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The 5 habits of highly effective advertisers

Kantar's Creative Effectiveness Awards reveals the world's most effective ads of 2020, and what makes them great.

At Kantar, we love great creative content, and we love it even more when that creativity is harnessed to deliver against brand and marketing objectives. Each year, we test over 10,000 ads for our clients around the world with Link, an independently validated solution. Each year, we learn more about winning ads and the ingredients for success.

Kantar’s Creative Effectiveness Awards recognise the best TV and digital ads from around the world – as judged by consumers. They celebrate great advertising that drives sales in the short term and equity in the long term. While we recognise that not all ads seek to do both, our approach provides a framework for assessment and recognises the power of creativity to build brands, not just activate sales.

An exceptional year

2020 was a year like no other, and our work showed that people wanted advertising to continue, as it provided a sense of normality at a time of 24-hour Covid-19 news cycles. For the most part, consumers were processing content in the same way during the pandemic as they did before. Advertisers that held their resolve and invested in their brand during the downturn saw their bravery rewarded.

Revealed: the most creative and effective ads of 2020

This year, we saw some amazing ads that are both creative and effective. Our winners come from a diverse range of brands, categories and countries, and use many different tactics in their creativity. What they share in common is a commitment to creative excellence and a focus on ensuring their work performs exactly as intended. 

Consumers rated Heineken’s ‘Cheers to all’, the world’s most creatively effective ad for 2020. In this ad, Heineken addresses gender-related drinks stereotypes in a way that is light-hearted rather than preachy or self-righteous and for that reason is loved by viewers. 

Have a look at the great ads that consumers ranked in our top 20 from around the world in 2020. Congratulations to all our winners.

BrandCountryAdAgency
1HeinekenUSACheers to allPublicis
2
Bosch
GermanyAtino

C3 Creative Code and Content (Stuttgart )

3

Burger King

France

Consignes 2 Sécurity - The Retour

Buzzman 

4

SheaMoisture

USA

It Comes Naturally

BBDO New York and JOY Collective

5

Samsung

USA

Make their year, with Galaxy Buds Live

R/GA

6

Milka

France

And a lot of Milka

DAVID Madrid

7

Google

USA

Find your Scene

Google Brand Studio

8

TENA

UK

TENA Silhouette Washable Underwear (I will wear what I want)

AMV BBDO, London

9

TD

Canada

Keeping your business moving forward

Leo Burnett

10

Adrenaline Rush

Russia

More

KAPIBARA

11

YouTube Kids

USA

YouTube Kids Brand Anthem Film

Droga5

12

Avocados from Mexico

USA

Avocados From Mexico Shopping Network*

Energy BBDO Chicago

13

Gatorade

Chile

Gatorade GOAT CAMP

TBWA / Chiat de Los Ángeles

14

Toyota Corolla

Canada

Vente Étiquettes Rouges

The Showroom

15

Kozel

Slovakia

Pimp my goat

Armada

16

Nissan Sentra

USA

Joy Ride

NissanUnited

17

Panadol Actifast

Malaysia

Delivery Rider Malaysia

Grey Group Singapore

18

EBay Australia

Australia

The Fast and the Furious

Che Proximity Australia

19

Siemens Home Appliances

Turkey

Ankastre

MullenLowe Istanbul

20

Hershey's Kisses

USA

Bells to Blossoms

mcgarrybowen

*Not currently available online

Kantar's CX+ 2020: Reboot your CX understanding to supercharge TMT growth

As people have adapted to living more of their lives from home due to the pandemic, how people experience your tech, media or telecommunications (TMT) brand converts the crisis into an opportunity - if you're ready for it...

By Mark Molenaar, Issued by Kantar 4 Mar 2021


The five habits of highly effective advertisers

While there is no one size fits all solution to creative and effective advertising – we observed five habits from our winners that ensure their advertising will deliver for their brand - in both the short and long term. These can act as guidelines for all advertisers.

  1. Be distinctive
    Create the ability to be noticed and remembered in a world where there’s a profusion of ads. Your ad is not just competing in its category. It is competing for attention against the world. Stand out from the category as a minimum, and ideally from any other advertising.

  2. Brand intrinsically
    Make sure that the attention won by the ad is in the service of the brand. Ensure the brand is at the heart of your creative or get your branding cues right. A surprising number of brands forget this.

  3. Be meaningfully different
    To grow market share or defend premium pricing you need to show how your brand fulfils consumers’ functional, emotional and social needs in the category and illustrates your uniqueness compared to the competition.

  4. Trigger an emotional response
    Making the viewer feel something wins engagement for the ad, bypassing the natural tendency to screen out advertising. It also has positive effects on the brand’s emotional associations. 

  5. Talk with your consumers
    Successful marketers know they can get ‘too close’ to their brand and lose perspective, so they listen to viewer feedback throughout the creative development process and refine their ads accordingly.

Get your recipe right

As well as great habits, we noted many creative devices or ingredients used effectively by our 2020 winners. Some of our winning ads tackle diversity or challenge gender stereotypes (and we know progressive ads drive greater ROI), others use celebrity creatively, some nailed humour during challenging times – and much more.

Find out more about the winning ads, and download our booklet, ‘The five habits of highly effective advertisers’, to discover more about the winning tactics and habits. 


Join the conversation on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Link 

Kantar’s Link solution is the world’s most trusted ad testing solution, having been independently validated and used over 215,000 times. It offers predictive and diagnostic measures to guide ad optimisation to maximise that ROI. It is available on Kantar Marketplace so ads can be tested with confidence in as few as six hours. Questions? Reach out to us at moc.ratnak@scitanafdnarb  

About the author 


Daren Poole is the global head of creative at Kantar

Kantar
Kantar is the world's leading evidence-based insights and consulting company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks, our innovative analytics and technology we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.
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