WARC’s analysis of the world’s top campaigns for effectiveness highlights three key themes: the need for innovation in media strategies to drive attention, the importance of brands to be instantly recognisable and blending brand and performance marketing.

A new report from WARC, Effective 100 - Lessons from the global effectiveness rankings, analyses the world’s top effectiveness campaigns to uncover shared creative, media and measurement strategies, and brings together insights and opinion from industry experts.

The three key trends from this year’s WARC Effective 100 are:

1. Effectiveness in a low-attention economy

Capturing the attention of consumers, which has become a measure of campaign effectiveness, now requires innovation in both creativity and media placement.

There are four key responses highlighted from analysing the Effective 100 to achieve this:
  • creativity: in particular the use of emotional appeals – 59% of the campaigns in the ranking used this approach;
  • influencers: more than 20% of case studies in the Effective 100 contained specific influencer elements;
  • stunts: PR-driven stunts to catch the attention of both consumers and the media is a recurring theme, as seen in Fearless Girl, The Mud Soldier for Visit Flanders and Google Home of the Whopper;
  • unconventional media placement: such as reaching people when they don’t expect it, as seen in India’s Newest Status Symbol for Harpic.
“This year’s WARC’s Effective 100 suggests that the most effective ads, all over the world, don’t look like ads,” noted Faris Yakob, Founder of strategy and innovation consultancy, Genius Steals.

2. Distinctive assets and the importance of being recognised

The importance of being recognisable is evident in this year’s Effective 100, with the development of brand equity a central objective and measure of many of the campaigns.

Success stories in the Effective 100 include ‘Kevin the Carrot: How Aldi UK won Christmas with the help of a humble carrot’ (ranked #25), the ‘Made for More’ campaign for Guinness (ranked #31), and ‘The Door Blouse’ campaign in India for Narayana Health (ranked #20).

Heather Andrew, UK CEO, Neuro-Insight, comments: “Nowadays many brands are developing and codifying a wider set of distinctive assets that can be transferred across platforms as a way of delivering instant recognition” – which makes sense in terms of how the brain responds.

3. Balancing brand building and performance

Brand-building and performance marketing are often distinct activities, but pressure is growing to integrate the two, with teams working together for mutual benefit.

Examples of campaigns in the Effective 100 that have successfully combined measuring ‘brand’ in a more data-driven way, and enhancing performance through cohesive narratives include ‘Beauty And Brains for Aldi (ranked #8) and IKEA’s ‘The Wonderful Everyday’(#43).

Dan Hagen, Global Chief Strategy Officer, iProspect, describes it as “a three-legged race rather than a relay. It is about different talents working in tandem and the collision of those specialism will drive a different level of performance.”

A summary of WARC’s Lessons from the global effectiveness rankings can be downloaded here.

Sourced from WARC