It was a true personal pleasure to judge this year's entries to the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy, as it provided an opportunity to see examples of some of the best strategic thinking in Asia. The quality of papers and strategic thinking demonstrated in them were impressively high overall. The majority of papers did a great job at clearly defining objectives and providing corresponding quantitative results to prove effectiveness. The papers that rose to the top also did a great job at clearly linking a core insight to strategy, and ultimately to creative execution.
What struck me as particularly encouraging was that great effort had been placed on correlating objectives with hard business results, not merely Facebook likes or various buzz metrics.
We've no doubt seen first class strategic thinking manifest in Asian marketing and advertising for quite some time. And based on this year's entries, it's evident to me that the art of case study writing has also come of age in the region. Case studies – for the most part – are now living up to the quality of strategic thinking they're meant to convey, whereas in the past, I'd often read papers thinking that they didn't quite do justice to the strategic thinking they were written to reflect.
The quality of strategic thinking in Asia is as good as it is anywhere in the world. The best papers prove that. The idea that marketing and advertising strategy is more sophisticated in the Western, Anglo-Saxon world (which I believe is still a common perception outside of the region) is, well, utter bollocks.
About the author
Fredrik Sarnblad is SVP, Group Strategy Director, at Mullen. Before his current role he spent more than a decade working in Asia.
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