GLOBAL: Campaigns for KFC Malaysia, Knorr, MS Limited Australia and Lockheed Martin have been awarded Golds for the Effective Content Strategy category in the 2017 WARC Awards which recognise next-generation marketing effectiveness.

The Effective Content Strategy category rewards branded content strategies that demonstrate a business outcome and where editorial-style content is designed to win attention. WARC subscribers can read the full case studies here.

Judges praised the Gold-awarded brands’ innovative, intelligent, and demonstrably effective content efforts. Meanwhile, the panel awarded a further three Silver awards, and five Bronzes.

Four Australian campaigns received medals, alongside two global campaigns, two European campaigns, and one each from the US, UAE, Malaysia and China.

In an attempt to steal the burger monopoly from McDonald's, KFC Malaysia used programmatic to generate YouTube pre-rolls featuring their new burger serving cheesy pick-up lines to users. 

The wit of the campaign was widely appreciated by judges, "McDonald's is the king of burgers, so for KFC to make something enduring that could be fun for kids is smart", said Charles Baker, Strategy Director at BBDO Hearts & Science.

Gold winner Lockheed Martin/Space’s Field Trip to Mars, by McCann New York, created for schoolchildren a VR-enabled bus that showed them what Mars would look like. Unlike most VR-led campaigns, the experience was collective.

As a result, the campaign was highlighted by judges for its innovation, “which we need to be pushing when it comes to what content does for people”, said Janisa Parag, Head of Planning at True.

Meanwhile, Knorr’s global Love at First Taste campaign, by MullenLowe, was praised for its originality in both content and distribution, stemming from good insight, noted Nick Kendall, Founding Partner, Broke, Electric Glue and The Garage Soho.

Knorr tapped into passion points to alter the perception that it was a big food brand. The result was a film that matched 14 couples by their flavour personalities, sending them on a blind date.

The film, Kendall said, “showed true understanding of the role of food as a good metric for people deciding whether they like each other.”

Finally, the non-profit MS Limited Australia’s This Bike Has MS campaign by whiteGrey Australia, which used a pushbike to describe the debilitating symptoms of MS, as much of the public struggled to understand and therefore empathise with sufferers.

Parag noted the campaign’s fresh approach, which subverted the typical non-profit or charity ad, as these brands “usually go for the heartstrings,” she said. 

The Grand Prix and Special Awards winners will be announced at an event in London on 20th September.

Data sourced from WARC