WARC launches new report revealing key innovation trends for effective marketing

e32b7d03-c543-4dd2-a9e1-125c7a488d4c.jpgWARC, the global authority on advertising and media effectiveness, has today released the Effective Innovation Report 2018, highlighting key trends of the world's most original marketing thinking.

Drawn from the winners of the Effective Innovation category of this year's international WARC Awards, a global search for next-generation marketing effectiveness, the report showcases innovative thinking that has transformed a business or disrupted category conventions to deliver tangible results.

Says Lucy Aitken, managing editor, case studies, WARC: "Following our analysis of the metadata around all the entries, we see that despite the considerable challenges presented by innovation, it is an increasingly popular and effective way for brands to grow."
WARC's Effective Innovation Report highlights four key trends that provide valuable lessons to the advertising industry of marketing innovation that works:

Innovation that appeals to influencers

Many of the top-performing campaigns were designed with sharing among millennial influencers in mind to improve organic reach via their personal networks.

Says Christopher Yu, jury member and VP integrated marketing strategy, innovation, and technology, U.S Bank: "Persuading these communities to invest their influence on your behalf is an acid test of a marketing team's preparation and ingenuity."

Campaigns that disrupted received ideas of how to engage millennials and the value of doing so include: Grand Prix winner '7-Second Resumes' for the Ad Council by 22squared, USA; 'Denmark vs. Trump' for Danish political party Socialistisk Folkeparti by UncleGrey; and BBC Asian Network's campaign '100% Asian. 100% British' by MullenLowe London.

Says Yu: "Each demonstrated a clear grasp of Gen Y's digitally native expectations without indulging in technical showboating."

Innovation that builds brand equity

Innovation can be an efficient and effective way to build and strengthen a brand's appeal by problem-solving, bringing the brand closer to its purpose.

Says Kate Smither, jury member and chief strategy integration officer, Publicis Communications Australia: "Innovation is not about the wacky or the weird, but instead should come from context and build brand equity.

"Innovation is fast becoming a tool modern marketing can use to build brands from equity out, not from technology in."

Stand out campaigns that used brand-led innovation to build brand equity, demonstrating to consumers how they could fulfil their promise or purpose include: 'Odds' for adidas by Taproot India; Pril's 'One-Drop Bottle' and Nissan's 'Camelpower' both by TBWA\RAAD, UAE.

Product-led innovation that drives growth

Innovating thorough products is a popular way for brands to strengthen their appeal and stand-out to attract new customers.

Says Joseph Smeaton, jury member and planning director, DDB Sydney: "This year's winners show how changing your product can drive growth and bring new customers to your brand. Instead of only looking to change other people's behaviour, perhaps we should first change our own.:

Saregama's 'Carvaan' for older Indian consumers by The Womb, and Royal Caribbean's 'Seek Deeper' by MullenLowe US, that stimulated demand for cruises among a younger crowd by using Snapchat spectacles are good examples.

Utility that helps build connections

Brands benefitted from being 'in service' to their audiences through the creation of useful tools, products and services as opposed to traditional campaigns.

Says juror Howard Pull, strategic development director, MullenLowe Profero: "By starting from a perspective of utility, by being in the service of others, you can reach new audiences, find new relevancy and change perceptions."

He cites IDFC's 'Bank in a Box' by McCann Worldgroup as a stellar example of brand utility that helped build connections.

A sample of WARC's Effective Innovation Report 2018 can be downloaded here. The report in full is available to WARC subscribers on WARC.com and includes chapter analysis with views and opinions from the judges, as well as summaries - objectives, insights, strategies and results - of the winning case studies.

Now in their third year, the WARC Awards 2019 will open in November 2018. Free to enter, there is a $40,000 prize fund for the winning papers. View here for more information.

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