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WARC 100 reveals the world's top campaigns, agencies, and brands for effectiveness
adobo magazine, February 26, 2018 | 12:01pm

GLOBAL - WARC, the international authority on advertising and media effectiveness, has released the results of the 2018 WARC 100, an annual global index of the world's top marketing campaigns and companies based on their business impact.

WARC 100 tracks the performance of campaigns, brands and agencies in more than 70 of the most important global, regional and national marketing effectiveness and strategy competitions around the world. Now in its fifth year, the WARC 100 is based on a rigorous methodology developed in consultation with Douglas West, professor of marketing at Kings College London.

The top-ranked campaign, 'Dads #ShareTheLoad' by BBDO India for Ariel Matic, Procter & Gamble's premium laundry detergent brand, built on its previous 'Share the Load' campaign by persuading dads to do more laundry in order to promote gender equality. Ariel Matic generated a 42% increase in unaided brand awareness, $12.3 million in earned media coverage, and conversations on social media and sales growth exceeding previous campaigns.

In second place is 'The Swedish Number' by INGO Stockholm for The Swedish Tourist Association, which manages hotels and hostels across Sweden. The purely PR-driven approach saw more than 32,000 Swedes sign up to take more than 200,000 calls from abroad helping STF boost its renewal figures and attract new members.

Ranked third is the 'Care Counts' campaign for Whirlpool by DigitasLBi Chicago. The appliances manufacturer installed washers and dryers in schools to give disadvantaged students access to laundry facilities, resulting in 90% of the participants increasing their school attendance rate. The programme has been expanded to nearly 60 schools across the US.

Three themes have emerged from the world's top effectiveness campaigns:

  • Purpose is effective when brands have a credible role. Three purpose-driven campaigns appear in the top 10. 'Dads #ShareTheLoad' for Ariel, Whirlpool's 'Care Counts' and 'Imagine the Possibilities' for Barbie are all examples of the commercial success that can be driven when a brand's purpose is intrinsically linked to its product.
  • Strategies with PR baked in are becoming the norm. Three campaigns in the top ten used a PR-led strategy to drive brand awareness and increase sales: 'Meet Graham' for Australia's Transport Accident Commission, Burger King's 'The McWhopper Proposal' and 'Van Gogh BnB' for the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • New takes on long-term ideas. Several of the highly effective initiatives ranked, such as 'Dads #ShareTheLoad', 'Hungerithm' for Snickers, the John Lewis Christmas campaigns and Always' 'Girl Emojis', show how blockbuster ideas can be intelligently followed up with brands investing in long-term strategies rather than quick wins for immediate gain.
Australia's Clemenger BBDO Melbourne tops the creative agencies for effectiveness table for the first time having produced two top 10 campaigns: 'Meet Graham' and 'Hungerithm'. New Zealand's Colenso BBDO follows in second place with work for Burger King and DB Export contributing to their score.
 
Starcom Chicago has returned to the top of the media agencies for effectiveness ranking with almost triple the points of the second-placed agency.
 
Eight of the top digital/specialist agencies for effectiveness are from the US, with Chicago-based agencies making up the top three. DigitasLBi Chicago takes poll position. 
 
BBDO Worldwide remains the most awarded network for the fifth year in a row, having retained this rank since WARC 100 began in 2014. Its agencies contributed to four of the top 10 campaigns and 19 of the top 100.
 
Andrew Robertson, President and Chief Executive, BBDO Worldwide, says: "Smarter thinking unleashes the power of creativity to make greater impact. That's why leading the WARC 100 is so meaningful."
 
For the second time Omnicom Group is the most awarded holding company, having previously held top position in 2014. Omnicom Group owns four of the top 10 agency networks.
 
John Wren, President and CEO, Omnicom Group, says: "Producing great work that drives results for our clients is why we come to work every day. It is especially gratifying to see Omnicom recognized by WARC as having five of the top ten individually ranked agencies, three of the top five networks, and being the top-ranked holding company. I could not be prouder of our teams."
 
Burger King improved its ranking by 30 places to reach the top brand for effectiveness, with the 'McWhopper Proposal' campaign in the top 10 and 'Backyard Burger King' in the top 100. The continuing performance of Ariel's 'Share the Load' campaign has contributed to the brand retaining its second place.
 
Unilever was the most effective advertiser for the third time, having previously held this top position in 2015 and 2014. Unilever has four campaigns in the top 100 - Lifebuoy's '#HelpAChildReach5', Knorr's 'Love At First Taste', 'The Vaseline Healing Project' and 'The radicalisation of Persil' - with a further 50 campaigns across all competitions contributing to its tally.
 
Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever, says: "It's a great honour to be recognised by WARC as Most Effective Advertiser again. I'm hugely proud of our marketers, working hard to drive campaigns with purpose that cut through to consumers and make a real impact."
 
USA retains its place as the top country in the world with 36 of the top 100 campaigns, compared to 12 from the UK and 12 from Australia.
 
The most highly ranked campaigns and companies in WARC 100 are:
 
Top 10 world's top effectiveness campaigns
Rank
Campaign title
Brand
Agency
Points
1
Dads #ShareTheLoad
Ariel
BBDO Mumbai
127.1
2
The Swedish Number
Swedish Tourist Association
INGO Stockholm
95.4
3
Care Counts
Whirlpool
Ketchum Chicago
84.6
4
Meet Graham
Transport Accident Commission
Clemenger BBDO
Melbourne
82.5
5=
The McWhopper Proposal
Burger King
Y&R Auckland
80.7
5=
Van Gogh BnB
Art Institute of Chicago
Leo Burnett Chicago
80.7
7
Hungerithm
Snickers
Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
78.9
8
John Lewis Christmas Campaigns
John Lewis
adam&eveDDB
London
78.4
9
Reword
Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation
Leo Burnett Melbourne
72.2
10
Imagine the Possibilities
Barbie
BBDO
San Francisco
70.0
 
Top 5 creative agencies for effectiveness
Rank
Agency
Location
Points
1
Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia
186.6
2
Colenso BBDO
Auckland, New Zealand
174.2
3
BBDO New York
New York, USA
139.8
4
BBDO India
Mumbai, India
124.9
5
Droga5
New York, USA
114.9
 
Top 5 media agencies for effectiveness
Rank
Agency
Location
Points
1
Starcom
Chicago, USA
269.6
2
Mindshare
Istanbul, Turkey
86.3
3
Spark Foundry
Chicago, USA
77.9
4
PHD
Shanghai, China
76.4
5
Manning Gottlieb OMD
London, UK
65.5
 
Top 5 digital/specialist agencies for effectiveness
Rank
Agency
Location
Points
1
DigitasLBi
Chicago, USA
90.7
2
Ketchum
Chicago, USA
84.6
3
Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide
Chicago, USA
79.9
4
Weber Shandwick
New York, USA
54.4
5
Team Unilever Shopper
New York, USA
51.1
 
Top 5 agency networks for effectiveness
Rank
Network
Points
1
BBDO Worldwide
1454.9
2
Ogilvy & Mather Advertising
738
3
McCann Worldgroup
699.1
4
DDB Worldwide
553.4
5
OMD Worldwide
536.4
 
Top 5 holding companies for effectiveness
Rank
Holding company
Points
1
Omnicom Group
3472.7
2
WPP
3220.6
3
Interpublic Group
2157.2
4
Publicis Groupe
1944.1
5
Dentsu
425.5
 
Top 5 brands for effectiveness
Rank
Brand
Points
1
Burger King
153.3
2
Ariel
127.1
3
Mastercard
120.8
4
IBM
103.6
5
Vodafone
101.1
 
Top 5 advertisers for effectiveness
Rank
Advertiser
Points
1
Unilever
505
2
PepsiCo
398.6
3
Mars
339
4
Procter & Gamble
327.9
5
Heineken
265.3
 
Top 5 countries for effectiveness
Rank
Country
Points
1
USA
3360.1
2
UK
1478.3
3
Australia
949.9
4
India
630.8
5
New Zealand
531.8
 
The WARC 100 is now part of Gunn Report, which recently published Gunn 100, a ranking of campaigns and companies based on creativity.
 
Commenting on WARC 100, Emma Wilkie, Managing Director, Gunn Report, says: "This year's WARC 100 once again confirms that creative approaches to marketing translates into marketplace success, with nearly all the top 10 campaigns also recognised in Gunn 100. Long-term strategies continue to be an important element to long-term success but we're also seeing a significant number of purpose-led and PR-led campaigns doing particularly well in achieving commercial objectives."
 
The full WARC 100 rankings - including the world's top 100 campaigns for effectiveness, top 50 creative, media and digital/specialist agencies for effectiveness, agency networks, brands, advertisers, countries and top holding companies as well as commentaries, the work and credits - is available by subscription on www.warc.com/gunnreport.
 
The Gunn media rankings will be released in March.

WARC 100 reveals the world's top campaigns, agencies, and brands for effectiveness

GLOBAL - WARC, the international authority on advertising and media effectiveness, has released the results of the 2018 WARC 100, an annual global index of the world's top marketing campaigns and companies based on their business impact.

WARC 100 tracks the performance of campaigns, brands and agencies in more than 70 of the most important global, regional and national marketing effectiveness and strategy competitions around the world. Now in its fifth year, the WARC 100 is based on a rigorous methodology developed in consultation with Douglas West, professor of marketing at Kings College London.

The top-ranked campaign, 'Dads #ShareTheLoad' by BBDO India for Ariel Matic, Procter & Gamble's premium laundry detergent brand, built on its previous 'Share the Load' campaign by persuading dads to do more laundry in order to promote gender equality. Ariel Matic generated a 42% increase in unaided brand awareness, $12.3 million in earned media coverage, and conversations on social media and sales growth exceeding previous campaigns.

In second place is 'The Swedish Number' by INGO Stockholm for The Swedish Tourist Association, which manages hotels and hostels across Sweden. The purely PR-driven approach saw more than 32,000 Swedes sign up to take more than 200,000 calls from abroad helping STF boost its renewal figures and attract new members.

Ranked third is the 'Care Counts' campaign for Whirlpool by DigitasLBi Chicago. The appliances manufacturer installed washers and dryers in schools to give disadvantaged students access to laundry facilities, resulting in 90% of the participants increasing their school attendance rate. The programme has been expanded to nearly 60 schools across the US.

Three themes have emerged from the world's top effectiveness campaigns:

  • Purpose is effective when brands have a credible role. Three purpose-driven campaigns appear in the top 10. 'Dads #ShareTheLoad' for Ariel, Whirlpool's 'Care Counts' and 'Imagine the Possibilities' for Barbie are all examples of the commercial success that can be driven when a brand's purpose is intrinsically linked to its product.
  • Strategies with PR baked in are becoming the norm. Three campaigns in the top ten used a PR-led strategy to drive brand awareness and increase sales: 'Meet Graham' for Australia's Transport Accident Commission, Burger King's 'The McWhopper Proposal' and 'Van Gogh BnB' for the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • New takes on long-term ideas. Several of the highly effective initiatives ranked, such as 'Dads #ShareTheLoad', 'Hungerithm' for Snickers, the John Lewis Christmas campaigns and Always' 'Girl Emojis', show how blockbuster ideas can be intelligently followed up with brands investing in long-term strategies rather than quick wins for immediate gain.
Australia's Clemenger BBDO Melbourne tops the creative agencies for effectiveness table for the first time having produced two top 10 campaigns: 'Meet Graham' and 'Hungerithm'. New Zealand's Colenso BBDO follows in second place with work for Burger King and DB Export contributing to their score.
 
Starcom Chicago has returned to the top of the media agencies for effectiveness ranking with almost triple the points of the second-placed agency.
 
Eight of the top digital/specialist agencies for effectiveness are from the US, with Chicago-based agencies making up the top three. DigitasLBi Chicago takes poll position. 
 
BBDO Worldwide remains the most awarded network for the fifth year in a row, having retained this rank since WARC 100 began in 2014. Its agencies contributed to four of the top 10 campaigns and 19 of the top 100.
 
Andrew Robertson, President and Chief Executive, BBDO Worldwide, says: "Smarter thinking unleashes the power of creativity to make greater impact. That's why leading the WARC 100 is so meaningful."
 
For the second time Omnicom Group is the most awarded holding company, having previously held top position in 2014. Omnicom Group owns four of the top 10 agency networks.
 
John Wren, President and CEO, Omnicom Group, says: "Producing great work that drives results for our clients is why we come to work every day. It is especially gratifying to see Omnicom recognized by WARC as having five of the top ten individually ranked agencies, three of the top five networks, and being the top-ranked holding company. I could not be prouder of our teams."
 
Burger King improved its ranking by 30 places to reach the top brand for effectiveness, with the 'McWhopper Proposal' campaign in the top 10 and 'Backyard Burger King' in the top 100. The continuing performance of Ariel's 'Share the Load' campaign has contributed to the brand retaining its second place.
 
Unilever was the most effective advertiser for the third time, having previously held this top position in 2015 and 2014. Unilever has four campaigns in the top 100 - Lifebuoy's '#HelpAChildReach5', Knorr's 'Love At First Taste', 'The Vaseline Healing Project' and 'The radicalisation of Persil' - with a further 50 campaigns across all competitions contributing to its tally.
 
Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever, says: "It's a great honour to be recognised by WARC as Most Effective Advertiser again. I'm hugely proud of our marketers, working hard to drive campaigns with purpose that cut through to consumers and make a real impact."
 
USA retains its place as the top country in the world with 36 of the top 100 campaigns, compared to 12 from the UK and 12 from Australia.
 
The most highly ranked campaigns and companies in WARC 100 are:
 
Top 10 world's top effectiveness campaigns
Rank
Campaign title
Brand
Agency
Points
1
Dads #ShareTheLoad
Ariel
BBDO Mumbai
127.1
2
The Swedish Number
Swedish Tourist Association
INGO Stockholm
95.4
3
Care Counts
Whirlpool
Ketchum Chicago
84.6
4
Meet Graham
Transport Accident Commission
Clemenger BBDO
Melbourne
82.5
5=
The McWhopper Proposal
Burger King
Y&R Auckland
80.7
5=
Van Gogh BnB
Art Institute of Chicago
Leo Burnett Chicago
80.7
7
Hungerithm
Snickers
Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
78.9
8
John Lewis Christmas Campaigns
John Lewis
adam&eveDDB
London
78.4
9
Reword
Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation
Leo Burnett Melbourne
72.2
10
Imagine the Possibilities
Barbie
BBDO
San Francisco
70.0
 
Top 5 creative agencies for effectiveness
Rank
Agency
Location
Points
1
Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia
186.6
2
Colenso BBDO
Auckland, New Zealand
174.2
3
BBDO New York
New York, USA
139.8
4
BBDO India
Mumbai, India
124.9
5
Droga5
New York, USA
114.9
 
Top 5 media agencies for effectiveness
Rank
Agency
Location
Points
1
Starcom
Chicago, USA
269.6
2
Mindshare
Istanbul, Turkey
86.3
3
Spark Foundry
Chicago, USA
77.9
4
PHD
Shanghai, China
76.4
5
Manning Gottlieb OMD
London, UK
65.5
 
Top 5 digital/specialist agencies for effectiveness
Rank
Agency
Location
Points
1
DigitasLBi
Chicago, USA
90.7
2
Ketchum
Chicago, USA
84.6
3
Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide
Chicago, USA
79.9
4
Weber Shandwick
New York, USA
54.4
5
Team Unilever Shopper
New York, USA
51.1
 
Top 5 agency networks for effectiveness
Rank
Network
Points
1
BBDO Worldwide
1454.9
2
Ogilvy & Mather Advertising
738
3
McCann Worldgroup
699.1
4
DDB Worldwide
553.4
5
OMD Worldwide
536.4
 
Top 5 holding companies for effectiveness
Rank
Holding company
Points
1
Omnicom Group
3472.7
2
WPP
3220.6
3
Interpublic Group
2157.2
4
Publicis Groupe
1944.1
5
Dentsu
425.5
 
Top 5 brands for effectiveness
Rank
Brand
Points
1
Burger King
153.3
2
Ariel
127.1
3
Mastercard
120.8
4
IBM
103.6
5
Vodafone
101.1
 
Top 5 advertisers for effectiveness
Rank
Advertiser
Points
1
Unilever
505
2
PepsiCo
398.6
3
Mars
339
4
Procter & Gamble
327.9
5
Heineken
265.3
 
Top 5 countries for effectiveness
Rank
Country
Points
1
USA
3360.1
2
UK
1478.3
3
Australia
949.9
4
India
630.8
5
New Zealand
531.8
 
The WARC 100 is now part of Gunn Report, which recently published Gunn 100, a ranking of campaigns and companies based on creativity.
 
Commenting on WARC 100, Emma Wilkie, Managing Director, Gunn Report, says: "This year's WARC 100 once again confirms that creative approaches to marketing translates into marketplace success, with nearly all the top 10 campaigns also recognised in Gunn 100. Long-term strategies continue to be an important element to long-term success but we're also seeing a significant number of purpose-led and PR-led campaigns doing particularly well in achieving commercial objectives."
 
The full WARC 100 rankings - including the world's top 100 campaigns for effectiveness, top 50 creative, media and digital/specialist agencies for effectiveness, agency networks, brands, advertisers, countries and top holding companies as well as commentaries, the work and credits - is available by subscription on www.warc.com/gunnreport.
 
The Gunn media rankings will be released in March.