Planning, storytelling key to awards

31 July 2015
LONDON: Careful pre-planning, storytelling and collaboration with other agencies are all key ways of winning effectiveness and strategy awards, a panel of experts have said at a Warc event.

Merry Baskin, founder of brand planning consultancy Baskin Shark, said that setting objectives and benchmarks with the client prior to starting out on the campaign was the key to proving effectiveness – and winning awards. She was speaking at a Warc event that focused on the strategies behind recent award-winning campaigns.

"The media mix changes, the way we gather data changes, but the way we do things doesn't," she added. "You have to have a hypothesis before dealing with the data. Or you'll drown in it."

Fellow panelist Karl Weaver, CEO of Data2Decisions, a marketing effectiveness consultancy, agreed: "You need to plan for it. Some of the best award entries I've worked on have been really well planned.

"Prepare carefully months before entering your case study. And make sure you test your story out with the client and with other people at the agency," he added.

Baskin continued: "You need to use storytelling in the case study. Don't be boring - and use your story persuasively."

The event also marked the launch of Warc's 2015 analysis report on the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions, which analysed this year's Lions entries in order to draw conclusions from their media use, creative strategy and other factors that contributed to each campaign.

'Live Test Series', a campaign for Volvo Trucks from creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors, won the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix.

In the report, Tobias Nordstrom, head of planning at Forsman & Bodenfors, discussed the innovative, digital-first strategy behind the campaign, which used stunt product demonstration videos, seeded on YouTube, to drive $170m in earned media value – and a big sales uplift.

"The scary part was that we didn't use a media agency," Nordstrom said. "We did it all by ourselves. We had an extremely collaborative way of working. I turned the whole team into planners. Everyone needs to think of the strategy. You can't have creatives that don't think planning and planners that don't think creative."

Weaver commented: "There's a challenge both to creatives and to media people in those remarks. But in the end [agencies] should work out what the client wants and work from there."

Baskin added that planners should look to the example of the late Tim Broadbent, one of the world's leading authorities on advertising effectiveness, who died recently. "You should try to follow his legacy. Tim won two IPA Grands Prix - and nobody else has done that.

"You should enter these awards. Getting awards under your belt makes you more commercially responsible," she said.

Data sourced from Warc
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