37. John Dillon, Denny's

The restaurant chain has shown the ability to go serious or humorous with its campaigns, and it's all thanks to its SVP and chief brand officer.

John Dillon is the guy behind Denny's most innovative marketing campaigns over the last few years. He has been with the company since 2007, working in various roles, helping transform the brand and its space in the restaurant industry.

Denny’s has been lauded for its recent efforts on social media, where it adopts a "playful, tongue-in-cheek voice," as Dillon calls it. Its stunts, such as pretending to accidentally send out the working draft of a press release to promote its $5.99 Super Slam value meal in 2018, have also caught the public’s attention.

The brand took on a more serious tone this year with a multicultural campaign positioning its restaurants as a comfortable, inclusive environment at a time of divisiveness in the U.S. The spots target African-American and Hispanic diners and are part of Denny’s efforts to reach a broader, more diverse customer base.

Denny’s also created an online experiential program to accompany its leadership training and development, with the support of basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

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