Adweek Announces 2018 Brand Genius Class of Top Marketers

Serena Williams to accept Brand Visionary honor at the annual gala on Nov. 7 in New York

NEW YORK (September 10, 2018) — Adweek, the leading resource for brand marketers, today announced the recipients of its 29th annual Brand Genius awards. Celebrating the industry’s marketing masterminds, Adweek’s Brand Genius award commends the most innovative chief marketers as well as this year’s Brand Visionary and Brand Save honorees. The 2018 awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York City.

“We are thrilled with this year’s class of Brand Genius winners who will join the incomparable Serena Williams as Brand Visionary and Girls Who Code as our Brand Save recipient,” said Adweek editorial director James Cooper. “The honorees and their teams shepherded breakthrough marketing efforts that were not only effective, but fully in sync with the digital and consumer-first world.”

As the marketing and branding world’s consummate honor, Adweek’s Brand Genius  award recognizes the principal leaders behind the boldest and most imaginative marketing efforts across 10 key business categories. While the achievements of each recipient vary, all honorees have demonstrated a willingness to break with convention.

This year’s award recipients will be profiled in Adweek’s annual Brand Genius issue (Nov. 5) and on At the gala awards dinner and ceremony, sponsored by Presenting Partner NBCUniversal, Adweek will recognize each honoree’s achievements. Adweek editors will also name the Grand Brand Genius from the 2018 class, whose exemplary leadership and creative output rises above all others.

The 2018 Brand Genius award winners, as chosen by Adweek’s senior editors and industry experts, are:
• Apparel: Aerie, Jennifer Foyle, Global Brand President
• Automotive: Toyota Motor North America, Ed Laukes, Group VP, Toyota Division Marketing
• Beverages: Bud Light, Andy Goeler, Vice President of Marketing
• CPG: Procter & Gamble, Vedran Miletic, Brand Director, North America Fabric Care
• Financial Services: American Express, Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer
• Fitness: Peloton, Carolyn Tisch Blodgett, SVP, Brand Marketing
• Media: FX, Kenya Hardaway, SVP, Integrated Promotions
• Packaged Foods: Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Rankin Carroll, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Fruity Confections
• Restaurants: Burger King, Fernando Machado, Global Chief Marketing Officer
• Technology: Google Cloud, Courtney Blacker, Head of Brand Marketing

2018 Brand Visionary: Serena Williams, 23-time grand slam tennis champion, entrepreneur,  fashion icon, philanthropist

In related news, Serena Williams, the 23-time grand slam tennis champion, entrepreneur, fashion icon and philanthropist, has been named Brand Visionary for 2018 and will accept the honor at the gala. The Brand Visionary celebrates a career’s worth of achievements that have changed the culture and, in the process, created a world-renowned brand. Williams, who will be profiled in Adweek’s Nov. 5 issue, joins an elite group of Visionaries
that includes 2017 honoree Anna Wintour, along with past recipients including Arianna Huffington, Bono, and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

2018 Brand Save: Girls Who Code, national nonprofit that aims to support
and increase the number of women in computer science

In recognition of the excellent work undertaken in the not-for-profit sector, Adweek bestows the Brand Save award, spotlighting and celebrating the growing importance of cause-marketing that benefits philanthropies, charitable groups, and other public-benefit concerns. This year’s honoree, Girls Who Code, is a national non-profit organization
working to close the gender gap in technology and provide programs that work to educate, inspire and equip teen girls with the skills to pursue opportunities in computing fields. The organization joins past honorees, Pencils of Promise, Every Mother Counts and (RED). Accepting the award is founder and CEO Reshma Saujani, who will also be featured in the Brand Genius issue.

To attend Adweek’s Brand Genius Gala go to either or email

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