LONDON: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks group, has been named as the advertiser of the year in a new report, in recognition of the quality and originality of its work around the world.
Coca-Cola received this accolade in The Gunn Report for Media, a global evaluation of media creativity that combines winners' lists from the world's most important advertising awards to establish "league tables" for the communications industry.
It topped the advertisers' table with 97 points from awards in a total of 28 festivals. In second spot was McDonald's, with 76 points from 22 festivals, followed by IKEA, with 46 from 16.
"At a time of increasing difficult economic climate in the world, and in a world where consumers are increasingly unpredictable and exert more control over the messages they receive, media innovation and creativity are keys to brand success," said Isabelle Musnik, editor of The Gunn Report for Media.
"Brands need even more than before to find and use meaningful and new solutions," she added.
In the absence of an overall winner in the 'media campaign of the year' category, The Gunn Report highlighted half a dozen campaigns that have had tangible results and "prove that creativity and efficiency go together".
These included Daimler's test drive event at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where an electric smart car became a controller in a video game.
Engagement Citoyen's giant poster of deposed Tunisian dictator Ben Ali, which was torn down by angry people to reveal a message encouraging them to vote, also featured.
Other efforts receiving praise included Google's use of phonetic spelling on outdoor advertising to promote its Voice Search smartphone technology and McDonald's Coin Hunting campaign, where consumers collected digital coins to redeem against products.
Pepsi's campaign using recycled plastic bottles to act as light refractors in poor urban homes in the Philippines and a local Russian campaign that drew politicians faces over potholes to embarrass them into fixing the roads attained a similar status.
"The future of the industry lies in the innovative strength of its media creativity," declared Musnik.
That is also the focus of Warc's upcoming prize for innovation. This rewards the demonstration of innovation in communications with a $10,000 prize and publication on warc.com.
Entries, which are free, need to be submitted by March 1 and the relevant forms are available here.
Data sourced from The Gunn Report/Warc; additional content by Warc staff