Adweek Announces Winners of the 2017 Brand Genius Awards

Vogue's Anna Wintour to accept Brand Visionary honor at annual gala

Sources: Adweek, Getty Images

Adweek is pleased to announce the winners of its Brand Genius awards, along with the recipients of the Brand Visionary and Brand Save honors, for 2017.

Now in its 28th year, the Brand Genius awards recognize the executives behind the most inventive, ambitious and successful marketing efforts in the consumer realm. This year’s honorees will be profiled in the Oct. 16 issue of Adweek, and fêted at a gala awards dinner on the evening of Oct. 18 at Cipriani in New York.

The Brand Genius class of 2017 is:

Automotive: Subaru of America, Alan Bethke, vp of marketing

Social Media: Instagram, Taj Alavi, head of brand marketing

Technology: IBM, Jon Iwata, svp, chief brand officer

Luxury: Coach, Victor Luis, CEO

Home: Casper, Luke Sherwin, co-founder and CCO

Apparel: Adidas, Alegra O’Hare, vp of global brand communications

Appliances: Whirlpool, Bill Beck, general manager- kitchen

Industrial: General Electric, Linda Boff, CMO

Consumer Packaged Goods: Frito-Lay, Jennifer Saenz, svp and CMO, North America

Hospitality: Marriott International, Karin Timpone, global marketing officer

The winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of Adweek’s senior editors and select industry experts, who convened to identify the most effective examples of brand building dating back to 2016, and across 10 major categories. Those executives chosen have demonstrated not only unique ideas and a willingness to break with convention, but have successfully advanced their companies’ prestige in an oft-challenging business climate.

“Adweek’s 2017 Brand Genius class raised the bar on innovation and creativity,” said Adweek editorial director James Cooper. “The honorees all brought their A-game and broke through an ultra-competitive marketplace with the highest-quality work.”

In related news, Adweek also announced that Dame Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast, has been named Brand Visionary for 2017 and will accept her honor at the gala.

The Brand Visionary honor acknowledges and celebrates a career’s worth of achievement in creating a world-renowned brand. As the unrivaled arbiter of global fashion, Wintour has made a singular imprint on business, style and design since joining Vogue as its top editor in July 1988. In 2013, Wintour also was named artistic director of Vogue’s publisher Condé Nast, where she has played an integral role in reshaping the media company’s portfolio of platforms, which include publications such as Glamour, GQ, Teen Vogue and Vanity Fair, as well as entertainment division Condé Nast Entertainment.

Wintour, who will also be profiled in Adweek’s Oct. 16 issue, joins an elite group of Visionaries that includes 2016 honoree Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with Arianna Huffington, Bono, Russell Simmons and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The magazine has also announced that is the recipient of its Brand Save honor for 2017. Instituted three years ago, Brand Save salutes a breakthrough online charity that brings excellence, innovation and ingenuity to cause marketing and the world of charities. is a bicoastal nonprofit that since its founding 17 years ago has fulfilled over 600,000 classroom project requests, with more than $560 million in donations to purchase everything from butterfly cocoons and robotics kits to art supplies. The organization joins past honorees Pencils of Promise, Every Mother Counts and (RED). Accepting the award will be Charles Best, who worked as a teacher before founding in 2000.

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