Using purpose to power behavioural change, involving customers to drive brand engagement and weaving creativity into the customer experience, are the three main themes that power the world’s most creative campaigns, according to a new WARC report.

Creative 100 – Lessons from the world’s best campaigns is an analysis of the campaigns ranked in the WARC Creative 100, to uncover trends from the latest creative strategies as well as bringing together insights and opinion from the creators of award-winning ideas.

“We’ve deep-dived into the Creative 100 rankings to provide learnings from creative successes that will inspire and lead the way to greater creativity,” said Amy Rodgers, Research Editor, WARC, and author of the report.

Purpose has become commonplace in many campaigns, but it was notable how several brands in this year’s Creative 100 evolved their purposeful messaging, from driving awareness to encouraging consumers towards behavioural change.

“What’s interesting about the evolution of purpose towards changing behaviour is that it mirrors a broader trend in marketing,” said Alex Grieve, Executive Creative Director, AMV BBDO.

“In asking people to affect change, brands have realised they too need to change.”

Directly involving customers in campaigns, whether to drive behavioural change or brand engagement is another key theme. This year’s most creative brand, Burger King, had its customers dress up as clowns in a campaign that trolled its competitor’s mascot, Ronald the Clown.

Such participation elements can turn ads into acts, and in a low-attention economy, this approach has become an important way of gaining attention.

The third theme sees campaigns moving beyond an entity existing on a single channel; some of the most awarded brands created experiences where the creative idea was woven into every element of the purchase journey, building customer executions across multiple channels to work at those moments.

Tide’s It’s a Tide Ad, for example, used traditional media in an innovative way, hijacking the brand awareness generated by other ads, and turning it into awareness for Tide whilst creating a choreographed brand experience.

This is what Kate Stanners, Chairwoman and Global Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi, describes as modern storytelling, as campaigns “explored the possibilities of the channels they were in, weaving from real physical spaces to virtual experiences [and] creating more powerful and lasting connections with their audience”.

Sourced from WARC