SA has made significant strides in its global creative rankings in the past year, according to the latest WARC 100 creative rating. This year, SA has been ranked in ninth position, moving up from 23rd in 2018 and 17th in 2017.

Previously known as the Gunn Report, the WARC Creative 100 is an independent index which measures creative distinction in the global world of advertising. Essentially, it highlights those agencies that have received the most awards, together with brands, specific campaigns, networks as well as countries, holding companies and advertisers that have shown creative excellence in their work. WARC’s results are founded on an analysis of the rankings in the most important regional and global creative awards ceremonies, determined by the ad industry itself.

Overall, the results yielded some interesting insights. This year’s top 100 showed that purpose-driven campaigns are still driving behavioural change through participation. The Palau Pledge campaign – which won the most celebrated campaign of 2018 – by Host/Havas Sydney involved an element of participation which enabled the Palau Legacy Project, a sustainable tourism body for the island of Palau, to raise awareness in terms of the environmental protection of the island and change behaviour. Participation approaches were also used by other brands such as Marmite, the ALS Association and Burger King.

The big take-out

The WARC Creative 100 takes over from the Gunn Report in ranking the world’s most creative countries, brands, agencies, networks and advertisers. SA has been ranked the ninth most creative country.

Burger King, which was ranked No 1 in the retail brand category, made use of popular culture to distinguish itself and do things differently. Its global chief marketing officer, Fernando Machado, is quoted as saying that the brand believes that creativity can be a competitive advantage and that being part of popular culture helps to strengthen both the brand and the business.

BBDO New York was ranked top creative agency in the world, while AMV BBDO London was ranked second. The leading creative network was BBDO Worldwide – an accolade which it has won  for13 consecutive years (12 under the Gunn Report and now under the WARC Creative 100). Some 22 BBDO offices contributed to the total, with DDB Worldwide coming in second and McCann Worldgroup in third.

Six new agencies enter the creative top 10 of the WARC Creative 100, including AMV BBDO, Host/Havas Sydney, McCann London, BWM Dentsu and Saatchi & Saatchi New York.  Only four agencies retained their places in the top 10: BBDO New York, adam&eveDDB London, McCann New York and Colenso BBDO Auckland.