Solving problems through ads and a long-term focus on creative effectiveness are top tactics for success in EMEA

A new report is released by WARC Creative summarising key insights from winning campaigns executed in EMEA that have ranked highly in the renowned industry benchmark, WARC Rankings 2024.

Analysis of the world’s most awarded campaigns and companies from EMEA that have dominated the higher echelons of the WARC Creative 100, Media 100 and Effective 100 this year, finds that larger advertisers have a long-term focus on both creativity and effectiveness, and brands are using their campaigns to help solve real-world problems. 

Amy Rodgers, Head of Content, WARC Creative, and author of the report says: “Our deep-dive into the multi- award-winning campaigns, brands and agencies in EMEA featured highly across the three league tables provide an evidence-based insight into what led to their top ranks. Reflecting on these remarkable results and how they came about will inspire more successes.” 

Key takeaways outlined in ‘WARC Rankings: EMEA summary report’ are:

  • Solving problems through ads

The top 10 EMEA campaigns from each of the three rankings reveals brands trying to solve real-world problems through marketing campaigns. For some, like Dove, this is part of a longer-term creative platform based on a clear brand purpose. Others have responded to immediate crises, like Mastercard’s ‘Where to Settle’ campaign to help people displaced by the Ukraine war. And others use innovative marketing to reduce barriers to purchase, like Renault’s Plug Inn, which increased the network of e-car charging spots to increase sales.

Top EMEA campaigns for creativity:

#1 Where to Settle for Mastercard by McCann Warsaw

#2 The Last Photo for CALM by adam&eveDDB London

#3 Cheat Cookies for Oreo by Saatchi & Saatchi Düsseldorf

Top EMEA campaigns for media:

#1 Pre-Loved Island for eBay by EssenceMediacom London / McCann London

#2 #TurnYourBack for Dove by Ogilvy London / DAVID Madrid / Mindshare London

#3 Adopt a Mod for La SPA by Havas Play Paris

Top EMEA campaigns for effectiveness:

#1 #Flutwein Our Worst Vintage for AHR Valley Wine Region by Seven.One AdFactory Munich

#2 Kevin versus John for Aldi by McCann Manchester

#3 Plug-Inn for Renault by Publicis Conseil Paris / Razorfish Paris

  • Large advertisers dominate

Though there are a significant number of not-for-profit and short-term campaigns ‘for good’ at the top of the campaign rankings, the bigger picture shows larger advertisers with long-term focuses on creativity and effectiveness are at the top of the brand and advertiser ranking. 

In EMEA, McDonald’s accrued the most points for creativity and effectiveness, while eBay was most successful in media shows. AB InBev had similar success at the advertiser level for creativity and effectiveness, joined by Unilever for media.

Top brands in EMEA:

#1 Creative 100: McDonald’s

#1 Media 100: eBay

#1 Effective 100: McDonald’s

Top advertisers in EMEA:

#1 Creative 100: AB InBev

#1 Media 100: Unilever

#1 Effective 100: AB InBev

  • France is top for creativity. The UK is most effective

Taking into account all awarded work that took place in EMEA tracked by the WARC Rankings, the UK accrued the most points for both media and effectiveness. Across the top 10 EMEA campaigns in the three rankings, nine (30%) came out of the UK.


However, for creativity, France leads the way, with three of the top 10 campaigns and the most awarded agency is BETC Paris.

Top agencies in EMEA:

#1 Creative 100: BETC, Paris

#1 Media 100: Mediaplus Munich

#1 Effective 100: Ogilvy London (creative) and UM Manchester (media)

Top agency networks in EMEA:

#1 Creative 100: Publicis Worldwide

#1 Media 100: PHD Worldwide

#1 Effective 100: Leo Burnett

Top holding companies in EMEA:

#1 Creative 100: Publicis Groupe

#1 Media 100: Omnicom

#1 Effective 100: Publicis Groupe

Top countries in EMEA:

#1 Creative 100: France

#1 Media 100: UK

#1 Effective 100: UK

WARC Rankings are the ultimate benchmark for marketing. Celebrating excellence in creativity, media and effectiveness, they offer an opportunity for marketers to reflect on the best campaigns in the business and to review the impact their own work has on their brands. They are compiled by applying a rigorous, unbiased and transparent methodology.

A complimentary summary report is available to read here. Similar reports are available for APAC and North America. WARC Creative subscribers can view and download progression charts for agencies, networks, brands and advertisers via the WARC Interactive Rankings dashboards.

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