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WARC 100: Lessons from the world's top effectiveness campaigns revealed

WARC 100: Lessons from the world's top effectiveness campaigns revealed

- Effective campaigns increasingly have PR 'baked in'
- TV-led and video-led - two different models
- The use of partnerships is on the rise
- Brands are looking for multi-year platforms

LONDON, Apr 19, 2018 - (ACN Newswire) - WARC, the global marketing intelligence service, has today released 'Lessons from the world's top effectiveness campaigns' to uncover shared creative, media and measurement strategies. The report analyses the results of the latest WARC 100, an annual ranking of campaigns based on their performance in effectiveness awards from around the world.

The four lessons from the 2018 WARC 100 analysis are:

1. Effective campaigns increasingly have PR 'baked in'

Analysis of campaigns in this year's WARC 100 reveal the increasing use of PR in their channel strategies. This reflects the rise of creative ideas built to gain press coverage and other earned media. Several ideas at the top of the ranking centre around a highly PR-able stunt or concept, like the Transport Accident Association's 'Graham', that can generate content across channels and media.

2. TV-led and video-led - two different models

This year a dominance of video - both online and TV - is evident in the winning campaigns. Analysis of campaigns led by TV and campaigns led by online video show they are key to emotional creative strategies. Budgets tend to be higher for TV-led campaigns, and the media mix differs between the two groups as a result. Though social media is the most common support channel regardless of lead media, OOH and print are more commonly present in the mix of TV-led campaigns, with word-of-mouth and PR supporting a higher proportion of online video-led strategies.

3. The use of partnerships is on the rise

Over the past two years, the use of partnerships as a creative strategy has increased in WARC 100 campaigns. Utilising the reach or credibility of partner organisations was an effective strategy for four of the top 10 campaigns this year, with both expected and unusual partnerships seeing success. Though seen across the whole WARC 100, partnerships saw particular use in campaigns targeting millennials, like Burger King's 'The McWhopper Proposal'.

4. Brands are looking for multi-year platforms

Long-term ideas are a growing feature of the WARC 100 as brands look to squeeze more out of their platforms. The continuing presence of the John Lewis Christmas campaigns in the WARC 100 provides a great case for the success of long-term campaigns. John Lewis has taken the Christmas period and turned it into an advertising event, annually driving huge amounts of publicity, engagement and ultimately return on their investment. Two further top 10 campaigns for Ariel and Snickers have reworked or evolved ongoing campaign themes with success over the past year, using the power of association to grow and reinforce the memory's perception of brands over time.

David Tiltman, Head of Content, WARC, says: "This year's analysis of the WARC 100 reveals some major long-term trends in effective advertising. Brands are increasingly looking for ideas with high PR impact, and marketing platforms with potential to run across multiple years - and with budgets under pressure in many markets, those trends are set to continue."

The WARC 100 is now part of the Gunn Report, which tracks the winners' lists from all the most important advertising award contests, globally. The results of 70+ effectiveness competitions are used to compile the WARC 100, which now in its fifth year, is built on a rigorous methodology, developed in consultation with King's College London. The methodology is applied consistently across all global, regional and national competitions tracked.

More information on the WARC 100 ranking on and its analysis report is available on

About WARC 100 & Methodology

The WARC 100 is an annual ranking of the world's effective advertising and marketing campaigns - and the companies behind them. In 2018, the WARC 100 became one of Gunn Report's rankings, complementing the Gunn 100 ranking for creativity in advertising.

To compile the WARC 100, WARC and Gunn Report track over 70 different advertising competitions around the world - all of them require entrants to show the impact of a campaign. Campaigns, (and the brands and agencies behind them, are awarded points based on the level of award they win and each competition is weighted based on how rigorous and prestigious it is.

The WARC 100 methodology was developed in consultation with Douglas West, Professor of Marketing at Kings College, London. The awards shows tracked will remain confidential to avoid prejudicing entries to competitions.

About WARC - your global authority on advertising and media effectiveness is an online service offering advertising best practice, evidence, insights and data from the world's leading brands. WARC helps clients grow their businesses by using proven approaches to maximise advertising effectiveness. WARC's clients include the world's largest advertising and media agencies, research companies, universities and advertisers.

WARC publishes three global rankings of advertising excellence: Gunn 100 (creativity), WARC 100 (effectiveness), Gunn Media 100 (media innovation). Additionally WARC runs two global and two regional case study competitions: WARC Awards, WARC Media Awards, WARC Prize for Asian Strategy and WARC Prize for MENA Strategy. In addition to its own content, WARC features advertising case studies and best practices from more than 50 respected industry sources, including: ARF, Effies, Cannes Lions, ESOMAR and IPA.

Founded in 1985, WARC is privately owned and has offices in the UK, U.S. and Singapore.

About Gunn Report

- The global index of creative, effective and media excellence in advertising

Gunn Report celebrates award-winning qualities in advertising. It ranks the world's best creative, effective and media ideas as well as companies and countries based on their performance in the most important international, regional and national creative, media, effective and strategy awards contests to produce Gunn 100, WARC 100 and Gunn Media 100.

The campaigns it showcases have the power to produce an immediate impact on sales and a longer-term impact on brand building. The Gunn Report's research articles further demonstrate the commercial power of creativity.

As well as the various rankings, Gunn Report offers a library of more than 3,500 award-winning creative campaigns and a series of research studies. The Gunn Report was founded by Donald Gunn in 1999 and was acquired by WARC in 2016. Gunn Report is available online by subscription.

Amanda Benfell PR Manager +44 20 7467 8125

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