GLOBAL: A campaign by BBDO China for restaurant chain McDonald’s has won the Grand Prix in the Effective Social Strategy category of the 2018 WARC Awards.

This category is for marketing initiatives that have successfully linked social strategy to business success.

Where many brands promise to help Chinese students do better in the national college exam (Gaokao), so adding to the pressure on them, McDonald’s took a different approach.

The Full-heart support for Gaokao campaign sought to ease some of the pressure by encouraging older people to share their experience of it and thereby show the results did not determine their future.

The results for McDonald’s were impressive, however: a 428% increase in sales of McDonald's hero Gaokao product.

In addition to the Grand Prix, four Golds, five Silvers, four Bronzes and three Special Awards were awarded by the 15-strong judging panel, chaired by Elizabeth Windram, VP, Marketing, JetBlue. The full list of winning papers can be read on the WARC Awards site.

“The winners all demonstrated the best of what marketing can do with a strong insight and an ownable way in to solving business problems,” said Windram. “The cases were inspiring to read.”

McDonald’s also took the Path-to-Purchase Award for social strategy that successfully drove sales.

The Live Award, for the best real-time campaign that has helped the brand achieve a specific business result, was won by Unilever-owned laundry detergent OMO for its dullest content in history for the least active kids in history.

This saw FP7/DXB create a live stream featuring a child doing nothing for 23 hours – as research showed that was what the average child in the Middle East did – to encourage outdoor play as part of the brand’s long-running Dirt Is Good positioning.

The Smart Spender Award, for a social strategy that was effective on a budget of $500K or less, went to a campaign by BETC for French charity Addict'Aide. Like my addiction used a glamourous Instagram account to highlight the dangers of alcohol addiction among young people.

Sourced from WARC