23. 1. 2023
Source: Schmackos
From long-term brand-building activity to short-term activations that deliver on more immediate goals, a new WARC report, based on the 2022 IPA Effectiveness Awards, demonstrates how marketers can rise to current challenges.

WARC has analysed the metadata of the winning entries to drill down into the themes and trends that are driving marketing success and has identified six key insights.


  1. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, brands such as KFC, Cadbury, McDonald’s and Tesco were able to rediscover their voice and their role in culture, by going back to their core values, drawing strength from their heritage and replaying existing associations, leading to renewed growth.

  2. Distinctive brand assets, which anchor brands firmly in consumers’ memory and trigger faster, more emotional decision-making, are back in vogue. Whether it’s a refresh of brand assets, or continued investment in assets or characters, this approach has been successful for a wide range of brands, including Aldi, Schmackos and Sick Kids.

  3. In the context of Covid-19, several brands such as Barclays and The British Beer and Pub Association invested in initiatives that supported consumers, communities or small businesses, growing their reputation and bottom line.

  4. Brands are moving from words to action when it comes to marketing for societal impact, which in turn is driving brand equity. Brands including Tesco stepped up and delivered.

  5. ​Identify new usage occasions to drive relevance and growth beyond established sales periods. Baileys, Boursin and Cherries from Chile found ways to incorporate new moments that unlocked a fresh period of growth.

  6. With many of these campaigns running during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is perhaps unsurprising that WARC data shows a decline in the use of humour as a creative strategy. While sensitivity is required, research shows that people look to adverts for fun and escapism in difficult times.

Key quote

“The winning entries from 2022 prove that we have the power to turn around and reinvigorate struggling brands. We can create new habits. We can transform a brand’s point of view and keep it current and enduring” – Harjot Singh, Global Chief Strategy Officer, McCann and Convenor of the 2022 IPA Effectiveness Awards.

The full report, available to WARC subscribers and IPA members, includes full chapter analysis of the themes, data and infographics, case studies and expert industry commentary. A WARC podcast deep-diving into the report will be released on 9 February.

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