We appear to be surrounded by geniuses these days. The day this issue went to press, news outlets referred to, among other people, a soccer star, a DJ, a Tesla owner and the inventor of avocado toast kits all as geniuses. To be technical about it, a genius is someone with an IQ of 140 or over—and that, for the record, is a mere quarter of 1 percent of the population.
But most of us never used the word genius in a technical sense anyway. We use it to denote an individual who, within his or her field, displays exceptional talent, insight, creativity and even bravery. And at a time when media has splintered into countless platforms and attention spans have plummeted, then surely anyone who figures out a way to get a brand noticed can lay claim to a genius title, too. And those who do the finest job at that can lay claim to ours.
For nearly three decades, this magazine has singled out the efforts of 10 executives whose creativity, leadership and willingness to break with convention have resulted in the most effective marketing in the business. To follow is Adweek’s class of 2018. We don’t happen to know their IQs, but we don’t need to. Their smarts will be evident enough when you read their profiles. —Robert Klara
Also, be sure to check out Adweek’s 2018 Brand Visionary, Serena Williams, and this year’s Brand Save honoree, Girls Who Code’s Founder Reshma Saujani.