P&G’s Ariel Retains WARC 100 Top Spot

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Procter and Gamble’s agenda-setting Dads #ShareTheLoad campaign for the Ariel Matic brand has topped the WARC 100, an annual ranking of the world’s best marketing campaigns and companies according to their business impact. It is the second consecutive year that Ariel has held the top spot.

Now in its fifth year, the 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 held around the world.

The top-ranking campaign, ‘Dads #ShareTheLoad’ by BBDO Mumbai for Ariel Matic, Procter & Gamble’s premium detergent brand, added to the hugely impactful and effective ‘Share the Load’ campaign that furthered gender equality in India by encouraging men to do their fair share of the laundry.

Ariel Matic generated a 42% increase in unaided brand awareness, $12.3m in earned media coverage and conversations on social media. Crucially, the campaign affected the bottom line, creating sales growth well in excess of the boosts given by previous campaigns.

For the fifth year running, BBDO Worldwide was the top network, as Australia’s Clemenger BBDO 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.

Unilever overtook P&G to emerge as top advertiser, returning to the top spot it occupied in both the 2014 and 2015 rankings.

Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever, said: “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.”

At the brand level, Burger King beat Ariel to the top spot.

Omnicom Group was the leading holding company, with five of the top 10 individually ranked agencies in addition to three of the top five network.

“I could not be prouder of our teams”, said John Wren, President and CEO, Omnicom Group. “Producing great work that drives results for our clients is why we come to work every day. It is especially gratifying to see Omnicom recognised by WARC.”

The WARC 100 now forms part of Gunn Report, whose Gunn 100 ranks campaigns and companies based on creativity.

“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,” said Emma Wilkie, Managing Director, Gunn Report.

“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.”

Beyond the tables, the ranking uncovers certain trends in the industry, not least addressing the question of purpose and its commercial implications.

In the top 10 campaigns, three are driven by purpose. Yet, the key lesson from the three – Ariel, Whirlpool, and Barbie – is that commercial success requires an intrinsic link between purpose and product.

Meanwhile, the success of long-term ideas (with new inflections) reflects the gains to be made in sticking with a successful strategy to build the brand.

Furthermore, the focus on creating buzz and fame that characterised three of the top 10 campaigns from brands such as Burger King and the Art Institute of Chicago suggest that baking in PR to create awareness is becoming the norm.

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