WARC Announces Winners for 2021 Asia Strategy

The WARC Awards for Asian Strategy, a search for the best strategic thinking from Asia’s marketing industry, has released this year’s winners, which include campaigns for global and local brands including Bosch, Cadbury, Dove, Guanghe, SK-II, and Pizza Hut among the 14 winners of this year’s

The jury of 25 client- and agency-side experts, have awarded one Grand Prix, two Golds, four Silvers, seven Bronzes, and five Special Awards honoring different areas of excellence in the field of strategy.

India led with the most awarded campaigns (6), followed by China (5), Philippines (1) and there are two pan-Asian campaigns.

 
 

The Grand Prix went to Ogilvy and Wavemaker in India for the “Cadbury Celebrations: Not Just A Cadbury Ad” campaign, which grew both engagement and sales among millennial families in India during Diwali, at a time when celebrations were muted by the pandemic.

The campaign, which consisted of an interactive YouTube video and microsite encouraging consumers to shop at small local stores, grew sales by 32%.

 
 

“The way the team applied a rapid test-and-learn approach with new technology and assumptions is an important learning for all marketers,” said Special Awards, jury chair Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing Group, Singapore Tourism Board.

“The campaign’s added ability to allow audiences to help small businesses in their neighbourhoods by triggering a geo-customised local version of the ad brings a fresh and meaningful take on driving active customer advocacy.

“Business results were tangible, and not just from a consumer sales perspective: the campaign also had a positive impact on retail distribution and brand equity scores. It is a strong case combining profit with purpose.”

Winners WARC Awards for Asian Strategy 2021

Grand Prix
Not Just A Cadbury Ad · Cadbury Celebrations · Mondelez Foods India · Ogilvy India, Wavemaker India · India + The Early Adopter Special Award + The E-Commerce Excellence Special Award

Gold
Timelines · SK-II · Procter & Gamble · Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore · China, Japan, South Korea, United States + The Research Excellence Special Award
Stop the Beauty Test · Dove · Hindustan Unilever · Ogilvy India, Hindustan Unilever · India

Silver
India! Periods Are Red, Not Blue · RIO Pads · Nobel Hygiene · The Womb Communications · India
Share The Load · Ariel · Procter & Gamble India · BBDO India · India + The Long-Term Strategy Special Award
Don’t Hang Your Privacy Out · Bosch · BSH Home Appliances (China) · BBDO China · China
Stand-up Comedy Restaurant · Pizza Hut · Yum! China · Mindshare China · China

Bronze
Killer Recipes · Unilever Food Solutions · Unilever · Mindshare China, Unite China · China + The Customer Journey Special Award
An Auction That Built Price Premium · Mahindra Thar · Mahindra & Mahindra · The Womb Communications · India
Use Any Soap · Lifebuoy · Unilever · MullenLowe Lintas Group India, MullenLowe Singapore · Asia
Preserve a Piece of Childhood · Guanghe · Kraft Heinz China · BBH China · China
The Growth of Colonel KI · KFC · Yum! China · Mindshare China · China
One Ginebra Nation · Ginebra San Miguel · Dentsu One Manila · Philippines
Barber Suraksha Programme · Gillette · Procter & Gamble ·GREY India · India

Following an in-depth analysis of this year’s results, WARC has today published “Insights from the WARC Awards for Asian Strategy”, a report outlining lessons learned and successful marketing trends from this year’s awards.

The four key insights outlined in the report are:

Brand advocacy takes center-stage
Across this year’s shortlist, WARC saw a marked increase in advocacy- and sustainability-driven work. This focus on social and cultural issues – by winners such as Lifebuoy and Dove – reflects consumers’ new expectations of brands based on actions and long-term commitment to worthy causes.

Partnerships strengthen brands in tough times
Many of this year’s winners showed how strategic partnerships can help amplify reach and lead to growth. Brands like Pizza Hut, Unilever and Gillette, joined forces with parties that were seemingly unrelated to their brands, helping them reach new audiences and uncover new areas of growth.

Emotional strategies are built on actions
This year saw a jump in the use of emotion as a creative strategy. But tugging at the heartstrings is not enough: truly empathetic communications go beyond messaging to support and engage consumers, as proven by winners like Cadbury Celebrations and Ginebra San Miguel.

TV leads sophisticated media strategies
While TV strengthened its lead, in part due to lockdowns forcing people at home, the most successful campaigns were those that showed a layered approach to media planning. Ariel, for example, combined its main TV commercial with extensive social activity.

More information on the WARC Awards for Asian Strategy 2021 is available here.

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