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Insight: WARC identifies new trends for effective marketing in Asia, insights from the 2020 WARC Prize for Asian Strategy

SINGAPORE – WARC, the global authority on marketing effectiveness, has today released the 2020 Asian Strategy Report, outlining new and successful marketing strategies in the region. The report is compiled following an analysis of the results of this year’s WARC Prize for Asian Strategy, which for the past ten years, has been awarding the smartest strategic ideas that are growing brands in Asia.
Lucy Aitken, Managing Editor – Case Studies, WARC, says: “2020 has been challenging. With consumer behaviour changing so fast, the need to strategise for sustainable change has become a critical priority for marketers in Asia.
“In this report, we’ve identified new and effective strategic approaches adopted by the winners of this year’s Prize, which can help advertisers to develop a strong framework for brand growth.”
Jury chair Siew Ting Foo, Vice President & Global Head of Marketing Strategy & Planning, Print Category, HP, added:”Human behaviour is changing quickly so, as a marketer, it’s important to stay humble and to be prepared to challenge your own thinking and assumptions.”
Key takeaways highlighted in WARC’s 2020 Asian Strategy Report are:
  • People are working and spending more time at home. Brand experiences must be built ‘from the home up’. Keep track of behavioural insights that can assist in this pivot. In doing so, consider triggering motivation as much as eliminating friction: effectiveness can be more easily achieved when both are combined.
  • The pandemic has prompted migration back to rural areas. There needs to be more focus on communicating with those communities, with emphasis on ‘building back better’ from the current crisis.
  • Asia’s agencies have an opportunity to be strategic advisors. Helping clients develop bold creative ideas that go beyond advertising and can achieve sustainable change at scale.
  • Customer journeys are becoming increasingly complex. They need rethinking to identify future brand growth, particularly in a more home-centric world.
  • Large parts of Asia rely on traditional media particularly in rural communities, partnerships and word of mouth can be powerful ways to cut through.
  • Category twists can help differentiation in cluttered sectors, but need to be executed in an authentic way to maintain consistency.
  • ‘Fresh consistency’ offers a way to integrate new components into brand strategy, while maintaining the tried-and-tested elements that build fame.
  • Despite the appeal of performance marketing, the balance between long- and short-term marketing still needs careful consideration to build brand equity.

A sample of WARC’s 2020 Asian Strategy Report can be downloaded here.

The full report, available to WARC subscribers, includes strategic insights and themes of the winners with expert opinion from the judges and what these mean for advertisers, agencies and media owners. Also included are summaries of the winning case studies, with results and takeaways, and a look back over ten years of the Prize with data and infographics.

A free-to-attend virtual event to take a deep-dive into the trends and insights from the winning campaigns and an exploration of the future of strategic thinking in Asia, will take place on 5 November. Register here to join Prized Insights: The power of strategic thinking in Asia.


The WARC Prize for Asian Strategy, is a free-to-enter annual awards in search of the best strategic thinking from Asia’s marketing industry. The 2021 awards will open for entries in April.

More information on the winners of the WARC Prize for Asian Strategy 2020 is available here.

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