Tracking the results of the top global and regional awards programs on creativity, media and effectiveness in marketing, World Advertising Research Center (WARC) found that highly-awarded creative ideas are significantly more effective. Its latest study shows that 39 percent of campaigns that are highly awarded for their creativity are also awarded for effectiveness, compared to 18 percent of all creative winners.

“There’s been a lot of discussion around the effect of short-term strategies on long-term brand health,” says Amy Rodgers, managing editor, research and rankings, WARC. “With this in mind, we’ve compared data from the WARC Rankings to see how many creative ideas were subsequently awarded for effectiveness, and if highly awarded campaigns for creativity were more likely to be effective, i.e. if awarded creativity increases, does effectiveness do the same? We also wanted to surface any insights from these highly successful ideas to help brands and agencies going forward.”

A total of 2,391 creatively-awarded ideas from around the world were analyzed by WARC, of which only 18 percent (431) were subsequently awarded for effectiveness.

For example, of the 415 ideas that have made it into the WARC Creative 100 Rankings between 2015-2019, 17 percent (71) went on to be ranked in the WARC Effective 100, deeming them to be both highly creative and highly effective. These 71 “best of the best” ideas were analyzed and five characteristics emerged: highly-creative and effective ideas are more than twice as likely to lead with TV as any other channel, more than half (54 percent) of highly- creative and effective ideas use emotion as a creative strategy, 63 percent of highly-creative and effective ideas aim to build brand equity, 56 percent of highly-creative and effective ideas drive sales and more than 78 percent of highly-creative and effective ideas drive social buzz and PR.

Creative commitment, a new planning tool and composite measure introduced in The Effectiveness Code, a 2020 report from WARC and LIONS, correlates very tightly with effectiveness. WARC reports that these campaigns are more effective in terms of sales, brand-building, market share and profit; the longer their duration, the more numerous their media channels, and the higher their overall spend. The research shows that highly creative and effective ideas, i.e. those ranked in both WARC’s Creative 100 and Effective 100, have a higher level of creative commitment (7.7) compared to other awarded campaigns (5.9).