AMV BBDO was the top-awarded agency at this year's Warc Prize for Social Strategy, taking Golds for #YouDrive, a Twitter-focused integrated campaign for car company Mercedes-Benz, and Mariachi, a tongue-in-cheek campaign for snack brand Dorito that sent a group of Mexican musicians on a "Facebook tour". The latter campaign also took the $5,000 Grand Prix, the giant cheque for which was picked up by Tom White, AMV's board account planner.
Speaking after the awards, White revealed the big strategic insight behind the campaign. In order to redefine Doritos as a brand for everyone, not just its young core customer, the agency based its work around something (almost) everyone loves: cheesy cover versions. And these songs, played by the mariachis in fans' homes and streamed on Facebook, helped drive a 23% increase in sales.
Last week's announcement of the inaugural Warc Prize for Social Strategy highlighted some great examples of social media activity having tangible business effects. And the campaign that impressed our panel of judges most of all was Mariachi, by AMV BBDO for snack brand Doritos, which took the Grand Prix. (Subscribers can view all of the winning case studies here.)
But what made some of the entrants stand out from others? One of the panel of judges that decided this year's awards – Michelle Klein, a VP at Smirnoff, the Diageo-owned vodka brand – pointed to cases that told their story succinctly, made judicious use of data and proved a sustainable long-term impact on the brand being advertised. Speaking to me in New York ahead of the announcement, Klein also offered some pointed advice for next year's entrants, and discussed how she manages an "inherently social" brand.
The Warc Prize for Social Strategy is a search for social ideas (any strategy designed to generate 'earned media') that drive business results. Having just published the 37-strong shortlist, below I've identified some interesting themes explored by these leading entrants. The actual winners will be announced on 11th April in London. Warc subscribers can access the full Social Strategy shortlisted case studies.
This post is by John Drake, vp of brand strategy at Drake Cooper. He blogs regularly on campaign planning.
Not long ago Oprah Winfrey released a swarm of bees into her studio audience. People went nuts. Her fans fell all over themselves embracing the attacking bees as she looked on in delight. It was a sight to see. But it could only be seen on an animated GIF which was brilliantly put together somewhere on the web. The Oprah Bees GIF won top honors at the .GIFYS.
Another month, another set of learnings. We recently published over 40 APG Creative Strategy case studies on warc.com. The APG is the foremost and longest-established organisation representing the interests of account planners and other communications strategists. These awards celebrate the 'lightbulb' moment. I found it extremely difficult to showcase just a few, but here's a brief synopsis of the brands that I think deserve a special mention. Warc subscribers can browse all 41 winners of the 2013 APG Creative Strategy Awards in association with Google.
We recently published this year's Design Effectiveness Awards (DEAs) case studies on warc.com. These awards recognise design projects that are both creatively and commercially effective. To give you a taster of what the DEAs have to offer, I’ve selected a handful of case studies that I think deserve a special mention. (Warc subscribers can browse all 64 winners of the 2014 awards here.)
Read on to learn how a pharmaceutical brand used effective design to shift its product from niche to mainstream, or how a food brand drove brand differentiation by adding a new functional element to its design (the Spoonkler) and so fulfilling an unmet consumer need.
Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like the idea that we learn best from success.
Recently, we found ourselves at the IPA 'Eff Fest', a celebration of all things related to advertising effectiveness. Professor Paddy Barwise from London Business School in one session showed a collection of social media case studies. The cases were interesting he said, but would be even more interesting if they were about failures. Because we learn so much more from failure than from success.
We recently published over 80 DMA International ECHO™ case studies on warc.com. These awards are given to campaigns that have the power to change business – winners show the perfect combination of visionary strategy, compelling creative and breakthrough results. Here’s my selection of ECHO cases that I think are worth shouting about. (Note: Warc subscribers can browse all 81 case studies on our DMA International ECHO™ Awards page.)
I spent Tuesday this week at the IPA's Eff Fest - a conference in London that looked at different aspects of 'effectiveness'. (Watch out for a full write-up in the coming days on Warc's event reports section.)
The session I really wanted to attend was the update from #IPASocialWorks, a collaborative effort between UK trade bodies such as the IPA, the Marketing Society and the Market Research Society, with backing from several social networks. Their goal is to try to provide some guidance on how best to measure social media (and they were clear to make a distinction between 'counting' and 'measuring').
That is a topic with particular relevance for us after the launch of the Warc Prize for Social Strategy - a competition for social activity that can show business results.
We recently added over 100 Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions case studies to warc.com, showcasing campaigns from a myriad of sectors and markets.
The Lions' winners and accompanying shortlist always - and rightly - get the most attention. But that's not to say there aren't some really interesting campaigns deeper into the list of entries.
So here is our pick of campaigns - mostly from the longtail of entrants - chosen for their originality and/or plain good thinking in areas such as social good, co-creation and content marketing.
It's not exhaustive, and we'd urge you to explore this great collection of Creative Effectiveness cases yourself - and drop us a comment if you think there are any gems we've missed.