WARC – Seriously Social Report 2016

What can we learn from campaigns that won the Warc prize in social media strategy?

Yesterday we attended Warc’s talk announcing their “Seriously Social 2016 Report”. This annual report, now in its fourth year is an analysis of the entries for their annual prize for social strategy. You can download the full report here. Our key findings from the talk below:


Content Marketing

There has been a huge increase in content marketing, a four times increase from 2014 to 2016. At the end of the day, campaigns are a battle of content.


Videos win case studies

Video is immensely important; all campaigns featured video to some degree and most case studies had video as a key content delivery mechanism. If you want social success, video needs to be created. As video is now for many of us a primary way in which we choose to consume content on social networks, particularly brand messages.


Brand driven

Nearly all of the social campaigns that won were classic top-down, brand-driven strategies. This harks back to traditional advertising campaigns that are controlled from the brand and feature a wealth of high-quality content; in comparison to a grass-roots campaign that puts user-generated-content at its heart. I believe this is down to brands’ wanting to retain control of their campaigns; they’re simply less risky to execute.


What drives social success?

Originality of ideas is the number one factor in driving award-winning case studies. The power of a fresh, new idea helps brands to cut through the noise and connect with consumers on an emotional level.

There has also been a marked increase in the number of campaigns that incentivised user participation, either through competition prizes, freebies or unlocking additional content/rewards.



Coca-Cola in Dubai ran a standout campaign. With the brand removing labels during Ramadan. The labels applied to their packaging and those we also apply to people. This powerful, emotive video felt genuine and not condensing; a fresh idea that connected with their audience on an emotional level.



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