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India bags maximum medals at WARC Awards for Asian Strategy 2021

The winning agencies from India are Ogilvy, Grey, The Womb, Wavemaker and BBDO

India has won 6 out of 14 awards at this year’s WARC Awards for Asian Strategy, a search for the best strategic thinking in Asia’s marketing industry.

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The Grand Prix has been awarded to Ogilvy and Wavemaker in India for the “Cadbury Celebrations: Not Just A Cadbury Ad” campaign, which saw the brand grow engagement and sales among millennial families in India during Diwali, at a time when the pandemic had muted celebrations.

By combining brand purpose, commercial creativity and MarTech innovation, the campaign, which consisted of an interactive YouTube video and microsite encouraging consumers to shop at small local stores, grew sales by 32%.

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Ogilvy India’s “Stop the Beauty Test” for HUL’s Dove has won a Gold award.

“India! Periods Are Red, Not Blue” for Nobel Hygiene’s Rio Pads conceptualised and executed by The Womb Communications has fetched a Silver award. The Womb has also bagged a Bronze for “An Auction That Built a Price Premium” for Mahindra Thar.

BBDO has won a Silver for P&G Ariel’s “Share The Load” campaign along with the Long-Term Strategy Special Award.

Grey India has won a Bronze for P&G Gillette’s “Barber Suraksha Programme”.

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Commenting on the Grand Prix winner, which also picked up The Early Adopter and the E-Commerce Excellence Special Awards, jury chair Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing Group, Singapore Tourism Board, said, “The way the team applied a rapid test-and-learn approach with new technology and assumptions is important learning for all marketers. The campaign's added ability to allow audiences to help small businesses in their neighbourhoods by triggering a geo-customised local version of the ad brings a fresh and meaningful take on driving active customer advocacy.

“Business results were tangible, and not just from a consumer sales perspective: the campaign also had a positive impact on retail distribution and brand equity scores. It is a strong case combining profit with purpose.”

The 25-member jury has awarded one Grand Prix, two Golds, four Silvers, seven Bronzes, and five Special Awards honouring specific areas of excellence.

The winners of the WARC Awards for Asian Strategy 2021 are:

Grand Prix

  • Not Just A Cadbury Ad · Cadbury Celebrations · Mondelez Foods India · Ogilvy India, Wavemaker India · India + The Early Adopter Special Award + The E-Commerce Excellence Special Award

Gold

  • Timelines · SK-II · Procter & Gamble · Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore · China, Japan, South Korea, United States + The Research Excellence Special Award
  • Stop the Beauty Test · Dove · Hindustan Unilever · Ogilvy India, Hindustan Unilever · India

Silver

  • India! Periods Are Red, Not Blue · RIO Pads · Nobel Hygiene · The Womb Communications · India
  • Share The Load · Ariel · Procter & Gamble India · BBDO India · India + The Long-Term Strategy Special Award
  • Don't Hang Your Privacy Out · Bosch · BSH Home Appliances (China) · BBDO China · China
  • Stand-up Comedy Restaurant · Pizza Hut · Yum! China · Mindshare China · China

Bronze

  • Killer Recipes · Unilever Food Solutions · Unilever · Mindshare China, Unite China · China + The Customer Journey Special Award
  • An Auction That Built Price Premium · Mahindra Thar · Mahindra & Mahindra · The Womb Communications · India
  • Use Any Soap · Lifebuoy · Unilever · MullenLowe Lintas Group India, MullenLowe Singapore · Asia
  • Preserve a Piece of Childhood · Guanghe · Kraft Heinz China · BBH China · China
  • The Growth of Colonel KI · KFC · Yum! China · Mindshare China · China
  • One Ginebra Nation · Ginebra San Miguel · Dentsu One Manila · Philippines
  • Barber Suraksha Programme · Gillette · Procter & Gamble ·GREY India · India

Following an in-depth analysis of this year’s results, WARC has published “Insights from the Warc Awards for Asian Strategy”, a report outlining lessons learned and successful marketing trends from this year’s awards.

The four key insights outlined in the report are:

Brand advocacy takes centre-stage

Across this year’s shortlist, WARC saw a marked increase in advocacy- and sustainability-driven work. This focus on social and cultural issues – by winners such as Lifebuoy and Dove – reflects consumers’ new expectations of brands based on actions and long-term commitment to worthy causes.

Partnerships strengthen brands in tough times

Many of this year’s winners showed how strategic partnerships can help amplify reach and lead to growth. Brands like Pizza Hut, Unilever and Gillette, joined forces with parties that were seemingly unrelated to their brands, helping them reach new audiences and uncover new areas of growth.

Emotional strategies are built on actions

This year saw a jump in the use of emotion as a creative strategy. But tugging at the heartstrings is not enough: truly empathetic communications go beyond messaging to support and engage consumers, as proven by winners like Cadbury Celebrations and Ginebra San Miguel.

TV leads sophisticated media strategies

While TV strengthened its lead, in part due to lockdowns forcing people at home, the most successful campaigns were those that showed a layered approach to media planning. Ariel, for example, combined its main TV commercial with extensive social activity.

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