We launched the inaugural Warc 100 today. It's a ranking of the world’s best campaigns based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions over the past year. And our top-ranked campaign – and clear winner – was 'Vodafone Fakka', from JWT Cairo for Vodafone.

This campaign, which promoted micro recharge cards, used a cultural insight: in Egypt, shopkeepers often substitute small change for low-value items. So, they positioned the micro credit recharge card as 'Fakka' – small change, handed out in place of these low-value items, and kept alongside the counter in shops. And, when I spoke to Amal El Masri, chief strategy officer at JWT MEA, she pointed out that this cultural insight was the key to the whole campaign.

To El Masri, if there's one shared characteristic that unites Egyptians, it's resourcefulness. "When you look at Egypt, it's almost like we're living in different countries. But there are things that can unite us. So it's always interesting to find the things that we all share. It's a mindset that appears in all our culture – resourcefulness. It's so built in. It's very much a part of our everyday lives."

For a resourceful nation, a resourceful solution. The new micro-recharge cards spread the Vodafone brand around the country, with the cards being sold at over 46,000 additional (non-telco) shops. And the brand was also strengthened by a wave of TV ads publicising the new products.

And, for El Masri, there are deeper lessons for planners to be learned from Fakka, which, after all, didn't lean heavily on vogueish digital technologies or attempt an innovative media plan.

"We keep talking about techie, shiny, sophisticated innovations, and sometimes it is really the simplest ones that are useful to people, and make a much bigger difference," she added.

You'll be hearing a lot more from us about the Warc 100 over the days and weeks to come, but if you'd like to dig deeper, please read the full top 100 rankings, and learn more about our methodology.

Warc subscribers hoping to learn even more about each of the world's smartest campaigns can also read the full case studies where we have them. And, if you're on the rankings but don't have the case on Warc yet, please drop us a line.