As entries for the WARC Awards for Effectiveness (Global Edition) open, Simon Peel, VP  Global Media at Haleon, spoke to WARC’s Anna Hamill about defining effectiveness and the changing world of partnerships and sponsorships.

Download the Entry Pack to have everything you need to submit your work. The deadline for entries is 29 March 2023.

As a judge, what is your philosophy on effectiveness and what does that mean to you in the context of these awards?

I think a sign of effectiveness is having a positive impact on both brand equity and business metrics. If an award entry can demonstrate how it has positively helped to make a brand more famous and/or recognized whilst also impacting market share, profit or revenue, it’s got a very good chance of winning

In your view, how has the role of partnerships and sponsorships in a brand's marketing strategy evolved over the last five to 10 years?

It is probably much harder than it used to be. Sponsorships are arguably more ubiquitous than they were, and as such, are possibly more difficult to stand out. Sponsorships and partnerships are also much more sophisticated than they used to be. Which means more options but also more restrictions. 

How should brands go about finding the right property, to make sure that their sponsorship stands out in a less distinctive world?

Focusing on a mix of creativity, relevance and reciprocity. Carlsberg’s partnership with Liverpool Football Club from a few years ago might be a nice example. Carlsberg turned the beer and bottles red to celebrate 25 years of partnership and Liverpool reaching the Champions League final. It was such a great show of using both parties distinctive assets to get noticed whilst hitting the right mood of celebration.

What does success look like for a partnership or sponsorship initiative? What would you say is best practice around measurement to determine effectiveness?

In terms of measurement, I would personally be looking at some sort of brand equity scores or brand lift over the long-term, alongside MMM. I wouldn't be looking too much at measurement in the short term, although it depends on the partnership.

The first question is about improving brand equity and positive unaided awareness, but it's also about the positive impact on business effects.

In the WARC Awards for Effectiveness, what would a winning entry look like? What's going to catch your eye as a judge?

I think something that's creative and stands out and has a positive impact, ideally on the brand and profit of the sponsor.

Any tips for writing a winning case study?

Addressing creativity, distinctiveness, and then demonstrating the business effects both before and after.

What will be the watch outs, or the things to avoid?

Using measures such as engagements or collection of 1st party data as a demonstration of success.