The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Secrets of the world's smartest creative agency
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

Earlier this year, we announced the Warc 100 – our ranking of the smartest marketing campaigns and companies of the year, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy awards. And taking the number one spot on the creative agencies rankings was an agency far from the traditional ad industry powerhouses of London and New York: Colenso BBDO, based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Colenso had an exceptionally strong showing on our ranking of the top 100 campaigns of the year, with work for food brand Tip Top, V, the energy drink and Mountain Dew all making the cut. But how can other agencies learn from all this success? According to Andy McLeish, Colenso's head of planning, replicating this success is a matter of taking risks, establishing clear metrics... and keeping clients' trust.


Subjects: Awards, Advertising, Marketing

29 October 2014 14:13

Sensory marketing, product launches, influencer strategies and avoiding cannibalisation: Highlights from IPA Effectiveness Awards 2014
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

The IPA Effectiveness Awards are live on – subscribers can browse all 70 of them here. These rigorous awards recognise advertising campaigns that demonstrate clear proof of their effectiveness. Fosters, the beer brand, took the Grand Prix award while Specsavers, Transport for London and The British Heart Foundation were among the brands awarded Gold.

I’ve dug a little deeper into the 70 case studies to showcase several campaigns that stood out - perhaps for their innovative use of media, or for successfully overcoming difficult marketing challenges.


Subjects: Awards, Marketing, Advertising

29 October 2014 09:09

edcom Thesis Competition: a unique chance for communications students
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Claudia Ortiz Reyero, European Education and Training Manager at EACA.

In today's world, where youngsters are highly qualified but struggle to find a job due to the financial crisis, it becomes imperative to receive the most hands-on education one can get. This was the vision of the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) when they founded the European Institute for Commercial Communications Education (edcom) in order to breach the gap between the academic and the professional worlds. edcom, therefore, strives to promote excellence in commercial communications education and research and to further exchanges between the European commercial communications sector and academic partners.

New Student Competition

Always trying to provide our students with international exposure and "real work experience" edcom launched a new student competition last October called the Thesis Competition. The purpose of the competition is to reward the best Bachelor and Master theses dealing with commercial communications among edcom member schools.


Subjects: Marketing, Awards

11 September 2014 15:47

Secrets of the 'Smoking Kid' strategy
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

One of the main reasons we set up the Warc 100 – our ranking of the world's 100 smartest campaigns, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy awards over the previous year – was to reward those planners who know how to put together a great case study. And, recently, we've been reaching out to the people behind some of this year's top cases to learn the secrets of their success.

We've already spoken with Lach Hall, the man behind 'Overstay Checkout', number five on this year's list, and now it's the turn of Kusuma Kusoltawee at Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok and one of the authors of 'Smoking Kid', a heart-warming anti-smoking campaign for the Thai government that came seventh on the Warc 100. Read on for the case video – and Kusuma's behind-the-scenes story of the campaign's development.


Subjects: Advertising, Awards

05 September 2014 16:38

Cannes Lions 2014: Thinking trumps celebrity
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Omaid Hiwaizi, Chief Strategy Officer, UK at Geometry Global.

Stories of spotting the likes of Kanye West, Bono and Courtney Love led much of the post-event chatter about the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It seems that the cult of celebrity has truly taken over and the way to get your session booked in the Grand Audi is to shoehorn a celebrity into your seminar.

While adding a famous person is a great way of being talked about, unfortunately a celebrity cut-and-shut can be a hit-and-miss approach to projecting a strong, clear, coherent and inspiring message. The key is making any celebrity addition relevant to your agency and your content.


Subjects: Marketing, Awards, Warc conferences

01 August 2014 11:16

What makes a winner? - Analysing the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Awards
Posted by: Catherine Gardner, Relationship Manager, Warc
Catherine Gardner

The Cannes Creative Effectiveness Awards reward the direct correlation between creativity and business results. Warc has analysed these best in class cases to reveal trends and insights about some of the most effective campaigns in the world. We compared the shortlist and winners to all entries and uncovered the differences that make a campaign worthy of Creative Effectiveness Lion.

The study includes the 80 campaigns that are available for download by subscribers including the Grand Prix, six winners and five shortlisted campaigns. In 2014 some trends of previous years have reversed. The dominance of television among winners has not been seen, with only 58% of the shortlist using TV compared to 83% last year. More digital-led campaigns appear to be meeting the stringent requirements of a Cannes Creative Effectiveness win.


Subjects: Awards, Marketing

30 July 2014 16:50

Warc 100: The thinking behind the Overstay Checkout - Q&A with Lach Hall
Posted by: Katherine Kam, Production Editor, Warc
Katherine Kam

The Warc 100 rankings list campaigns according to their success at effectiveness and strategy awards. Overstay Checkout for Art Series Hotels, the innovative campaign by Naked Communications Melbourne, was ranked fifth.

We talked to Lach Hall, co-author of the case study, about eureka moments, why we need effectiveness awards and his top tips for writing better case studies.

1. How did the planning team at the agency develop the campaign strategy for 'Overstay Checkout'? Was there a 'eureka' moment, what kind of research/industry analysis was undertaken and what was the role of the client in this process?

We were coming off the back of a very successful campaign for Art Series Hotels the summer before – Steal Banksy. Our job this time around was not only to create a campaign that continued to set the hotel apart and directly increase room nights for the summer, but also one that that could be rolled out again, whenever they needed a lift, in order to become less reliant on big ideas like "Steal Banksy".


Subjects: Marketing, Advertising, Awards

28 July 2014 11:28

From 'shipping pants' to healthy hot dogs - highlights from North American Effies
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

The North American Effies were published on last week. Warc subscribers can browse all 46 of them here. But if you’ve only got time to read a few I highly recommend the following. These case studies tap into a number of current marketing trends including customer-centricity, real-time contextual based targeting, strategic partnerships and there are some good illustrations of innovative outdoor activations.


Subjects: Awards, Advertising, Marketing

02 July 2014 08:30

How to win a Lion: Advice from the jury
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

The presentations, seminars, forums and workshops at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity seemed to be near-universally well-attended this year. We at Warc also got in on the act, hosting seminars on effectiveness, best-in-show campaign strategies and the future of planning at the Palais. But perhaps delegates and observers' biggest focus was the Lions themselves: who won, and how to go about winning one next year.

We at Warc focus particularly on the Creative Effectiveness Lions - those campaigns that have won a Lion the previous year, but can also prove business results over time. This year, the Grand Prix went to McCann Melbourne and V/Line, an Australian train operator, for 'Guilt Trips'. (Warc subscribers can read all of this year's entries, as well as an interview with the winner.) In Cannes, I had the chance to sit down with six members of the jury, who shared their opinions on the winner, their top tips for writing a great case study and the one thing that automatically knocked an entrant out of the running.


Subjects: Awards, Advertising, Marketing

01 July 2014 18:05

Cannes Lions Grand Prix: The winner speaks!
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

The 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity may be finished for another year, but there’s still a lot to be learned from last week's events on (and off) the Croisette. And, of all the Grands Prix to be handed out in 2014, we at Warc kept an especially close eye on the Creative Effectiveness category. Open only to campaigns that won Lions the previous year, the Creative Effectiveness Lions aim to reward campaigns that can demonstrate strong business results over time – as well as a great strategic insight and creative execution.

You may have read, on Warc or elsewhere, that this year’s Grand Prix was taken by ‘Guilt Trips’, a humourous campaign by McCann Melbourne for one of the city’s public transport providers. Y&R CEO David Sable, the Creative Effectiveness jury’s president, had high praise for the case’s clear “through line” from strategic insight to execution to results. “If I was teaching an ad class anywhere in the world, I would use ‘Guilt Trips’ as an example of what to do – and they’d get the idea immediately,” he told reporters in Cannes. And, when I had the chance to sit down with him last week, Pat Baron, McCann’s ECD, was happy to share the story behind ‘Guilt Trips’.


Subjects: Awards, Advertising

26 June 2014 10:25


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