A strong performance by UK agencies has kept the market behind only the US in terms of creativity, according to the Warc Creative 100, an independent ranking of the best examples of creativity in marketing (and successor to the Gunn Report).
Meanwhile, an initiative to change tourist behaviour on a Pacific archipelago has topped the rankings as best campaign.
"Palau Pledge" received top honours in several advertising awards shows. The campaign, by Australian agency Host/Havas for sustainable tourism body, Palau Legacy Project, created a visa policy for the island of Palau to protect the nation from environmental damage. Visitors need to sign a pledge stamped into their passport, vowing to protect the environment. Since the campaign, more than 175,000 visitors have signed the pledge.
Ranked second, and topping the UK chart, is "#Bloodnormal" by AMV BBDO London for feminine hygiene brand Bodyform/Libresse. The campaign centred around an online video to break taboos by showing period blood in a positive light.
In third place, "Project Revoice" by BWM Dentsu, Sydney, for The ALS Association, a non-profit organisation tackling motor neurone disease, developed innovative technology that enabled ALS patients to speak again.
As well as #Bloodnormal, a further nine UK campaigns ranked in the top global 100: "The Gene Project" for Marmite by Adam & Eve/DDB ranked seventh, "Xbox Design Lab Originals: The Fanchise Model" by McCann London was at 11 and Nike’s "Nothing Beats a Londoner" by Wieden+Kennedy came in at 12.
Trends from the rankings
One clear theme in this year’s rankings is using a ‘participation’ element within campaigns to drive behaviour and attitude change. The "Palau Pledge" initiative is an example, as it asks visitors to sign something. But commercial campaigns are also taking this approach – Marmite’s "Gene Project" is one example.
Burger King’s global chief marketing officer Fernando Machado has repeatedly talked of making his brand part of pop culture – and this ambition appears to be paying off, with three PR-savvy campaigns ranking high: "Scary Clown Night" ( number six), "Google Home of the Whopper" (number 24), "Loving It" (number 34).
This strong performance makes Burger King the top-ranked brand in this year’s rankings.
"At Burger King we believe creativity can be a competitive advantage," says Machado. "Doing things differently, standing out,and becoming part of pop culture definitely help strengthen our brand and our business. Our marketing teams and agency partners are honoured to receive this recognition from Warc."
Agency-wise, BBDO once again dominates in an impressive global performance with shops in Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, UK and US featured.
BBDO New York is crowned top creative agency in the world with three campaigns in the top 100. AMV BBDO London climbs to second place having been ranked 20th last year in the Gunn Report. Adam & Eve/DDB London follows in third position, up from fourth last year.
Elsewhere, Mars, the global manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products, is the most creative advertiser with campaigns for Pedigree, Skittles and Snickers ranked high. The UK’s top advertisers in the rankings are LADbible, Plastic Oceans Foundation, Calm, Glasgow School of Art and Snaptivity.
The Warc Creative 100 is an independent global index of creative excellence in advertising, and successor to the Gunn Report. As well as the rebrand, 2019 sees some major changes to the rankings following a consultation with the industry. In order to provide greater transparency, the award shows tracked for the rankings have been revealed, and the selection has been determined by a global survey of senior creatives.
The creative awards taken into account for these rankings are Cannes Lions, Clio Awards, D&AD, London International Awards (LIA), The One Show., Adfest, Dubai Lynx, El Ojo de Iberoamérica, El Sol, Eurobest, Golden Drum, Loeries and Spikes Asia. An annual survey will be carried to ensure the rankings reflect the opinion of the industry.
The full Warc 100 rankings is available on warc.com/rankings/creative-100. The campaigns, case studies, credits and subsequent analysis reports are available by subscription.