LONDON: 'Penny the Pirate', developed by Saatchi & Saatchi and OMD for Australian optical chain OPSM, has been named the world's best marketing campaign, according to the annual Warc 100 rankings.

The campaign, which combined traditional and digital media, producing an engaging printed book and app to highlight vision problems in children, scored 139 points to hit the number one spot on the top campaigns ranking. Following the initiative, more than 126,000 parents bought the reading book, and the number of eye tests conducted by OPSM increased by 23% year-on-year.

The Warc 100 is an annual list of the world's best campaigns, agencies and brands, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions in the previous calendar year. To compile this year's rankings, Warc tracked more than 2,000 winning campaigns from 79 different competitions.

Michael Rebelo, CEO Saatchi & Saatchi Australia, said: “To be recognised for creating the most effective marketing campaign in the world by WARC is a magnificent honour. It's only surpassed by the knowledge that our idea has helped young children in Australia take the first step in achieving better eye health.”

In second place on the rankings was '#LikeAGirl', by Leo Burnett and Starcom Mediavest Group for Always, scoring 126 points. 'Project Architeuthis', a campaign developed for America's Navy by Campbell Ewald, was third on 81 points.

Rounding out the top five were 'Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables', a campaign for Intermarché from Marcel, in fourth, and 'Live Test Series', from Forsman & Bodenfors for Volvo Trucks, in fifth.

Droga5 placed three campaigns on the top 10, with 'If We Made It' (for Newcastle Brown Ale) in 6th, 'This is Wholesome' (Honey Maid) in 7th and 'I Will What I Want' (Under Armour) in 10th.

The other campaigns on this year's top 10 were 'Share a Coke', a global initiative from Coca-Cola, in eighth, and 'Kan Khajura Tesan', from MullenLowe Lintas Group and PHD for Hindustan Unilever, in ninth. The latter campaign was ranked 1st on the Warc 100 in 2015.

Commenting on the results, Jonny Bauer, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Droga5, said: "We are very happy to be recognized in this year's Warc 100. We are doing our best to create the most influential work that's deeply rooted in future facing strategy. This acknowledgement really makes us feel like we're onto something."

And Tobias Nordstrom, Head of Planning at Forsman & Bodenfors, added: "It is an honor to be a part of these incredible agencies and campaigns. It's also a confirmation that working differently sometimes pays off, even in a global arena."

Elsewhere on this year's Warc 100 rankings, the US retained its position as top country for strategy and effectiveness awards wins, scoring 3078 points. The UK came second on 1670 points, also holding position from last year, while India rose to third, reaching 1013 points, up from fourth in 2015.

David Tiltman, Head of Content at Warc, said: "The Warc 100 represents the best work in marketing - breakthrough campaigns that have delivered tangible results for their clients. The rankings are a benchmark of excellence in the industry. The clients and agencies that feature in them are some of the best in the business." 

You can read full results from the Warc 100 on, and also view a summary of results. Warc subscribers can also read the full case studies for the winning campaigns, including 'Penny the Pirate'.

Data sourced from Warc