of that, “I don’t think Google’s approach is ever going to be conventional.” Twohill’s efforts have helped Google’s revenue to jump 33 percent in the most recent quarter, to $9.72 billion.
Adweek’s Brand Genius awards (formerly known as Brandweek’s Marketer of the Year awards) are the continuance of a 20-year tradition of recognizing the most innovative and effective brand marketers working today.