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Three trends from world’s top 100 creative campaigns

Creative 100, the recently released WARC report, analyses the world’s top marketing campaigns and highlights creative strategies imbibed by global brands

WARC recently rolled out a report that analyses the world’s most creative campaigns to undercover trends from the latest creative strategies. It is based on Creative 100, an annual ranking of campaigns based on their performance in creative competitions from around the world.

Three trends that emerged worthy of note and power the world’s most creative campaigns are:

· Using purpose to power behavioural change

· Involving customers to drive brand engagement

· Weaving creativity into the customer experience

Purpose-led strategies

The purpose-led strategies continue to be a regular feature of the top creative campaigns and were central to the number one campaign.

In the report, AMV BBDO’s Executive Creative Director, Alex Grieve, mentioned that brands need to be ‘radically authentic’. It states that a brand should know its purpose and then ‘actually do something to make it happen’. Highlighting the Palau Pledge campaign by the Palau government, Grieve stated that purpose-led strategies can make a difference in the campaign.

The campaign concentrates on how to police tourists that visit Palau and protect the Island from environmental damage. The campaign highlights the step taken by the Palau government by introducing the Palau Legacy Project.

The Palau Legacy Project, a sustainable tourism marketing body, created an immigration policy ‘The Palau Pledge’. A new visa stamp, signed by tourists, changed immigration laws, customs processes and tourist behaviour, permanently.

The project introduced a visa entry process that asks every visitor to make a formal promise to the country’s children. The campaign also engaged influencers who encouraged their fans to take the pledge online, including Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, former US Secretary of State, John Kerry and the Rolling Stones.

According to Grieve, the Palau Pledge campaign is interesting because it is a great example of how small behavioural nudges can change perceptions. Combining purpose with an element of participation has another result – it is arguably more likely to fuel PR coverage and conversation.

Involving customers

Directly involving customers in campaigns, whether to drive behavioural change, to generate PR coverage, or to drive brand engagement, is another theme that came through in this year’s Creative 100.

Burger King grabbed the title of being the most creative brand with its campaign #Scary Clown Night. The campaign featured customers dressed up as clowns. Martin Beverley, Executive Strategy Director, adam&eveDDB, explains that bringing customers into the ads means they become more than just ads.

The report states that by having participation elements, one can turn ads into acts, and in a low-attention economy, this approach has become an important way of gaining attention as the act of participation necessitates attention. The winning campaigns using this strategy only worked because consumers were willing to get involved in them.

Creativity across the experience

Rather than seeing a campaign as an entity existing on a single channel, this year, some of the most awarded brands created experiences where the creative idea was woven into every element of the purchase journey, building customer executions across multiple channels to work at those moments. Working in surprising ways within and across media, weaving the creative idea throughout the experience led to success for a number of top campaigns. In the report, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Global Chief Creative Officer, Kate Stanners, discusses Budweiser’s Tagwords and Tide’s ‘It’s a Tide Ad’ as great examples of this.

Tide used traditional media in an innovative way, hijacking the brand awareness generated by other ads, and turning it into awareness for Tide. And rather than create a series of separate ads, they created a 'choreographed brand experience'.

Paul Bichler, Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, said, “We hacked advertising with advertising itself.” Budweiser's Tagwords campaign also sought to play with consumers' assumptions about advertising in its category and harnessed print and outdoor to drive the audience to online search. The audience's active participation was key to the idea’s success, as it was for Tide. These brands created experiences for consumers, who then actively wanted to engage.

India got the ninth rank in the top 10 marketing campaigns in the WARC Creative 100 list for the campaign No conditions apply – ‘Sindoor Khela’ of the brand The Times of India conceptualised by the agency FCB Ulka Mumbai.

The country also ranked fifth in the top 10 for ad market size, according to WARC ad-spend data.

The successor to the Gunn Report, and is now part of WARC Rankings, tracks the winners’ lists from all the most important advertising award contests, globally. The results of creative competitions are used to compile the Creative 100, which ranks the best campaigns and companies in creativity from the 2018 show year.

Click here to view full report.

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