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.
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 Warc.com 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.
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".
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?