The brains behind Jean-Claude Van Damme's epic splits between two moving Volvo trucks last year not only reinvigorated a division of the company, but got people talking far beyond the trucking sphere. "We have to stay relevant to truck enthusiasts," she says, "but make these ads spectacular to attract interest from everyone else." They've no doubt reached their destination.
NeochaEdge is a balloons-in-your-hair, let's-animate-some-jeans kind of creative agency—and brands are lining up out the door. Based in Shanghai, it's striving to be the "first internationally recognized Chinese creative agency." Its reason? In the true spirit of NeochaEdge creativity: "Because there just isn't one yet." Not for long.
When Cheerios' ad "Just Checking," which featured a family of mixed races, debuted, it drew swift and at times hostile feedback. But VP of marketing Camille Gibson stood by the spot. "While we did have a little bit of controversy, on the whole it was very, very positive"—not to mention a boon for the brand, increasing its online exposure by 77%, according to content-marketing firm Kontera.
Kittens on demand—who doesn't love that? Emil Michael was behind Uber's alluring marketing campaign, which also involved Christmas trees and skywriting. But stunts aren't his only forte: he's also worked with GM and Toyota for better rates for Uber drivers.
Tennis star Li Na has managed to call her own shots. Breaking free of the extortionate professional sport system in China, she ran with better coaches abroad, clinched two Majors, and has become the only Nike-endorsed player ever allowed to wear other sponsors on her gear as well.
Kelly Schoeffel is a life-giver to brands. Playing matchmaker with Jay Z and Samsung to give away a million copies of his new album, she also put Instagram in Target's sights for a back-to-school campaign that boosted traffic by 50%.
Founded in England, the world's oldest continuously produced motorcycle brand, Royal Enfield, nearly went extinct in the 1960s, but remnants survived in India. SIddhartha Lal's mission is to revive it. How's he doing it? "The rides we conduct," he says. "Last year was our 10th year of what we call a Himalayan Odyssey. We took 100 people along, but it inspired thousands to do similar, shorter rides."
Crowdfunding is a great tool for empowerment, but can be an unexpected burden when you've got a sudden pile of cash and lots of orders to fill. That's where Swish comes in. It takes care of of the orders and shipping, letting the creators and innovators get back to (their own) business.
Creativity always needs some nurturing. At Amanda Peyton's online marketplace Grand Street, innovative gadgets are given valuable exposure to—and feedback from—early adopters that they likely wouldn't have otherwise received.