The most difficult element of the methodology was developing a means of weighting different competitions that would work consistently across award schemes.
Each competition in the Warc 100 is assigned a score (the Competition Weighting) between 1 and 5 – this is an assessment of how 'hard' the competition is to win, and how prestigious the award is.
Warc has developed a calculation that takes into account a number of factors.
The exact calculation is proprietary to Warc and, to avoid prejudicing entries to future competitions, we cannot reveal the weightings assigned to competitions.
The calculation includes:
It is widely held within the industry that some competitions are harder or more prestigious than others.
To reflect this, Warc has conducted a survey of senior agency planners and strategists. Respondents to the survey come from creative, media and digital agencies, and most have either pan-regional or global responsibility. As planners and strategists, they have intimate knowledge of the competitions under consideration for the Warc 100. The makeup of this panel of planners is regionally balanced between those with responsibilities in EMEA, Americas and Asia-Pacific, so that we have collected a truly global view. The results of this survey feed into the Competition Weighting.
The level of 'potential' competition
In theory, competitions that are open to a wider 'pool' of case studies will be harder to win than competitions that limit the size of the pool. So, for example, a global competition will usually be harder to win than a single-market competition. Or a competition that is open to all types of marketing activity will be harder to win than a competition that is only open to, say, digital marketing campaigns.
To reflect this, Warc takes into account how much of the global advertising market each competition represents. It is able to do this using Warc's comprehensive adspend data resources, which includes analysis by channel and by geography. Adspend is adjusted for Purchasing Power Parities, in order to strip out exchange rate fluctuations, thereby allowing us more accurate international comparisons.
Verifying our methodology
We have built our ranking system – detailed above – to be objective, based on data rather than personal whim. Our methodology has been developed in consultation with an independent third party: Douglas West, professor of marketing and programme director at Kings College, London.