LONDON: Digital-led strategies can be highly effective, judging by the latest results of the Warc 100.
This week, Warc announced the 2016 results of the Warc 100, 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.
Of the top 20 campaigns in the ranking, 11 were digital-led – in that they were primarily distributed or hosted online.
Notable uses of digital include Live Test Series (ranked fifth) by Volvo Trucks and Forsman & Bodenfors, which filmed stunts, put them on YouTube and gained video views of over 100m, reaching far beyond the brand's niche target audience of truck drivers. The campaign resulted in a 23% growth in sales.
'Live Test Series' is an example of an emerging strategic model that combines high-impact video with social media and PR.
Speaking to Warc last year, Tobias Nordstrom, head of planning at Forsman & Bodenfors, gave some background on the strategy. "The scary part was that we didn't use a media agency, we did it all by ourselves," he said.
If We Made It (ranked sixth), by Newcastle Brown Ale and Droga5, also used online video to parody the advertising hype around the Super Bowl, increasing volume sales by over 20%.
The Always #LikeAGirl campaign (ranked second) also relied on video – though in that case an online-led campaign was given extra legs through a TV ad during the Super Bowl.
Although this combination of video and social is increasingly common, other digital-led models feature in the rankings.
#SPCSunday, from Leo Burnett for SPC, a fruit processor, used a chance tweet by an ordinary Australian mum to drive a social media movement. This campaign finished 15th on the rankings.
Another standout digital example, in 27th, was Raising Eyebrows and Subscriptions, a campaign for The Economist that combined programmatic buying and provocative content to increase subscription levels.
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