The keys to success in the Creative Effectiveness category at the Cannes Lions include a compelling narrative, powerful results and a supportive client, according to Fernando Machado, global chief marketing officer at Burger King.

Machado chaired the Creative Effectiveness judges at the 2018 Cannes Lions, with the task of rewarding campaigns that prove long-term results, drive tangible business impacts, fuel cultural change, and/or support brand purpose.

And he suggested that effectiveness case studies must have a well-crafted narrative, just as any powerful marketing initiative would.

“Of course, it helps if the case study is well written. The average case study is well written,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s free-to-access report: Winning a Creative Effectiveness Lion at Cannes: Tips from Burger King’s Machado.)

“But because we are judging the best of the best – because we need to send a signal – we will scrutinize the case. That’s when the holes appear.”

“But, yes, with the cases that are better written, it’s harder to poke a hole. So they tend to increase the chance of going up [in the rankings].”

Irrefutable substance is a necessary counterpart to compelling style, Machado continued at ‘Lessons from Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions 2018’, an event held by Cannes Lions and WARC, both of which are owned by Ascential.

“We are sending a message to the industry,” he said. “So, we need to make sure that whatever we award showcases the correlation between great creative and results.

“Because I want be able to leave that room and say, ‘You see, those guys took a leap of faith. They really pushed the boundaries on the creative and that led to a great result.’”

Elegant prose and convincing numbers, however, are never sufficient in isolation. “You can have an amazing idea and a shitty case study and it will hurt you,” Machado said.

“You can have an idea that’s more or less [impressive], but the case study is amazing, and it will really help you.”

Any brand custodian who enters the Creative Effectiveness category at Cannes shares a common experience. “It’s not easy. It takes months to write a good case,” Machado said.

Having a supportive client is an enormous benefit, too. “I think also, in many cases, the client is not willing to share information. So I think that limits a lot for many of the agencies,” Machado said.

Sourced from WARC