P&G overtakes Unilever as top global advertiser in Warc 100

Procter & Gamble has taken Unilever’s crown as the number one global advertiser after nine of its campaigns made the Warc 100, versus rival Unilever’s three.

According to the results released today (1 March), which form part of Warc’s annual ranking of the world’s best marketing campaigns and companies according to their business impact, P&G’s campaign success follows the FMCG business’ efficiency drive over the past few years, which saw it cut spend on ‘non-working media’ and shift campaigns over to digital.

“Procter & Gamble’s strong performance in the current Warc 100 reflects the company’s continuing ability to develop powerful advertising that gets people talking. While Unilever remains a very effective advertiser, the latest results raise questions about the potential impact of cost cuts on the development of breakthrough marketing ideas,” said the report.

Digital campaigns, particularly social media and online video, are proving effective, with 11 of the 20 top-ranked campaigns (55 per cent) digitally led. For example, Volvo Trucks’ ‘Live Test Series’ has to date pulled in over 100m YouTube views, reaching beyond the brand’s niche target audience of truck drivers and resulting in a 23 per cent growth in sales.

Elsewhere Warc named Ikea and Heineken as ‘breakthrough brands’ with the pair both making their top 10 debut. Warc credited the Swedish retail brand’s global scale and consistent success for its strong performance, while Heineken’s broad portfolio and sports sponsorship were pointed out as key drivers.

The campaign that bagged the top spot was Saatchi & Saatchi and OMD’s ‘Penny the Pirate’ for Australian optical chain OPSM, which combined traditional and digital media to produce a printed book and app to highlight vision problems in children.

More than 126,000 parents bought the reading book, the number of eye tests conducted by OPSM increased by 22.6 per cent year-on-year, and its sales also grew by more than one fifth (22.4 per cent).

The UK retained its second place in country rankings, with Three’s ‘Holiday Spam’ campaign by Wieden+Kennedy in at number 13 and the ‘This Girl Can’ FCB Inferno campaign for Sport England ranking 20th.

Commenting on the placing David Lette, Heineken brand director said: “2015 was a great year for the brand, with our sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup as a centrepiece of the activities. We were also able to activate our long term partnership with the Bond franchise, with the release of Spectre providing a successful close to the year.”

To compile the list Warc tracked over 2,000 individual award winners across different effectiveness and strategy awards schemes held around the world.

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