Last month, the United States elected the first African American ever to the office of President. He was not elected because of his race, but because he ran a campaign that was so disciplined, broad and deep that it touched the culture, emotions and context of people's lives in a way that had not been seen since FDR. Brand Obama was perhaps that best executed campaign that we have seen in the last half century. Period. Its architecture, messaging, imagery and sheer reach, using both traditional and new media, was breathtaking. Its ability to energise people and to call them to action was the dream of any Madison Avenue executive. Across the articles in this issue, you will find clarion calls for innovation and imagination in the way that we approach understanding consumers and citizens in these unsettled times.