GLOBAL: Campaigns from Mars, Nestlé Waters and GSK are among the 20 from around the world that have been shortlisted in the Effective Social Strategy category in the 2018 WARC Awards.

The panel of 15 judges, led by Elizabeth Windram, Director, Brand and Advertising, JetBlue Airways, has selected papers from Denmark, France, Turkey, Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brazil and the US as well as multi-country campaigns in Asia and the Middle East

The complete list can be seen on the Awards site, where WARC subscribers can read the shortlisted entries in full.

In Japan, Snickers, the Mars-owned confectionery bar, reconnected with young men via a social-media-based campaign which allowed specially packaged Snickers’ bars to be used like emoticons to express moods. The #HUNGEREPLY campaign generated interest and engagement online, leading to a growth in sales of more than 20%.

Hépar, a French mineral water owned by Nestlé Waters, is known for easing constipation, but this meant consumers were embarrassed to be seen drinking it. The brand tackled the issue head-on by working with consumers on social media to source the funniest phrases for ‘going to the toilet’, creating a film focusing on hidden ‘toilet expressions’, a map showing regional differences, and a series of humorous web tutorials. #InMyFamilyWeSay generated social media and PR buzz, while increasing sales and market share.

Gas-X, a US over-the-counter medication owned by GSK, changed its existing use of humour on social media in order to appeal to women. Instead of self-deprecation, it focused on empathetic communications instead. As a result of its campaign, Finding the female gaze in fart jokes, Gas-X maintained its position as the market leader, increased monthly sales, and grew engagement on social media.

The aim of the WARC Awards’ Effective Social Strategy category is to recognise marketing programmes that are social by design – in other words, not simply a small part of a broader marketing initiative – and that have made a significant impact on brand performance or influenced consumer behaviour.

There is a $10,000 prize fund for the best papers and the winners will be announced in late May.

Sourced from WARC