One of WARC’s roles is to show the industry what great effective marketing looks like. Today’s launch of the WARC Effectiveness Awards will be a key way to do that, says WARC MD Paul Coxhill.

These new awards will provide a marketing benchmark like no other. Using the Creative Effectiveness Ladder, co-created with LIONS, to guide the judging process will enable a global effectiveness standard to emerge, helping the industry to see where their work is and how it might improve – both internally and against the entire industry.

A unique tool, the Creative Effectiveness Ladder is a universal framework of the six main approaches to use strategy and creativity to drive specific marketing outcomes: Influential Idea, Behaviour Breakthrough, Sales Spike, Brand Builder, Commercial Triumph and Enduring Icon. It offers a much-needed new and consistent shared language for the marketing industry enabling a global benchmark for effectiveness. 


It was developed on behalf of WARC and Cannes Lions by James Hurman, founding partner at New Zealand-based innovation consultancy Previously Unavailable, and Peter Field, a marketing consultant, based on their analysis of thousands of case studies from WARC’s CaseFinder. The aim is to help brands shift their focus from short-termism to sustained success.

Over the last few months, we have spoken to senior people in the industry across the globe and listened to their views about effectiveness and how it is assessed in award shows. With guidance from the Creative Effectiveness Ladder, we will provide shortlisted and winning entrants with constructive feedback from jurors. This benefit will help entrants produce more highly effective creative campaigns and initiatives going forward.

And because we know that this is a difficult time for the industry, we are waiving the entry fee for 2021.

We are already assembling many of the industry’s finest minds across the world to judge these awards – look out for the announcements in the weeks to come. And we are working with our sister company, LIONS, benefitting from their experience and support in awards management to deliver a top-class competition.

The winners of the WARC Effectiveness Awards will be announced during Cannes Lions in June. Please encourage your teams to enter and be part of this new style of awards programme that aims to build an effectiveness culture across the industry, ultimately benefiting agencies, brands and consumers alike.

More information about the new WARC Effectiveness Awards is available here