The 5 Habits Of Highly Effective Advertisers

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Kantar’s Creative Effectiveness Awards reveals the world’s most effective ads of 2020, and what makes them great.

The 5 Habits Of Highly Effective Advertisers

At Kantar, we love great creative content, and we love it, even more, when that creativity is harnessed to deliver against brand and marketing objectives. Each year we test over 10,000 ads for our clients around the world with Link, an independently validated solution. Each year we learn more about winning ads and the ingredients for success.

Kantar’s Creative Effectiveness Awards recognise the best TV and digital ads from around the world – as judged by consumers. They celebrate great advertising that drives sales in the short term and equity in the long term. While we recognise that not all ads seek to do both, our approach provides a framework for assessment and recognises the power of creative to build brands, not just activate sales.

An exceptional year

2020 was a year like no other, and our work showed that people wanted advertising to continue, as it provided a sense of normality at a time of 24-hour COVID-19 news cycles.  For the most part, consumers were processing content in the same way during the pandemic as they did before. Advertisers that held their resolve and invested in their brand during the downturn saw their bravery rewarded. 

Revealed: the most creative and effective ads of 2020

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This year we saw some amazing ads that are both creative and effective. Our winners come from a diverse range of brands, categories and countries, and use many different tactics in their creativity. What they share in common is a commitment to creative excellence and a focus on ensuring their work performs exactly as intended.

Consumers rated Heineken’s ‘Cheers to all’, the world’s most creatively effective ad for 2020. In this ad, Heineken addresses gender-related drinks stereotypes in a way that is light-hearted rather than preachy or self-righteous and for that reason is loved by viewers.

Have a look at the great ads that consumers ranked in our top 20 from around the world in 2020. Congratulations to all our winners.





1 Heineken USA Cheers to all Publicis
2 Bosch Germany Atino C3 Creative Code and Content (Stuttgart )
3 Burger King France Consignes 2 Sécurity – The Retour Buzzman
4 SheaMoisture USA It Comes Naturally BBDO New York and JOY Collective
5 Samsung USA Make their year, with Galaxy Buds Live R/GA
6 Milka France And a lot of Milka DAVID Madrid
7 Google USA Find your Scene Google Brand Studio
8 TENA UK TENA Silhouette Washable Underwear (I will wear what I want) AMV BBDO, London
9 TD Canada Keeping your business moving forward Leo Burnett
10 Adrenaline Rush Russia More KAPIBARA
11 YouTube Kids USA YouTube Kids Brand Anthem Film Droga5
12 Avocados from Mexico USA Avocados From Mexico Shopping Network* Energy BBDO Chicago
13 Gatorade Chile Gatorade GOAT CAMP TBWA / Chiat de Los Ángeles
14 Toyota Corolla Canada Vente Étiquettes Rouges The Showroom
15 Kozel Slovakia Pimp my goat Armada
16 Nissan Sentra USA Joy Ride NissanUnited
17 Panadol Actifast Malaysia Delivery Rider Malaysia Grey Group Singapore
18 EBay Australia Australia The Fast and the Furious Che Proximity Australia
19 Siemens Home Appliances Turkey Ankastre MullenLowe Istanbul
20 Hershey’s Kisses USA Bells to Blossoms mcgarrybowen
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* Not currently available online

The 5 habits of highly effective advertisers

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While there is no one size fits all solution to creative and effective advertising – we observed five habits from our winners that ensure their advertising will deliver for their brand – in both the short and long term. These can act as guidelines for all advertisers.

  1. Be distinctive

Create the ability to be noticed and remembered in a world where there’s a profusion of ads. Your ad is not just competing in its category. It is competing for attention against the world. Stand out from the category as a minimum, and ideally from any other advertising. 

  1. Brand intrinsically

Make sure that the attention won by the ad is in the service of the brand. Ensure the brand is at the heart of your creative or get your branding cues right. A surprising number of brands forget this.

  1. Be meaningfully different

To grow market share or defend premium pricing you need to show how your brand fulfils consumers’ functional, emotional and social needs in the category AND illustrates your uniqueness compared to the competition.

  1. Trigger an emotional response

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Making the viewer feel something wins engagement for the ad, bypassing the natural tendency to screen out advertising. It also has positive effects on the brand’s emotional associations.

  1. Talk with your consumers

Successful marketers know they can get ‘too close to their brand and lose perspective, so they listen to viewer feedback throughout the creative development process and refine their ads accordingly. 

Get your recipe right

As well as great habits, we noted many creative devices, or ingredients used effectively by our 2020 winners. Some of our winning ads tackle diversity or challenge gender stereotypes (and we know progressive ads drive greater ROI), others use celebrity creatively, some nailed humour during challenging times – and much more.

The 5 Habits Of Highly Effective Advertisers

Find out more about the winning ads, and download our booklet, ‘The 5 habits of highly effective advertisers’, to discover more about the winning tactics and habits.

Daren-Poole Brandspurng Five Habits To Learn From The World’s Most Creative And Effective Ads
Daren Poole, Global Head of Creative, Kantar | Brand Spur Nigeria

Author: Daren Poole, Global Head of Creative, Kantar

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