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US dominates in marketing effectiveness

News, 03 March 2016

NEW YORK: The US was the most successful nation on this year's Warc 100 rankings, with Droga5 New York the top independent agency in the world and Starcom Mediavest Chicago and Arc Chicago also topping the media and digital/specialist agency lists.

In all, four US campaigns were ranked in the top ten of the campaigns ranking, three of which were from Droga5. The US counted 24 campaigns in the top 100, more than any other country, and also comfortably won the overall national rankings. It scored 3,078 points, ahead of the UK in second place on 1,670 points.

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.

Top US campaign overall was Project Architeuthis, an initiative from Campbell Ewald for America's Navy, which finished third on the global rankings.

For the campaign, the Navy recruited cryptologists via an alternate-reality puzzle-solving game that was promoted via social media. Characters, cryptologic clues, tips and updates were revealed via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. Analysis subsequently showed that playing the game increased the likelihood of enlistment.

On the creative agencies ranking, there was a strong showing for Droga5 New York, which scored 179 points to become top US agency and top independent agency. Ogilvy & Mather New York came just behind on 131 points, with Leo Burnett Chicago scoring 116 points.


Starcom Mediavest Group Chicago and Arc Chicago also topped the global media agency and digital/specialist agency rankings, respectively.

Top-ranked agency in Central and South America was Sancho BBDO, 20th in the world on 72.7 points. Dew Bottle Tool, which the agency produced for Mountain Dew, was also the region's best-scoring campaign, in 23rd.


With a target audience of skaters that is highly ad-resistant, the brand created a bottle that would also work as a tool to fix skateboards: turning the cap into a 10" ring spanner. The tool-cap bottles sold out in under two days, and its reach surpassed expectations, having been adopted by the country's most famous skaters.

The region's second-ranked campaign was Bald Cartoons, from AlmaBBDO for GRACC, a children's cancer charity. To emphasise the treatment rather than the diagnosis of cancer and to educate people into seeing children with shaven heads in a more positive light, favourite cartoon characters were shown with bald heads, normalising the condition.

The campaign, which ultimately reached 60% of the Brazilian population thanks to social media support from celebrities, came 32nd on the Warc 100 rankings.

Elsewhere, top brand in the Americas region was Coca-Cola, on 116 points, ahead of toiletries brand Always on 115 points. Coke also topped the global brand rankings.

You can read full results from the Warc 100 on warc.com/warc100, and also view a summary of results. Warc subscribers can also read the full case studies for the winning campaigns, including Penny the Pirate, ranked number one this year.

Data sourced from Warc