Brave Brand of the Year: will you be voting for Tesco, Skittles, Sky or Ugly?

Brave Brand of the Year: will you be voting for Tesco, Skittles, Sky or Ugly?

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:


Tesco has transformed itself under the watch of chief executive Dave Lewis from a brand beset by controversies to one increasingly defined by transparency and honesty. It's an approach embodied by last year's campaign to cut the price of women's sanitary products by 5% following the government's decision to apply a "tampon tax", as well as the launch of Jack’s, a discount chain going up against Aldi and Lidl.


The Skittles brand and product is defined by bright colours, so removing its rainbow visual identity was an undeniably brave move. But it was also one that took a marketing idea and literally lent it to a worthy cause. With a modest spend, the brand "gave" its rainbow to LGBT+ festival organisers Pride, with PR, social, a video and rainbowless packets of Skittles sold in Tesco. The campaign won the Bravest Brand category at The Marketing Society Excellence Awards 2018.


Plastic bottles are the world's third most common polluter after cigarettes and food packaging. So Sky's £25m commitment to remove all single-use plastics from its operations, products and supply chain by 2020 is laudable. It even turned the heart of the idea into a piece of marketing, allowing sports fans to redeem codes from the 5,000 bottles Team Sky throws to the side of the road at the Tour de France.


In just two years since launch in 2017, London start-up Ugly has carved a niche into the UK's sugar-rich drinks market, disrupting with a brand committed to healthy, 100% natural, fruit-infused sparkling waters. Tapping into the consumer shift away from calories and sweeteners, Ugly has secured retail deals in 3,500 stores and is taking the brand to the US.


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