Brave Brand of the Year: will you be voting for McCain, Monzo, Nike or Paddy Power?

Brave Brand of the Year: will you be voting for McCain, Monzo, Nike or Paddy Power?

The shortlist for The Marketing Society Brave Brand of the Year 2018 in association with Campaign, sponsored by IBM iX, was revealed last week.

Brave Brand of the Year, awarded by The Marketing Society’ in association with Campaign and sponsored by IBM iX, celebrates companies that have taken risks in a challenging environment over the past year.

The Marketing Society has announced a shortlist of 20 brands and it is down to Campaign readers to whittle it down to five finalists. Those finalists will then be put to the live vote at The Marketing Society’s annual dinner on Wednesday 14 November.

Vote for your favourite brand here by 5pm on Friday 26 October or tweet using #brandoftheyear.

Here we look at four of the nominees:


Advertising so often paints an idealised picture of life. So it’s both refreshing and brave when a brand chooses to celebrate the normal. McCain's "We are family" campaign kicked off in 2017 and sought to bridge the gulf between families as depicted in culture and those based on reality. Featuring real-life single mums and two-dad families, McCain has this year continued the theme, showing how love transcends race, disability and gender.


Banks tend to differentiate themselves using marketing rather than product. But mobile-only bank Monzo took the bold step of disrupting the market itself. As well as simplifying typically abstruse products and ditching the plastic debit card for the smartphone, Monzo is also a force for good – something that was demonstrated when its own fraud analysts spotted and publicly announced a Ticketmaster data breach.


Nike is no stranger to controversy, so it's not surprising that 2018 has seen the brand attract its share of positive and negative publicity. It was forced into removing its "Nothing beats a Londoner" ad from YouTube, while, across the Atlantic the brand defied Donald Trump's claim that it would get "killed" for using NFL player Colin Kaepernick, boosting its market value by nearly $6bn.

Paddy Power

Described by Campaign as the "scallywags of the betting world", Paddy Power is a brand that is nothing if not brave. And 2018 has been no different to other years in its history. For the Fifa World Cup, it published a video of a polar bear spray-painted with a St George's cross, while it pledged to donate £10,000 to LGBT+ charities every time Russia scored. Paddy Power's ethos remains one of mischief.


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