Key learnings from this year’s Kantar Creative Effectiveness Awards India winners

Kantar tested more than 12,000 creatives for its clients around the world in 2023. Over 11% (1,400+) of those creatives were tested in India. India report shortlists close to 300 ads, tested across categories, markets, TG’s and media channels

Khushi Keswani
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New Delhi: “Creativity is often undervalued in comparison to media spend, yet it stands as one of the top drivers of advertising effectiveness,” said Soumya Mohanty, Managing Director and Chief Client Officer- South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar, during the 4th edition of the Kantar Creative Effectiveness Awards India. 

She drew upon Kantar's extensive research to demonstrate that high-quality creativity can significantly enhance return on marketing investment, sometimes by as much as four times compared to lower-quality counterparts.

Kantar tested more than 12,000 creatives for its clients around the world in 2023. Over 11% (1,400+) of those creatives were tested in India. Kantar unveils the ads that were most effective and creative across India in 2023. Judged by consumers, the India report shortlists close to 300 ads, tested across categories, markets, TG’s and media channels. 

Prasanna Kumar, Head of Creative Domain & Executive Vice President- South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar, added, “Truly creative ads are the ones that are effective. The journey from being just creative to being effective starts by including your key stakeholders - your target consumers, in the process of pre-testing your ads. This year, we have seen some original creative ideas shine through by ensuring that they have brand and consumer at their heart.” 

The winners' list has doubled from last year, with Kantar awarding 10 standout performers in the television ads category and 4 in the digital ads category. 

Kantar Creative Effectiveness Awards India 2024 Winners:

Award Type

Category Type


Creative Agency




Food & Beverage



Choco Chips

Chhote Chhote Cadbury

Home Care

Hindustan Unilever​

Lowe Lintas

Surf Excel Easy Wash

Surf Excel Gokul

Personal Care

Colgate-Palmolive India 


Colgate Max Fresh



Fashnear Technologies 



Sahi Quality Sahi Price

Original Creatives for South

Godrej Consumer Products​

Godrej Lightbox

Godrej Fab


Adaptations for South 

Zydus Wellness Products 

McCann Worldgroup


Strong Motherhood


Unstereotype- Male

Hindustan Unilever​

Lowe Lintas

Vim Liquid

Masala Kadhi Pakoda

Unstereotype- Female

Hindustan Unilever​



Dafoe Y2


Under 15 seconds

Eicher Motors


Royal Enfield Bullet 350

Bullet Meri Jaan | RE Bullet 350

Between 15-30 seconds

Delightful Gourmet

Tilt Brand Solutions


Juicy. Delicious. Must be Licious!

Over 30 seconds 

Tata Group





Most Creative & Effective TV Ad​

Hindustan Unilever​


Ponds Dream Flower


Most Creative & Effective Digital Ad


McCann Worldgroup


Maggi Occasions - Rain Moments

Most Consistently Effective Advertiser

Hindustan Unilever


Surf Excel


Moving ahead, Kumar listed key insights from this year’s winners: 

Consumers as stakeholders: According to Kumar, “Pre-testing with consumers allows for the development of ads that are not only creative but also effective in driving results."

Hyper-creative executions: Kumar cautioned, “While highly creative and unconventional approaches can be successful, ensuring they resonate with consumers and build brand association is crucial.”

Local matters: “Pan-Indian brands that adapt or create original advertising for Southern markets demonstrate a strong understanding of the importance of regional relevance,” Kumar remarked.

Enduring themes: While trends emerge, some core themes, like showcasing happy families in car commercials, can become clichés. Utilising AI-based analysis, Kantar helps auto brands develop creative that is both enjoyable and brand-focused, as Kumar explained.

Embedding creativity in the brand: Effective creative goes beyond being clever; it strengthens brand salience and memorability. Kumar emphasised, “Effective creative goes beyond being clever; it strengthens brand salience and memorability.”

Crafting engaging product stories: The way product windows are presented can significantly impact how consumers perceive a brand's message. Effective advertising uses creative storytelling to make product features and benefits memorable, as Kumar pointed out.

Consistency is key: Brands that consistently deliver high-quality creative build stronger brand equity over time. Surf Excel was recognised for its commitment to this principle.

The Future of Digital Advertising

The digital realm and future ahead: Repurposing TV ads for digital is no longer sufficient. Creating digital-first content that is optimised for the medium is essential for maximising returns. Thus, a heavy focus on digital ads can effectively help advertisers and brands evoke emotions, leading to stronger brand equity and potential for virality. More than an outlook, this is the path that a lot of brands have already started to realise and are working towards.

Key highlights from this year’s report:

  1. Learnings from Kantar’s Blueprint for Brand Growth indicate that great advertising is rocket-fuel for building predisposition: growing meaningfully different brands in a more effective and efficient way. Creative quality, second only to brand size, greatly influences campaign profitability, with double the impact that reach does on brand salience. 

  2. Kantar research emphasizes that ads must persuade and convey messages that are novel, credible, relevant, and different to enhance short-term sales. But high-quality ads, which leave a lasting impression, generally perform well in both short-term sales and long-term brand-building (Kantar LINK database), thus reducing the need to spend money on performance marketing. 

  3. Beyond brand recognition, generating a strong emotional response is key, because emotion helps build strong memory structures, and most advertising effects are not immediate. Emotion plays a critical role in effective creative- and not just in TV content.