One of the main reasons we set up the Warc 100 – our ranking of the world's 100 smartest campaigns, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy awards over the previous year – was to reward those planners who know how to put together a great case study. And, recently, we've been reaching out to the people behind some of this year's top cases to learn the secrets of their success.
We've already spoken with Lach Hall, the man behind 'Overstay Checkout', number five on this year's list, and now it's the turn of Kusuma Kusoltawee at Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok and one of the authors of 'Smoking Kid', a heart-warming anti-smoking campaign for the Thai government that came seventh on the Warc 100. Read on for the case video – and Kusuma's behind-the-scenes story of the campaign's development.
1. How did the planning team at the agency develop the campaign strategy for 'Smoking Kid'? Was there a 'eureka' moment, what kind of research/industry analysis was undertaken, and what was the role of the client in this process?
Before the Smoking Kid campaign, there were tons of anti-smoking advertising from all over the world. Our team believes that if you do 100 research project, you will get the same take-out (same insight, same response) that smoking is bad and harmful to yourself and people around you: which the smokers already know.
We needed new a new insight and a new approach in order to convince the smokers. So we put ourselves in the smokers’ shoes by observing and talking to many smokers who succeeded in quitting smoking. We found the insight that has not been used in anti-smoking communication before; the jigsaw which solves this puzzle. It is the universal insight that “to quit smoking, the smoker has to admit and volunteer by themselves.” The most powerful convincing speaker is the smoker themselves, not the others. So we designed the campaign to provoke and call the smokers into action by letting them be the main actor in this campaign.
We concentrated on online media because it is unique. With the other channels, you can buy the media and you will reach the audience but online channel, and the audience will be the decision maker whether they want to see it or not. More than just creating the viral impact, we want to make the audience want to see it by themselves, not force them to watch or listen, so they will have the moment with themselves to realize and rethink about smoking.
This campaign would not be a success if we didn’t get the support from our client. We want to thank them for being open and supporting us through this campaign. They were very open to new ideas, challenging and motivating us to do a better campaign which led us to create Smoking Kid, the most successful pro-bono viral ad in Thailand.
2. What's the importance of effectiveness and strategy awards - which judge case studies, not the campaign creative - within the industry?
The effectiveness awards are important, not only for the strategic planners but also the marketers whose ultimate goal is to meet the KPIs and achieve business results in the most effective way. These awards also are a great source of strategic thinking, a hub of best practice cases, which we can learn from in order to develop communication campaigns which solve the business issue better in the future. At Ogilvy, winning effectiveness awards is very important to us because it is proof that we are able to turn our creativity into business results. As we believe in “great work that works,” measurement and effectiveness is at the heart of everything we do.
3. Which effectiveness measures should the case study writer highlight - and which can they ignore?
The most important part of effectiveness awards is none other than the results which demonstrate how effective your campaign is. In order to make a better case, you should highlight the results which answer the campaign objectives. Showing how the campaign helps the client’s business will make a stronger effectiveness case. The impact of the campaign on society at large will make your case more interesting but don’t tell too many results: just focus on the ones that reflect back to client’s business.
4. Do you have any practical advice for planners who want to write better case studies?
These are my suggestion in order to write better effectiveness cases:
Be focused: This is the most important thing for writing cases. When writing a effectiveness case, you usually have lots of information that you want to share with the world to show your successful your campaign is. Tons of business data, numbers and brilliant results sometimes will make the case more complicated. So you should be focused on what you want to tell.
Don’t forget, the most important thing in writing effectiveness case is to have the impactful results which answer campaign objective.
Appealing story: There are around 3,000 words in your case. No one enjoy reading hundreds of those cases so you’d better make your case interesting, outstanding and even entertaining.
Tips: Impactful headline of each part will help you catch the audience’s attention.
Simplicity is key: Make it easy to read. Don’t forget that you write the case for the public as well as the judges, so don’t be too complicated. You should write a case which everyone can understand, not just for the planners or the marketers. Avoid unnecessary jargon. The simpler the case, the better.
Learn from the winning cases: Winning effectiveness awards relies a lot on the writer’s style. If you spend time reading the winning cases, it will help you know your style and know how to write better. The more you read and practice in writing, the better you will be.