The annual WARC rankings are out, and once again purpose and protest had a big impact with awards jurors.
Whether or not cause marketing had the same impact with the public, we don’t know, but the only brands who made it into WARC’s top ten by flogging product rather than making a statement were fast food brands Burger King (number one brand for the second year in a row) and Wendy’s (8).
Sitting on this perch might have given some of Burger King’s agencies a false confidence, judging by the mouldy burger ad that has provoked so much debate over the last week or so. Interesting that two WPP agencies – David in Miami and Ingo in Sweden – both insist on having their name attached to the work.
WARC’s other top ten campaigns for 2020 are Bodyform, Nike, New York Times, Xbox, Skittles, Huawei, and Ikea all made the grade, with work that focused on issues or causes, which has become a regular pattern: in 2019 we saw Palau Pledge’s environmental campaign at number one, and in 2018 it was Meet Graham promoting road safety.
Another staple on the WARC charts is the creative supremacy of Omnicom Group. Its networks, individual agencies and campaigns have dominated for years, and it has held on to the top holding company spot since 2018, when it ended WPP’s seven-year reign.
Omnicom agencies made up three of the top four global creative networks for 2020, IPG and WPP have two each. independents are represented by Wieden+Kennedy (7). You have to go down to number nine for a Publicis Groupe agency, Publicis Worldwide. Let’s hope the French have the opportunity to improve their position this year, as Coronavirus threatens the whole awards season. Dubai Lynx has already been postponed, and the chances of Cannes Lions being called off is looking more and more likely.
Cannes Lions insists in a statement that the event “will take place as scheduled.” It says: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by COVID-19 around the world. Our priority at this time is the safety of our delegates and teams – we continue to closely monitor the development of the COVID-19/Coronavirus and any potential impact on our event. We are following guidance from the venue, the World Health Organisation and the French authorities.”
WARC is owned by Ascential, which also owns Cannes Lions. The rankings are compiled from winners of the following shows: Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, Clios, London International Awards, Spikes Asia, Eurbost, Golden Drum, Dubai Lynx, Loeries, El Ojo de Iberoamérica.