WARC’s analysis of the world’s top campaigns for media excellence highlights three key themes: making use of location data, agency collaboration, and using unexpected media placements.

This is according to a new report by WARC, Media 100 - Lessons from the world’s best campaigns and companies for media innovation, which analyses the best campaigns, advertisers, and agencies as ranked in the WARC Media 100.

Location data and a new concept of creativity

“This year’s WARC Media 100 rankings inspire not just because they use data well, but because they use it in a complex, layered, thoughtful way that focuses on the consumer experience”, says Amrita Randhawa, CEO, Mindshare APAC & Executive Chair, Mindshare Greater China.

A clear differentiator in the Media 100 campaigns was the use of increasingly sophisticated use of geographic data and targeting, with both sets of data seamlessly integrated.

In the #2 ranked campaign Data vs Car by Canada’s VIA Rail real-time customisation of personal messages targeted at individual drivers generated an 11.7% uplift in train ridership.

Elsewhere, Uniqlo’s Hijacking the Largest Shopping Festival in the World (ranked #12) drove foot traffic on Singles’ Day in China by seamlessly combining online and offline purchase data. The campaign looked at which products customers buy offline, identifying the incomplete online orders of these products (on the Alibaba platform), and adding additional in-store services in order to tailor content to its different audiences.

Agency collaboration

By combining media, creative, and PR right from the start, campaigns increase the chances of good results. That said, each successful campaign that did this had to find a unique collaboration model.

“Ultimately, the key to successful collaboration is not about process. It’s about being open to ideas, and most importantly, it’s about knowing when to take a risk”, says Matthew Mee, Global Chief Strategy Officer, MediaCom.

MediaCom worked with various agencies from the start for its Gillette campaign I Don’t Roll on Shabbos (ranked #1) to boost its deodorant sales in Israel, by understanding the media consumption of the country’s Orthodox community. It then developed theologically sound messaging to unlock this new audience for its deodorant products.

Collaboration also works outside the marketing world. The success of The Awesome is Here campaign for Mexican beer brand Cerveza Victoria (ranked #3), involved working with government agencies and other bodies to improve discrimination rules.

“Inclusion around great ideas often means working far beyond the immediate club of advertising capabilities and event technology partners, and that requires a different approach”, Mee added.

Unexpected media placements drive attention

Gaining consumers’ attention is hard, and increasingly the task is defined by more than just buying space. Some of the best campaigns used unexpected media placements to play in the space between advertising and culture.

“Brands are increasingly ditching tired and predictable conventions, and injecting themselves in new contexts to seize attention,” noted Chris Colter, Strategy Director, UM Sydney. “Whilst not a new strategy, it’s the sophistication in which brands are activating this that poises them to win.”

The Dundee – The Son Of A Legend Returns Home campaign for Tourism Australia (ranked #9) launched a fake Dundee film to make Australia top-of-mind for high-value US travellers. Fake Dundee teaser trailers were aired driving social chatter and PR coverage, then the full trailer was released during the Super Bowl in which the cast humorously pivoted from movie trailer to tourism advert.

For Batman Barges In (#23), Warner Bros used the very fabric of TV – continuity introductions between programs – to engage a new audience segment for its LEGO Batman Movie.

A summary of WARC’s Lessons from the world’s best campaigns and companies for media innovation can be downloaded here.

The full report is available to WARC subscribers and includes insights and behind the scene stories of the top ranked campaigns for media excellence, commentary by industry leaders, analysis of the rankings and an exclusive interview with Stephen Allan, Worldwide Chairman & CEO, MediaCom, the top-ranked agency network, on its successful approach to media innovation. 

Sourced from WARC