The Warc Prize for Asian Strategy Awards went live on last week. These awards recognise and reward great strategic thinking in marketing in the region. Idea Cellular, the Indian mobile network operator, won the top prize. There are 80 winning and shortlisted papers in total which Warc subscribers can view here. I highlight a selection of content, mostly from the long tail, that I found particularly noteworthy.

Volkswagen Hong Kong: Project Polo – turning probationary drivers into professional ones

To get first time buyers to test-drive the new Polo, Volkswagen Hong Kong used Facebook to announce the launch of its free training programme. This included in-depth online video tutorials, that showed how to master parking, navigating a roundabout and driving on a motorway. This helpful/utility positioning grew Volkswagen’s social media following, increased key metrics including consideration and conversion and lifted sales of the New Polo by more than 30%. It found its niche audience and proved helpful/relevant.

Pera Padala: Cebuana Lhuillier "Re-Meet"

This case study explains how Pera Padala, a money transfer brand in the Philippines, repositioned from functional to emotional strategy. It did this by illustrating that it understood that money transfer meant more than the simple transaction but was also about the receivers and senders and the love that is sent with it. The brand was able to strengthen its relationship with consumers, drive preference, and, during the two years the campaign ran (2013–2014), the brand achieved double-digit growth.

Whisper: Touch the pickle

Whisper, the feminine hygiene brand, created a social movement and ignited a national conversation around breaking taboos surrounding female menstruation. Female empowerment is a super-hot topic – which is evident in recent campaigns such as Always #LikeaGirl and Sport England: This Girl Can. Whisper's campaign catapulted the feminine hygiene category from an undifferentiated soup of product demos and manufactured promises, to a category that reflects and articulates the aspirations of modern women.

Mawbima: The newspaper that stopped dengue in its tracks

Mawbima, a Sri Lankan national newspaper, needed to grow market share in a crowded and declining category. Recognising that dengue fever is a serious and deadly issue Mawbima saw an opportunity to tap into purpose marketing by making the newspaper itself useful. It did this by infusing citronella essence into its printing ink so that every letter in the newspaper repelled mosquitos. With a 30% larger print run, the paper sold out and the resulting growth was converted to permanent sales, added revenue and delivered a 2% increase in market share.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label: The Gentlemen's Wager

This case study shows how Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Diageo’s whiskey brand, built brand fame, globally. A media partnership with Mr Porter, the online men’s fashion portal, put celebrity, storytelling and online video at the heart of this campaign which was activated across 24 countries globally and eight countries in Asia.

Saffola Masala Oats: Tukdon Pe Jeena Chhodo (Don't live in bits & pieces)

Saffola Masala Oats, a breakfast cereal brand in India, managed to increase consumption occasions (and market share) by positioning the brand as something that could be consumed outside of breakfast and enjoyed as an evening snack or anytime meal. Saffola Masala Oats' market share in the flavoured oats category took off and gained 22% post the new campaign.

Havells: Respect women

This case study describes how Havells, an electronics brand in India, repositioned from a B2B brand targeting electricians, to a B2C brand, selling homewares aimed at housewives. Rather than focus on the rational benefits of its products, Havells used an emotive and somewhat activist tone – taking a stance against the regressive mindset that automatically assigned kitchen and other domestic duties to a woman. Brand consideration increased from 22% to 47%, and sales increased 150% after six months.

AIDS Concern: Can coffee melt stigma?

AIDS Concern, a small Hong Kong NGO, used stunt marketing to tackle the stigma attached to AIDS. It sent a coffee truck to five busy areas of Hong Kong serving free coffee made by people with HIV. This was filmed and the public reaction was documented and shared on social media. In addition, the NGO supported its initiative through celebrity endorsement, print, online and Facebook promotional campaigns. Some 97% of people said the campaign made them change their view of people with HIV; further, AIDS organisations from France and Taiwan have adapted the campaign for their own markets.

McDowell's No.1: Celebrating brotherhood - future proofing an Indian icon

McDowell’s, a Diageo-owned spirit brand in India, focused on friendship, emotion and storytelling to reconnect with young Indian men. Music played a key role in this campaign, with a song created that was an ode to "brotherhood". The song was accompanied by a heart-warming story about three friends who have journeyed through life’s ups and downs together. Digital and online video were the core of the campaign and McDowell's also co-created content with MTV, the leading youth channel. The campaign delivered across all objectives, including sales and attitudinal measures, and helped grow its market share by 2.2 percentage points.

Mountain Dew: Real Heroes

Mountain Dew, the soft drinks brand, focused on storytelling – telling real tales of human endeavour to fit its brand positioning of ‘courage liquid’ and being a brand that inspires people to go beyond their fears and take risks.

As always Warc subscribers can view the full case studies here