Tagged: New York City

10 Visual Artists Whose Imagination and Intellect Will Inspire You

Our digitally fueled world continues to grow more visual with each passing year, with photography and illustration being joined by the constantly evolving worlds of video and animation.

As part of Adweek's Creative 100, our annual list of the 100 most creative professionals in America, we've assembled a list of some of the most dynamic and detail-oriented visual artists who keep us enthralled and inspired: 

 Michael Kaplan
Costume Designer, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Los Angeles

You have Kaplan to thank for every Star Wars: The Force Awakens Halloween costume you'll see this October. He's the creative mind behind everything from Rey's functional beige scavenger get-up to Kylo Ren's menacing and intriguingly unfinished cape and mask. The costumes are rich in subtle detail, like the fact that Rey's sand goggles are made from stormtrooperhelmet lenses to highlight her scrappy ingenuity. To figure out the visual design of the new Star Wars characters, Kaplan spent many hours in George Lucas' archives, but he also applied lessons he picked up from working on Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. For Star Wars, he took "old military gas masks, and tubes and hoses" and revamped them, he tells Vanity Fair. Kaplan is also responsible for the looks in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboots, as well as decades of other popular films like Fight Club, Armageddon and Flashdance.
—Kristina Monllos

Ekene Ijeoma
Artist / Interaction Designer
New York City

With data-driven artwork dedicated to, as he says, "using design in poetic ways, to humanize data and technology for a more empathetic society," Ijeoma is driven as much by purpose as by creativity. Earlier this month, the Brooklyn-based designer released his latest creation, Look Up, a "participatory public art app" that's meant to get New Yorkers to look up from their phones when they near intersections. The app, which is currently available only on Android as a Live Wallpaper, uses crash, injury and fatality data from NYC's Division of Transportation road safety project, Vision Zero, to create a danger ranking of sorts and alert users to look up from their phones through vibrations and visual cues. His previous work also used data in inventive ways; he created an interactive installation, "Wage Islands," that addressed wage inequality as well as an interactive map, which he called "The Refugee Project," which looked at worldwide refugee migration. —K.M.

Waris Ahluwalia
Jewelry Artist / Fashion Designer
New York City

"All my work is a search for truth, search for a story, search for connecting with one's self and the other," says the multitalented and infallibly stylish Ahluwalia. "It's trusting your instinct and letting the universe guide you." The India-born jewelry and fashion designer has lived in America since childhood, but his business, House of Waris, finds inspiration in all cornersof the ancient world. The occasional actor is also bridging history and the modern world in other ways, such as his upcoming role as Bhagat Singh Thind, a World War I soldier who fought for the U.S. but, as a Sikh from India, was denied citizenship in a legal battle that went to the Supreme Court. Ahluwalia is also one of the faces of Playboy's new, more mature push to compete with the likes of GQ and Esquire, hosting a dinner-party series that included Natasha Lyonne, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and filmmaker Liz Goldwyn.
—Tim Baysinger

 Lynsey Addario
New York City

Addario tells Adweek she is inspired by the idea that her work can "inform policy makers, inspire change and flip people's misconceptions about a place, a culture or a group of people." The Pulitzer-winning photojournalist has been documenting the human toll of conflict for nearly 20 years. From Africa to Afghanistan, from Iraq to India, she has captured stunning images that are stories unto themselves. "My creativity comesfrom access, from the ability to sit with a subject, and to make him or her feel comfortable, to use the light and to get in close," she says. But it is dangerous work. In 2011, Addario and four of her New York Times colleagues were taken captive in Libya and held for six days. Her greatest accomplishment came in 2009 when she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, a so-called "genius grant." It allowed her the time and a fiveyear stipend to write a memoir and give birth to her son. "These are probably two things I never could have done without the support of the MacArthur," she says.
—Chris Ariens



#WorldRefugeeDay: roughly 65 million people are currently displaced from their homes on account of war and persecution, according to @unrefugees. This photo: Nofa, 25, an Iraqi Yazidi woman, weeps over the kidnapping of her relative by fighters with the Islamic State in the Dera Bon camp where her family is now living near the border with Syria, in Northern Iraq, August 17, 2014. When ISIS overran the village of Gohobal, Nofa's family was told by Arab neighbors to remain in their village, and those same men later joined ISIS and kidnapped Nofa's relative. Since fighters with the Islamic State started making its way across Iraq, and overrunning various towns, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced across the country, and many Yazidis believe their Arab neighbors betrayed him. Photographed on assignment for the @nytimes

A photo posted by Lynsey Addario (@lynseyaddario) on

Harley Weir
New York City

Weir is known for her provocative work, which often pushes boundaries, even for brands that are already famous for sexually charged content. Take her work for Calvin Klein earlier this year, which featured an upskirt shot of a model and made headlines, with some questioning whether the campaign was too salacious and others arguing that it was a feminist statement. While the shock value of her millennial-focused work may garner free media for clients, Weir seems more interested in reframing how we see gender and sexuality. She's crafted campaigns that do just that for brands like Proenza Schouler, Céline and Missoni. —K.M.



A photo posted by HARLEY (@harleyweir) on

Christine McConnell
Photographer / Baker / Model
Los Angeles

It's hard to say which is more improbable: That Christine McConnell built a hip personal brand around Stepford Wives-esque wardrobe and macabre humor, or that she did it primarily thanks to Reddit. While most viral stars find fame on YouTube or Instagram, McConnell's darkly amusing and meticulously crafted self-portraits vaulted her to the top of "the front page of the internet" and scored her a book deal. "Before Reddit, I was a struggling photographer, just kind of getting by and doing fun projects in my free time," she wrote in a gallery thanking Redditors for the launch of her 2016 book, Deceptive Desserts. "After a few months of successful posts, I started getting offers from publishers and TV production companies." She's also got 250,000 followers on Instagram, where the 34-year-old blends a cornucopia of aesthetics, from a sultry, full-bodied girdle to a nice afternoon walk with a pet facehugger from Alien. "My goal is always to get better at the things I love doing," McConnell tells Adweek. "I'm not motivated by money or prestige, but rather finding out how much better of an artist I can ultimately become."
—Christopher Heine

 Ronnie Fieg
Sneaker Designer, KITH
New York City

If you're a brand with a lot of nostalgia but slumping sales, Ronnie Fieg might be able to make you cool again. The New York native is a prolific brand collaborator, with somewhere around 50 of them under his belt, and he's credited with helping put neglected sneaker companies Asics, New Balance and Diadora back on the map. The collaborations are impressive enough, but it's his work with unexpected labels like Italian hiking boot maker Fracap and practical outdoor clothing company Columbia Sportswear that deserve the most attention. He launched his KITH shoe stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn in 2011, and has spent the years since then growing the brand into an empire that includes a line of men's and women's apparel, a store dedicated to women's sneakers and New York's first cereal bar, featuring 23 different cereals and five varieties of milk.
—Charles Goetz

 Samantha Jayne
Illustrator / Art Director / Writer
Los Angeles

After catching up with friends over a few drinks, Jayne discovered the life of a 20-something isn't as glamorous as the Instagram pictures may lead you to believe. That sparked @QuarterLife- Poetry, an Instagram account with more than 100,000 followers where Jayne posts clever, witty quatrains paired with illustrations tackling what millennial life is really like. "It has really helped me feel a lot more connected to everyone my age," says the 26-yearold. "I think people share it because it's the kinds of things people don't talk about every day." Now working full time at Anonymous Content, Jayne is celebrating a book version of Quarter Life Poetry and working on a TV show adaptation, titled The Struggle. Earlier this year, she debuted a tremendously popular series of promotional ads for the book, which she starred in and created with director Arturo Perez Jr.



 Jessica Walsh
Designer / Partner
Sagmeister & Walsh, New York City

If you ask Walsh to create something, it's likely you'll get an explosion of vivid color, along with a message that has humor and heart. A partner at Sagmeister & Walsh since she was 25, the art director and designer might be best known for a social experiment she did with Timothy Goodman where the two tried dating for 40 days to see if they could fall in love. Their aptly titled "40 Days of Dating" blog went viral and led to appearances on morning talk shows, a book and a movie deal with a script penned by Lorene Scafaria. They partnered again in 2016 for a new project, "12 Kinds of Kindness," which is just one of the ways Walsh seems to be working to pay her success forward. She's also running a salon with six different creative women each month, offering portfolio help and input on works in progress.

Kara Walker
New York City

Walker's work, often consisting of large-scale black paper silhouettes contrasted against stark white walls, is world-renowned for its exploration of race, gender, history and culture. In 1994, the year she graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with an MFA in painting and printmaking, Walker rose to fame for her debut mural, "Gone: An Historical Romance of a Civil War as It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart." That defining piece came from Walker's plan when she got to RISD to "try to look at everything as though it were black," she says in an interview she did with her father, fellow artist Larry Walker, in Bomb Magazine. By using the lens of "everything is a black woman," Walker was able to create a distinct point of view that has made her one of the world's most sought-after artists. In addition, she is currently the Tepper Chair in Visual Arts for Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Check out the rest of Adweek's Creative 100 honorees for 2016:
50 Agency Creatives
20 Content Creators
20 Celebrities and Influencers

Also, see the full list of honorees in alphabetical order here.

This story first appeared in the July 25, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
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Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

20 Stars and Influencers Who Radiate Creativity and Get Everyone Talking

What would you do with fame, if you had it? Would you simply enjoy all the perks and pay that come with it, or would you use it as a launching pad for your creative passions?

As part of Adweek's annual Creative 100, a list of the 100 most creative professionals in America, we honor 20 celebrities and influential figures who've consistently challenged themselves, their industries and their audiences.

Here is our list of 2016's multi-talented creative stars who just keep surprising fans and stepping up their game:  

Milana Vayntrub
Actor / Director / Activist
Los Angeles

Best known as the unassuming and quick-witted AT&T spokeswoman Lily Adams, Vayntrub was intended to appear in only one ad for the brand. But thanks to her effortless charm, and her improv chops, she's now been in more than three dozen spots.

The 29-year-old was able to transform the initially small part into a defining role that's helped her pursue many creative passions, which include acting, directing and activism.

"Milana's Lily resonates with audiences because she's a multi-dimensional character in a way that's rare for commercials," says director Hank Perlman, who was behind the camera for most of Vayntrub's AT&T ads. "We try as hard as we can to not only make her funny, but to make her as strong, smart and human as possible."

In January, Vayntrub helped to bring attention to the Syrian refugee crisis, creating a short documentary of her experiences volunteering in Greece and revealing her own history as a Soviet-era refugee from Uzbekistan. She also started a nonprofit, Can't Do Nothing, where people can donate to help refugees. Earlier this month, she went to Jordan to visit refugee camps, and she will be releasing a follow-up documentary later this summer.

This month, she appears in Paul Feig's Ghostbusters reboot while continuing to advocate for refugees. She sat down with Adweek to talk about her creative process, activism, privilege, feminism and what she's doing next. Check out our full interview with her here.
—Kristina Monllos

Jesse Williams 
Actor / Racial Equality Activist
Los Angeles

In his seven seasons as Dr. Jackson Avery on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Williams has smartly used his Shonda Rhimes spotlight to create projects that push for social justice. He executive produced art project Question Bridge: Black Males and documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement. He and his wife, Aryn Drake-Lee, also created a keyboard app, Ebroji, featuring GIFs and images for people of all races and genders (including transgender). Last month, he cemented his status as one of the Black Lives Matters movement's most influential voices by accepting BET's Humanitarian Award with a passionate speech about race and police brutality. "There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of," he said. "There has been no job we haven't done, there's been no tax they haven't levied against us, and we've paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here."
—Jason Lynch

Ashley Graham
Model / Body Image Activist
New York City

Already a rising star in the modeling world, Ashley Graham became a global celebrity when she was featured on a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover this year. She also starred in the body positive Lane Bryant "I'm No Angel" campaign, along with ads for Revlon and Swimsuits for All. She even appeared alongside Joe Jonas in his band DNCE's "Toothbrush" music video. Graham has used her newfound celebrity status to do more than score high-profile gigs. Becoming one of today's top body positivity activists, the model has delivered a TEDx talk (with nearly 1 million views) celebrating her curves and challenging the industry's perception of plus-size models. "We need to work together to redefine the global image of beauty," she says in the talk, "and it starts by becoming your own role model."
—Katie Richards

Lin-Manuel Miranda
Actor / Writer / Composer, Hamilton
New York City

Few musicals have seen the level of success and explosive pop-culture impact as Hamilton, winner of 11 Tony Awards this year, including Best Musical. The face, heart and soul of the production is Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the music and played the lead role of founding father Alexander Hamilton from its 2015 Broadway debut until his last show earlier this month. Beyond his Pulitzer Prize-winning work on Hamilton, Miranda also wrote the new cantina song for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is working on music for Disney's upcoming Moana and recently teamed up with Jennifer Lopez on the song "Love Make the World Go Round," a tribute to those affected by the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando,

Musician / World Dominator
Los Angeles

Beyoncé clearly came to slay this year. In February, she dropped the killer track "Formation," paired with a powerful music video addressing police brutality and racism in America. The next day, she grabbed the world's attention by performing the song with an army of dancers clad in Blank Panther-inspired outfits during the Super Bowl 50 halftime show. Then came Queen Bey's second visual album, Lemonade—a collective middle finger to cheaters everywhere. Outside of her musical and visual domination, Beyoncé demonstrated her marketing chops in 2016, launching a line of athletic apparel in partnership with retailer Top Shop called Ivy Park, which nearly sold out online just after launch. It would be almost impossible to name a more powerful creative force in the world today.

Mike Judge
Director / Producer / Writer
Austin and Los Angeles

Who would have thought the man responsible for the phrase "I am Cornholio" would end up predicting the intellectual decay of U.S. politics (with 2006's Idiocracy) and even educating America on the infuriating intricacies of launching a tech startup (with HBO's current hit comedy Silicon Valley)? From his earliest days creating MTV's counterculture icons Beavis & Butt-head in the 1990s, Judge has balanced relevance and biting commentary with joyous stupidity. His creations, from propane salesman Hank Hill to the entirety of 1999's Office Space, remain enduring pop culture reference points. And with Silicon Valley—for which he's even tapped former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo as a consultant—Judge continues to create programs that feel less like farce and more like documentaries with each passing day.
—Tim Baysinger

Lupita Nyong'o
New York City

Having stunned the world with her Oscar-winning performance in 12 Years a Slave, Lupita Nyong'o took a short break from Hollywood to dazzle critics and showgoers alike in the Broadway show Eclipsed, which tells the powerful story of five women all suffering as a result of the Liberian civil war. The actress, born in Mexico and raised in Kenya, has also made time for some big-budget films, including 2016's live-action remake of The Jungle Book (as the wolf Raksha) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where she finally wiped away the cinematic stain of Jar Jar Binks by creating a CGI character (Maz Kanata) who felt as real as the actors staring into her alien eyes. She will also star in the upcoming Disney film Queen of Katwe, about a young girl from Uganda who wants to become a chess champion.

Samantha Bee
TV Host, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
New York City

Before her brilliant TBS late-night show, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, debuted in February, the comedian worried that it might fall flat with audiences. "It's stressful on a very primal level when you're creating something that you really like," she told Adweek at the time. "Presenting it to the world and hoping they like it too is really terrifying." She had nothing to fear. While all eyes were on the debuts of fellow late-night hosts Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah, Bee was the one who became an indispensable presence, turning this year's political chaos into comic gold. She could have leveraged her inside track at The Daily Show to take over as host after Jon Stewart, but instead took a leap of faith by creating her TBS show, helping the revamped net sharpen its new, edgy tone. "It's fun to build something out of nowhere," Bee says. And now, she has constructed some of the most enviable real estate in late night.

Chance the Rapper
Los Angeles

An avowed Michael Jackson fanatic, this 23-year-old hip-hop artist (born Chancelor Bennett) aims high with his art, striving to lift up as many listeners as possible with his deft wordplay and infectious grooves. "Depending on the story you're telling, you can be relatable to everybody or nobody," he told Spin in 2013. "I try to tell everybody's story." His third album, Coloring Book, was a hit with critics and fans, who applauded the mature harmonics and assured musicality. Some liken the tracks to gospel compositions, with their fusion of joyful spirituality and headbopping beats, creating a singular pulpit from which to preach. Two weeks ago, he brought the congregation to its feet at the ESPY Awards with a tribute to Muhammad Ali, his heartfelt lyrics punctuated by samples from interviews of The Greatest. "There are so many questions that I'm trying to ask," he told Dazed & Confused magazine, "and I'm still so far from being done saying what I gotta say."
—David Gianatasio

Carrie Brownstein
Writer / Musician / Actor / Director
Los Angeles

"I wanted to be someone who had that power to drift in and out of people's imaginations, who could be bigger than mere human form, a surface upon which others could project their longings." Brownstein, best known for co-creating and starring in sketch-comedy show Portlandia, wrote those lines in her recent memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, and few would argue she's accomplished her mission in style. That's true whether she's deftly skewering/celebrating the Pacific Northwest ethos, bemoaning her banishment to the "kids' table" in droll holiday ads for Old Navy, or rocking out with her reunited riot-grrrl band, Sleater-Kinney. As a performer, she seems to embody our longings for love, affirmation, acceptance and fame, while at the same time spoofing these desires, playing up the absurdity of the human condition to let us know things will probably turn out OK in the end.

Alexandra Wolf
Founder, Bossbabe
New York City

Keeping an eye on trends to predict which products, technologies and services will pop in the marketplace is this avowed futurist's stock in trade. Wolf, a 24-year-old entrepreneur, dropped out of Berkeley five years ago, then quickly forged a national reputation for her insights on business, economics and social media. "My goal is to create thought-provoking and experimental content that challenges the ordinary person to invite and gather new ideas," Wolf says. She launched Bossbabe, a subscription-based online community, sharing her knowledge with millennial women looking for guidance, contacts and motivation. "I want my work to inspire people to think for themselves," she says. "I believe that when we value the power of the mind, we can build the most fantastic life available." Naturally, corporations value her take on the 18-34 demo, and she has recently focused on helping brands update their images for the ever-changing digital age.

Aziz Ansari
Comedian / Actor / Writer, Master of None
Los Angeles

Best known for his scene-stealing turn as self-important Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation, jack-of-all-trades Ansari launched a series of his own last year, Master of None, playing a commercial actor fumbling his way through life. The Netflix show won a Peabody Award and got praise for its timely take on romance, relationships and the quest for fulfillment and success. Ansari has also scored in films like I Love You, Man and Judd Apatow's Funny People, stand-up comedy (touring extensively and headlining several specials) and with his first book, Modern Romance: An Investigation, published last year to positive reviews. The son of Muslim immigrants, he penned a poignant New York Times op-ed last month, taking Donald Trump to task for his hardline views and lamenting that, for many Americans who share the Islamic faith, "there is a strange feeling that you must almost prove yourself worthy of feeling sad and scared like everyone else."

Sarah Chang
Classical Violinist
New York City

In the rarefied realm of classical music, Sarah Chang is a bona-fide rock star. A child prodigy of startling renown, she was accepted into the Juilliard School of Music at age 5 and released her first album six years later. Unlike some exceptional young talents who crash and burn, Chang fulfilled her promise in fiery fashion, honing her fierce interpretations of works by the great masters. An intense performer, she weds virtuosity with reckless abandon, creating an incendiary style that's all her own. "Allowing myself to be open and vulnerable onstage for every performance, and sharing a part of my heart every night with the audience is the ultimate exhilarating and humbling experience," she tells Adweek. Chang's frenetic technique—attacking the strings with a lead-guitarist's zeal—continues to win over millions of fans and make Brahms, Paganini and Strauss sound as fresh and vital to millennial ears as the hits of Pharrell and Adele.

Louis C.K.
Comedian / Actor / Writer 
Los Angeles

In a world that so often seems to be spiraling out of control, it's comforting to know Louis C.K. is there, in all his balding, shaggy splendor, ranting on stage, in scripted shows and films, or on comedy albums, pouring out angst (and sweat) by the bucket as he puts our collective travails in hilarious perspective. A Peabody, Emmy and Grammy winner, he's the latest in a line of generation-defining stand-ups—the rightful heir to Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and Chris Rock—who, by virtue of their raw talent, fearless observations and willingness to find humor in the darkest corners of human experience, reinvent the comedy scene and raise the bar for every performer. The first truly omnimedia comedian—he mastered Twitter only to abandon it, concluding "it is everybody's worst side"—he continues to show a willingness to take risks, like his self-financed web series Horace & Pete, while also appearing in unexpectedly mainstream venues, like appearing in the new animated film The Secret Life of Pets.

Noah Hawley
Producer / Writer,  Fargo and Legion
Los Angeles

Hawley effectively remade the television anthology format as showrunner on the FX crime series Fargo, crafting complex story and character arcs that play out across different eras each season. This results in a rich tapestry spanning time and geography, giving the tales epic scope and power. "I believe if you tell people a story that entertains them, they give you permission to do more—explore characters and themes, play with structure," he says. "The second year of Fargo revolved around the question, does knowing we're going to die make life absurd? In other words, why do we try so hard if there's no escape? The trick was to build a crime story around it, hide the question within the characters." Hawley has also penned several novels, including Before the Fall, a recent New York Times best-seller.

Constance Wu
Actor, Fresh Off the Boat
Los Angeles

Wu won kudos for her portrayal of Jessica Huang, the pragmatic, pugnacious matriarch of ABC's hit sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, in which she struggles to keep the family grounded in their Taiwanese heritage as they navigate the waters of contemporary American life. The series is a rarity for network TV, focusing on the Asian-American experience with humor and heart. "The more you know about somebody's back story, the deeper you can delve into that well, and the more your comedic choices resonate full-body instead of just being quick, quippy oneliners that are just like a bunch of people trying to be clever," Wu tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Because after a while, cleverness is just really obnoxious." Perhaps most important, she has used the show's success as a launching point for blunt conversations about how few roles Asian Americans and other minorities enjoy in Hollywood.

John Cena
Actor / Wrestler, WWE
Tampa, Fla.

The Rock may have shown how to achieve global fame by growing beyond professional wrestling, but Cena is proving another path— growing within it. An icon of the WWE since joining its roster in the early 2000s, Cena has remained a wrestling fixture while also expanding his personal brand through memorable ads, movie cameos and charity efforts. A prime example is his recent turn in a stirring Ad Council PSA, in which he says true patriotism is about "love beyond age, disability, sexuality, race, religion and any other labels." The spot channels his outsized good-guy persona, an image he comes by honestly— holding the record for granting the most wishes for the Make a Wish Foundation. In addition to roles in films like The Marine and Trainwreck, he hosted the Fox reality show American Grit and continues to star in clever ads for everything from Cricket Wireless to Hefty trash bags. —D.G.

Rachel Bloom
Writer / Performer, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Los Angeles

Last fall, Bloom's innovative series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, debuted on the CW, and she's reigned as America's favorite maladjusted, lovelorn, singing and dancing corporate attorney ever since. "It allows me to do everything I've ever wanted to do with storytelling and musical comedy," she tells Adweek. "Every day I get to work, I am still flabbergasted that someone is letting us do a dark musical comedy about a person who's had a mental breakdown." Honored with a Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award for her angst-ridden portrayal of a woman teetering on the emotional edge, Bloom has also released an album of songs from the show. She launched her career six years ago with the viral smash "Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury," a smutty, tongue-in-cheek, power-pop tribute to the legendary science-fiction author. It established Bloom as an edgy new talent willing to take risks and succeed on her own quirky terms.

James Corden
TV Host, The Late Late Show With James Corden
Los Angeles

A British stage and screen performer who initially made his mark on the U.K. sitcom Gavin & Stacey, Corden took the wheel of CBS' The Late Late Show in March 2015, and he's quickly climbed out of obscurity here in the U.S. thanks to his penchant for viral content. Most famous are his "Carpool Karaoke" sketches, in which he chauffeurs music stars like Adele, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez around Los Angeles, joining them in a few verses of their hits and riffing on whatever comes to mind. Last month, to promote the telecast of the Tony Awards, which he hosted, Corden carpooled with some of Broadway's biggest names—and he won a Tony himself in 2012, as best actor in a play, for One Man, Two Guvnors. The carpool videos (which recently included a mega-viral appearance by Michelle Obama, which you can see below) embody Corden's approach to comedy: relaxed, collaborative and accessible, with the guests and audience always in on the joke. "It's joyful," he recently told NPR, "and that's what people want."

Ryan Coogler
Director, Creed and Black Panther
Los Angeles

With only two features under his belt, Coogler has already established himself as a filmmaker of immense flair. Like Melvin Van Peebles and Spike Lee before him, Coogler deftly employs the prism of black experience to examine human truths that cut across racial lines. Coogler excels at capturing vital, evocative details that add depth to his characters and enhance their stories. This is just as true of boxing hopeful Adonis Creed and ex-champ Rocky Balboa in last year's Creed as it is for doomed Oscar Grant III before he gets shot by cops on a subway platform in Coogler's Sundance Grand Jury Prizewinning debut, Fruitvale Station. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates offers high praise: "On the big screen, he confers humanity and beauty on people told they are innately without it." Coogler's next project, Marvel's Black Panther, should allow the 30-year-old to stretch even more creatively.

Check out the rest of Adweek's Creative 100 honorees for 2016:
50 Agency Creatives
20 Content Creators
10 Visual Artists

Also, see the full list of honorees in alphabetical order here.

This story first appeared in the July 25, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
Click here to subscribe.

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

How Clinton and Trump Can Capitalize on Knowing Their Followers’ Favorite Brands

With the presidential conventions upon us, the campaigns are focusing on the big race and how best to position their candidates to win. They are pondering clothes, hair, geography, colors, words and photo opportunities. They are listening to the polls and surveying the populace with passion. While each party's nominee is focused on policy and platform, they should also focus on voter preferences—not through polls, but through social engagement.

As a complement to traditional polling, both campaigns can take advantage of the massive scale available via social affinities. Using an algorithm-based approach to measure the engagement behaviors of hundreds of millions of social users—think commenting, photo posting and retweeting—candidates can see which brands, TV shows, movies and celebrities engage their social bases. Affinity measurement is a perpetual polling mechanism, constantly monitoring millions of preferences and passions. In contrast to social listening tools, measuring affinities identifies which entities will be most receptive by gauging the intensity of engagement between candidates and their potential voters.

For example, because Donald Trump is the most surprising candidate in recent political memory, there has been a lot of discussion about his supporters. Who exactly are they?

It's not hard to imagine that he has supporters who are more likely to drive West Coast Choppers or eat at McDonald's, something he himself did to celebrate clinching the Republican nomination. Campaigning with pal and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could make him resonate even more with voters. From a tactical vantage point, affinities also show that Trump has avid supporters in Phoenix which is particularly critical as Hillary Clinton has made the GOP stronghold state competitive again.

Social affinities can be prescriptive even down to the smallest details. Potential voters might not notice it consciously, but tossing Doritos to the crowd at rallies would have a big impact for Trump because of social affinity. And who knew that Trump's fans engage more with Kanye West than any other artist? Blasting "Power" at his rallies is a sure way to get the crowd going, and despite the Rolling Stones asking him not to do so, playing "Start Me Up" would also be a good choice, according to affinity data.

On the Democratic side, Clinton's branding prescription can help widen her gap with Trump and also appeal to Bernie Sanders' supporters. Aside from Sanders' own endorsement of Clinton, campaigning with documentarian Michael Moore would be a smart choice. He has a strong affinity with Clinton engagers and very publicly endorsed Sanders during the primary season.

On the campaign trail, Clinton should offer free Ben & Jerry's, a high affinity snack with engagers hailing from Sanders' home state of Vermont. If there are any photo ops at an auto manufacturer, Clinton should be sure it's where they make Toyotas. In contrast to Kanye's "Power," Clinton's rallying cry should be Beyoncé's "Run The World (Girls)." Clinton should also maintain a strong presence in Pennsylvania and Ohio, states where she has a strong fan base but could easily flip from blue to red.

Campaign managers with an eye on the polls can layer on affinity data to determine if overall engagement is increasing or decreasing. As with polls, candidates can trend positively or negatively with various brand audiences identified by affinities. For example, Hillary Clinton has gained traction with fans of MTV drama Teen Wolf since clinching the Democratic nomination. Clinton could purchase air time during the program and would be delivering her message in a highly receptive context.

By heeding the active declarations of engaged social users, candidates can source supporters from a variety of new—and sometimes unexpected—fan bases by aligning themselves with these audiences thoughtfully and strategically. Affinities are an incredibly powerful tool that belong in every campaign manager's toolbox.

J.T. Compeau leads client services for AffinityAnswers, the first industry platform for predictive branding. Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Austin TX, AffinityAnswers has offices in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles & Bangalore, India.  

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Sweden Just Got Its Own Phone Number. A Funny Thing Happened When We Called It

In 2012, VisitSweden launched a unique tourism campaign online. It handed off the country's official Twitter handle, @Sweden, to ordinary Swedes—and let them post more or less whatever they liked. Very quickly there were problems with provocative posts, but the country—convinced that transparency had more upsides than downsides—stuck with the "Curators of Sweden" program, and it continues today. (It was also widely celebrated in the ad industry, winning the Cyber Grand Prix at Cannes in 2012 for agency Volontaire.)

Now, a similar campaign aims to translate that same kind of experience to the telephone.

Sweden just became the first country in the world with its very own telephone number. "The Swedish Number," which you can call at +46 771 793 336, connects callers from around the world with random Swedes who have signed up to be de facto ambassadors—but who've received no training whatsoever, and have been given no instructions about what to say (or perhaps more to the point, what not to say).

The campaign was dreamed up by Ingo Stockholm, a WPP agency, for the Swedish Tourist Association—a different group than VisitSweden. The point is to offer a completely unfiltered view of Swedish life—regardless of the obvious risks of doing so. (The campaign also marks the 250th anniversary of the abolishment of censorship in Sweden.) 

"In troubled times, many countries try to limit communication between people, but we want to do just the opposite," Magnus Ling, general secretary and CEO of the Swedish Tourist Association, said in a statement. "We are making Sweden the first country in the world with its own phone number and giving our fellow Swedes the opportunity to answer the calls, express themselves and share their views, whatever they might be."

The point, Ling added, is "to show the real Sweden—a unique country worth visiting with the right of public access, sustainable tourism and a rich cultural heritage. With 'The Swedish Number,' our goal is to create more pride and knowledge about Sweden, both nationally and internationally."

Here is a short video about the program: 

Swedes can sign up online to take part in the campaign. A switchboard supports incoming calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The switchboard then randomly chooses one of the Swedish ambassadors to take each call. 

Naturally, we had to try it. Here's what happened when we called early Thursday:

Sweden: Hello?

Tim Nudd: Hi, is this Sweden?
It is Sweden, indeed.

Hi, this is America calling.
Hey. Great! Where are you calling from in the States?

I'm in New York City at the moment.

Yeah. Where are you?
I'm in Stockholm, the capital.

Oh, nice. Well, I just wanted to call and see how this whole thing works.
OK. Yeah, me too. I just signed up online to receive these calls. Is this the first time you've called?

It is the first time. How many calls have you gotten?
I signed up yesterday, and I got three calls. And then I turned it off for a while. Then I turned it back on about an hour ago, and you're the first to call since then. 

I see, OK.
How did you find out about it?

Well, I actually write for a marketing magazine, and the ad agency that came up with this idea sent me an email. So, I thought I'd try it.
Ah, OK. Which ad agency is that? 

They're called Ingo. They're in Stockholm, also.
OK, I see. That's cool.

So, how did the three phone calls go yesterday?
So, there was one from Turkey from a woman who didn't speak too much English. So, that was a fairly brief conversation. It was cut off. I don't know whether she hung up, or what happened. Then there was a guy from Britain. An engineer from Britain. And we had a long chat for about 10 minutes. He just asked about what life is like in Sweden, etc. And the third caller just hung up. So, I think there are a lot of people, like you, they just call to see if this actually works. So, for full disclosure, I should let you know that I'm a reporter for the Associated Press, the news agency. And I'm writing a story about this. I just signed up for the service to see how it works, and how many calls I would receive. Just to really understand how they set it up. 

[Laughs] Right, OK. So, this is supposed to be a tourism campaign, and we have one journalist calling another journalist.
[Laughs] Yeah, I'm not sure that's what they intended! Which magazine do you work for?

I'm with Adweek.
OK. Cool.

Yeah, I'm writing a story this morning about this whole thing.
[Laughs] Oh, you are. That's hilarious.

So, did you get any training on what you're supposed to say?
No. And I mean, that's why I signed up. That's what I wanted to find out, right? And there's absolutely no vetting. I signed up online. All I had to do was enter my phone number. I had to download an app, enter my phone number. I got some kind of activation code as a text message to my phone. I had to enter that, and that was it. Nobody asked me any questions. I got no instructions what to say. I actually asked them about that, too. "How do you know that people won't, you know, be saying things that you won't necessarily endorse as the official tourism agency for Sweden?" And they're like, "That's the point! We don't want to control the message! We're celebrating our press freedoms, etc."

They did a similar thing on Twitter.
Yes, they have the official Twitter account, that's right.

They let ordinary Swedes take over the Twitter account, and it got a little crazy, I understand.
Yeah, some of them have been a bit provocative. 

I guess I should ask a question about what it's like to live in Sweden. So, what's it like to live in Sweden?
[Laughs] It's mostly good. It's a very pleasant place to live. Quality of life is high. It's a fairly safe and wealthy place, compared to many other countries. It's very cold, though. It's like living in … probably not quite as cold as Alaska, but one of the states bordering Canada. And the winters are dark. So, the cold and darkness, that's the big minus of living here. But otherwise it's great. I used to live in New York. Fifteen years ago now. 

So, when's the best time to visit Sweden? In the summertime?
Yeah, definitely in the summertime. I would say, June or July. The only thing about July is, all Swedes go on vacation. So, if you come to Stockholm in July, the city is almost empty except for tourists. You can hardly find any Swedes on the street. And that is because it's the warmest month, and that's when you can expect the best weather. 

Awesome, well, I'll try to get there eventually.
Yeah, you should! 

How funny to run into you like this.
Yeah, that was fun. If you come to Sweden, look me up! 

Note: Our Swedish friend turned out to be Karl Ritter, bureau chief of the AP in Stockholm. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.