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InsightPress Release

Tech innovation and social influence lead in tactics for commercial success, WARC Creative’s latest report finds

LONDON, UK — To help companies improve the business impact of their creative marketing, WARC Creative has released a report looking at the strategies and approaches of some of the world’s most awarded campaigns for effectiveness from 2022, ranked in this year’s Effective 100.

Part of WARC Rankings, the Effective 100, is the ultimate independent global benchmark celebrating excellence in advertising effectiveness. It features the most awarded campaigns and companies in the world based on their performance at the most important global and regional effectiveness shows as determined by the industry.

Amy Rodgers, Head of WARC Creative and author of the report, said: “We’ve analyzed the multi-award-winning campaigns ranked in the Effective 100 to get an understanding of the approaches highly effective brands are taking to drive commercial impact. These findings will provide confidence to marketing decisions through evidence-based insight and inspiration.”

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Key takeaways outlined in Lessons from the Effective 100 report are:

Peak purpose

Purpose has reached a peak in the Effective 100 this year. Half of the ranked campaigns – the highest number recorded in the Effective 100 to date – have a purpose element to them as brands try to make a difference in the world.

But while there are still campaigns that might be seen as purely brand-purpose work, more brands are investing in initiatives that support audiences while also growing the bottom line.

Examples include ranked #1, Contract for Change by FCB Chicago / FCB New York for Michelob Ultra. While its purpose was to assist farmers in switching to organic, by doing so it ensured the supply chain for their Pure Gold beer. Ranked #2, Not Just A Cadbury Ad by Ogilvy Mumbai / Wavemaker Mumbai for Cadbury’s Celebrations supported small business stockists resulting in sales.

Technology innovation paves new routes to attention

Advances in technology are providing innovative ways for marketers to reach their audiences through social media and gaming.

The use of virtual reality, CGI, and 3D technologies are all used in the most awarded campaigns for effectiveness, often combined with the use of influence, be it human or virtual, to target specific audiences.

Ranked #30, the campaign “Lu From Magalu: The Biggest Virtual Influencer in the World” by Ogilvy São Paulo for Magazine Luiza, used Lu, a computer-generated virtual influencer to increase brand awareness and drive sales. Activations across all major social channels turned Lu into a pop culture celebrity with TikTok videos surpassing 1 billion views, appearances with brands like Apple and McDonald’s, and a Vogue front cover.

Other campaigns bridging virtual and real worlds include the “Meet Frank” campaign for Pringles by Grey London, ranked #40, and “The Growth of Colonel KI” campaign, by Mindshare Shanghai / KEYI Media Shanghai, ranked #56.

Hunger sells

Marketers should take inspiration from the food, drink, and QSR categories, which make up 34% of the top 100 campaigns, including four of the top five campaigns – Michelob Ultra (ranked #1), Cadbury (#2), McDonald’s (#3) and Jif (#5).

Innovation and versatility within the category are evident. The use of creativity is pushing the boundaries of category norms to gain attention, as well as purpose and celebrity/influencer partnerships which have proven to be effective strategies.

The Lessons from the Effective 100 report is available to WARC Creative subscribers. The study includes expert commentary, winning case studies, data analysis, and best practices for advertisers, agencies, and media owners.

The WARC Effective 100 has been compiled by applying a rigorous, unbiased, and transparent methodology. Available to view in full here, the ranking includes the world’s top 100 awarded campaigns for effectiveness, the top 50 creative, media and digital/specialist agencies, agency networks, brands, advertisers, countries, and top holding companies.

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