The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Six international brand launches that worked
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

A survey, conducted by the the Association of National Advertisers, (ANA) found only 21% of marketing leaders were satisfied with the performance of their global marketing strategy and just 22% were satisfied with how their global marketing is co-ordinated. The task of managing and executing a multi-market brand launch is a formidable one but the ANA had this advice for brands up for the challenge:

  • Use a fixed brand positioning
  • Focus on universal truths
  • Tell a powerful story
  • Find the right organisation structure
  • Be open to ideas from local offices around the world


Subjects: Marketing, Brands, Advertising

22 July 2014 11:26

Warc 100: The insight behind 'My Blood is Red and Black'
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

Our new Warc 100 rankings, released last week, collect together a truly global array of campaigns. Listed according to their success at effectiveness and strategy awards over the past year, the collection of the world's 100 smartest campaigns highlight a big industry trend: the increasing recognition of the great work being done away from the Anglosphere.

Exemplifying this shift is 'My Blood is Red and Black', a campaign from Leo Burnett Tailor Made in Brazil for HEMOBA, a blood donation charity, which is ranked 31st on the Warc 100. As part of the campaign, football team Vitoria removed the red stripes from its kit, promising to put them back as people donated blood – leading to big fan engagement and a rise in donations. And, when I asked him about developing the strategy for the campaign, Marcello Magalhaes, VP for planning at Leo Burnett, said that one big cultural insight was ultimately responsible for the (award winning) work.


Subjects: Advertising, Marketing, Consumers

18 July 2014 14:29

Warc 100: Planning a Legendary Journey
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

We like to see our Warc 100 rankings – our list of the 100 smartest campaigns of the past year, measured by their performance in effectiveness and strategy awards – as a way for marketing companies to benchmark their performance against their peers. But we also want the individual campaign case studies to provide some inspiration for making better work. And one of the most striking campaign stories on the list this year is 'Legendary Journey', by Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam for Heineken.

This work had huge scale: it was Heineken's first consistent global campaign across its 170 national markets. And, through a skillful combination of print and digital ads, it aimed to justify the beer brand's price premium to its target audience of younger men. When I spoke to him last month, Martin Weigel, Wieden's head of planning, gave the inside story of how this winning strategy was developed.


Subjects: Digital, Advertising, Marketing

16 July 2014 14:09

6 brands that are building social movements
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

The growth of purpose-driven marketing is prompting more brands to align with a social movement or a particular cause. Such movements seek to improve individuals' lives, often putting education and empowerment at the heart of the strategy.

Bridget Angear, head of planning at AMV outlines 10 ways to start a movement, her tips include: finding an enemy to take a stand against, build a noble purpose that essentially helps to make the world a better place and ‘build around sparks’ i.e. leverage existing events to gather momentum.

Echoing Angear’s view, Chris Thomas, chairman and chief executive officer of BBDO/Proximity in Asia, advises that a successful brand movement stems from motivation, which leads to ‘agitation’, which then leads to ‘explosion’. Thomas recommends advertisers consider the following:

  • What is the role of the brand?
  • What movement is right for your brand?
  • What is the noble purpose you wish your brand to pursue?
  • How would you achieve agitation and explosion for your brand?


Subjects: Marketing, Brands

16 July 2014 09:12

Is your innovation delivering the results you want?
Posted by: Brand Learning, The Capable Marketer,
Brand Learning

Clients often come to us saying their innovation is not having the impact they want: they need more ideas, or fewer bigger ideas, or they need to get them out in to the marketplace much more quickly. When we dig in to their Innovation Value Chain1 we frequently diagnose that the obstacle is not where they first thought.

Innovation Value Chain © Brand Learning


Subjects: Marketing, Brands, Data

15 July 2014 10:28

Warc 100: Which nation is the smartest?
Posted by: Katherine Kam, Production Editor, Warc
Katherine Kam

We recently released the Warc 100, our ranking of the world's smartest ad campaigns. To create it, we tracked 75 effectiveness and strategy competitions and 1773 competition winners to discover the 100 smartest marketing campaigns in the world.

From this data, we've also found out which countries, product categories and agency types are producing the smart campaigns. Read on to see them.

Warc 100 infographic


Subjects: Advertising, Marketing

15 July 2014 09:24

Warc 100: Lessons from 'Car Creation'
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

Great strategies can have unpromising beginnings. That's one big message from 'Car Creation', our number 10-ranked campaign on this year's Warc 100 – our ranking of the 100 smartest campaigns in the world. Developed for NRMA Insurance by Whybin\TBWA in Sydney, the campaign highlighted the fact that the client insured parts that were missed by rival insurers' policies. This was dramatised by building a real-life car out of these missed parts, and by using car parts as the key visual image of the campaign creative.

But this strategy has its basis in a highly tedious process within Whybin. "We spent the better part of two weeks buried in product disclosure statements," said Hristos Varouhas, the agency's executive planning director. "It was painful to get through. But we found a lot of differences in the cover. It was the matrix to end all matrixes. It was a monster!"


Subjects: Advertising, Marketing

14 July 2014 14:35

Warc 100: Why it's more fun in the Philippines
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

The Warc 100, our ranking of the world's smartest ad campaigns, recognises those campaigns that have done particularly well at the world's effectiveness and strategy awards over the past year. The inaugural top 100 (full list here) is a very varied set in terms of national origin, with non-mainstream markets listed alongside the traditional Anglophone ad powerhouses.

Number three on the list, and the top Asia-Pacific campaign, is 'It's More Fun in the Philippines', from BBDO Guerrero. This initiative positioned the Philippines as a "fun" destination. On a media spend of zero, the "more fun" message became a social media phenomenon. And, when I spoke to him last month, BBDO Guerrero's CEO, Tony Harris, credited the Philippines' biggest asset – its people – with the campaign's success.


Subjects: Advertising, Marketing

11 July 2014 15:17

Mythbuster: The supposed virtues of collective thinking
Posted by: Mythbuster, Les Binet and Sarah Carter, DDB

Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like the supposed virtues of collective thinking

At a recent brainstorming, discussion turned to promoting a new product. Someone casually mentioned an upcoming big public event. Could we organise some kind of stunt there? The group seized on the comment, and quickly came up with half-a-dozen ideas. It looked like we'd cracked it.

But then someone pointed out there was little overlap between our target audience and the crowd at the event. The timing was wrong too. Suddenly the idea looked stupid. How could we have been so dumb?


Subjects: Marketing

11 July 2014 12:25

Meet the winner of the Warc 100
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

We launched the inaugural Warc 100 today. It's a ranking of the world’s best campaigns based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions over the past year. And our top-ranked campaign – and clear winner – was 'Vodafone Fakka', from JWT Cairo for Vodafone.

This campaign, which promoted micro recharge cards, used a cultural insight: in Egypt, shopkeepers often substitute small change for low-value items. So, they positioned the micro credit recharge card as 'Fakka' – small change, handed out in place of these low-value items, and kept alongside the counter in shops. And, when I spoke to Amal El Masri, chief strategy officer at JWT MEA, she pointed out that this cultural insight was the key to the whole campaign.


Subjects: Advertising, Marketing

10 July 2014 10:08


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