The North American Effies were published on warc.com 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.
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.
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’.
The Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions 2014 were published on warc.com last week. The awards honour creativity which has shown a measurable and proven impact on a client's business – creativity that affects consumer behaviour, brand equity, sales, and where identifiable, profit. The winners were V/Line, Lurpak, Depaul UK, Expedia, McDonald’s Australia, Dove, and Virgin Mobile. While I have highlighted a handful of the winners I have also dug a little deeper into the 80-strong case studies to surface some lesser-known campaigns – ones where the strategy and thinking are worth shouting about. And as we’re in the midst of the 2014 World Cup I have selected a couple of campaigns that leverage the power of football to make the world a better place. Warc subscribers can access all 80 case studies here.
How should agencies balance the need to showcase a great creative idea with the need to prove great strategy and business results? A pertinent question for planners, as well as for us at Warc – as publisher of the Creative Effectiveness Lions, Cannes' awards for those campaigns that demonstrate strong effectiveness for clients over time. In an attempt to answer this question, we convened four top planners – CSOs Justin Graham (M&C Saatchi) and Lucy Jameson (Grey), along with CumminsRoss' Adam Ferrier and James Hurman of Previously Unavailable – at a packed panel session in the Palais this morning.
The four years of Creative Effectiveness Lions showcase two distinct types of Grand Prix winners: Heineken (2013) and Axe (2012) were both massive campaigns from big brands showing massive scale, while Walkers (2011) and V/Line's 'Guilt Trips', a campaign for Melbourne's train operator that took the top prize this year, both offered "new types of creativity" for smaller-scale, single-market work. "The campaign illustrates a universal human truth – and people are drawn to these truths," Hurman said.
The Warc Prize for Asian Strategy is Asia's leading competition recognising great strategic thinking in marketing. 2014 marks the Prize's fourth year. The US$10,000 cash prize is free to enter and will be awarded to the case study that demonstrates the best strategic thinking in the region.
June is the height of awards fever in the advertising and marketing world.
We're all familiar with the drill. The months before are a frenzy of agency folk filtering through all the campaign data (once more) to lock-down their case, getting clients to approve the case study write-ups, last minute re-writes from the higher powers-that-be. All this is then transformed into a slick 3-minute video compellingly demonstrating why the campaign is a blue-ribbon champion.
What does a good social strategy look like? As one of the judges of the Warc Prize for Social Strategy, which has just named AMV BBDO's 'Doritos Mariachi' Facebook campaign 'the world's best social strategy', you'd think I might have my answer down pat. But after four months spent arguing the merits, or otherwise, of 40-odd case studies with a brilliant global group of strategists, planners, researchers, analysts and creatives, I have never been more aware of how subjective success can be in the social marketing world.
Wary of my own prejudices, I employed the process to articulate the criteria I use to define social success. It turns out I have four. Does this strategy use social channels in a uniquely appropriate and/or innovative way? Does it spring from an idea that is inherently conversational? Does it generate enough emotional advocacy to achieve behaviour change? And is it the product of a company that 'is' social, rather than one that 'does' social to try to win awards?
There are myriad ways of building brands today. Fortunately, for those of us who work in what we still call the 'advertising industry' there remains a multitude of brands who communicate with their audience largely through advertising. From FMCG to Ferraris, to fashion, great creative ads still influence choice and shift product.
Yet the digital era has opened up lots of new ways of building brands. Reference to Millward Brown's recently released BrandZ list of 2014's Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands shows Google in first place and Amazon in tenth, with a combined brand value of $223bn, built almost entirely sans advertising. If you have a desirable product offer and good customer service, word of mouth and social media can spread your message widely and efficiently without recourse to the talents of an ad agency. A noteworthy aside on BrandZ is that the top four places are occupied by technology companies, emphasising how the digital era has revolutionised the world of brands.
The CASSIES (Canadian Advertising Success Stories) have now been published on warc.com. There were some brilliant campaigns but if you only have time to read a few I highly recommend the following. These case studies illustrate and tap into a number of current marketing trends including brands ‘owning an experience’, brand transparency, ‘solution marketing’ and the importance of localism. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this new content – they are a great addition to the site. Warc subscribers can access all 35 case studies here.
This blog post is by Faris Yakob, co-founder of Genius Steals, a strategy, innovation and ideas practice, and the co-author of the book Digital State. Here he shares his thoughts on The Warc Prize for Social Strategy in an extract from his article Integrative Ideas and Social Brands: Insights from the Warc Prize for Social Strategy.
What stood out to me, across the winning entries to The Warc Prize for Social Strategy, was that 'social' was an understanding on how the world is now. Social is the backbone to truly integrative ideas, where each component has a role and feeds the others, which in concert drive business results.