Magazine article ADWEEK

Charting a New Course: Our Brand Genius Honorees Are Building Consumer Engagement with Marketing That Defies Avoidance

Magazine article ADWEEK

Charting a New Course: Our Brand Genius Honorees Are Building Consumer Engagement with Marketing That Defies Avoidance

Article excerpt

These are strange and interesting days for brand marketers. Fragmentation among screens continues unabated and consumers have more sophisticated tools than ever for avoiding marketing messages they find horrendous, interruptive or useless--or all of the above.

A recent Adobe/PageFair study revealed that 48 percent of the U.S. is using ad-blocking technology, predicting that by next year the global cost of ad blocking to marketers will hit $41.4 billion. Those are chilling stats for all of us. As John Synder points out in his Voice column on page 22, if the value exchange of a piece of marketing isn't rich with inspiration or utility, it will drift away, unseen and ineffective. Indeed, the era of "badvertising" is over.

The good news is that beyond all the hyperventilating over ad blocking, insights about data have never been richer, as is the understanding that data as a human-insights tool, paired with genuine, creative storytelling, will create marketing that consumers see as smart, useful and something they want to engage with--and deeply so.

Each of the 10 individuals we will recognize with our 26th annual Brand Genius Awards at a gala in New York on Oct. 20 understands the evolving world of marketing in his or her own unique way. Adweek senior marketing editor Robert Klara, along with executive editor Tony Case, spent months working on this signature editorial project, resulting in the profiles beginning on page 31.

We think you will agree that the work of all this year's Brand Geniuses speaks for itself.

Gatorade, 50-years-old this year, has tapped the sports fan in all of us, while also stoking our instinct to get in the game. …

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