WARC Awards 2018 – Effective Social Strategy winners announced

BBDO China wins Grand Prix for McDonald’s Full-heart Support for Gaokao campaign

Global, 06 June 2018 – A campaign by BBDO China for McDonald’s has won the Grand Prix in the Effective Social Strategy category of the WARC Awards, a global search for next-generation marketing effectiveness.

Looking for a way to engage with people during the run-up to Gaokao, the Chinese exam season, McDonald’s stood out with its ‘Full-heart support during Gaokao’ campaign by taking a different approach. Rather than promising to help students do better, the fast food chain encouraged older people to share their experience of Gaokao, showing that the results did not determine their future. This messaging proved popular, leading to a 428% increase in sales of McDonald’s hero Gaokao product.

The campaign also won the Path-to-Purchase special award for a social strategy that successfully drove sales.

A further four Golds, five Silvers and four Bronzes and two more special awards have won in the Effective Social Strategy category, a search for marketing initiatives that link social strategy to business success. Campaigns for brands including, Addict’Aide, Gas-X, OMO, Pampers, PlayStation and Snickers are among the winners from around the world.

Elizabeth Windram, VP, Marketing, JetBlue, chair of the Effective Social Strategy jury, commented: “The winners all demonstrated the best of what marketing can do with a strong insight and an ownable way in to solving business problems. The cases were inspiring to read.”

The winners are:

Grand Prix

  • Full-heart support during Gaokao · McDonald’s · BBDO China · China + Path-to-Purchase Award


  • Like my addiction · Addict’Aide · BETC · France + Smart Spender Award
  • Not another Tide ad. But probably, the dullest content in history for the least active kids in history · OMO · Unilever · FP7/DXB · Middle East + Live Award
  • #InMyFamilyWeSay · Hépar · Nestlé Waters · Marcel · France
  • GeoStories: How Instagram turned millennials onto geology · Geological Survey of Canada History Committee · McMillan · Canada


  • Office Souvenirs · JetBlue · MullenLowe US · United States
  • Crossing The Line · Fleggaard · UncleGrey · Denmark
  • Condom or Denim? · Durex Jeans · Reckitt Benckiser · Havas Worldwide India · India
  • For the sake of M&M’s, do not watch Game of Thrones! · M&M’s · Mars · ALMAP BBDO · Brazil
  • #HUNGEREPLY · Snickers · Mars · BBDO Japan · Japan


  • It’s not cricket, it’s the ashes · BT Sport · BT · AMVBBDO · United Kingdom
  • Finding the Female Gaze in Fart Jokes · Gas-X · GSK · Weber Shandwick NY · United States
  • Positive · Pampers · Procter & Gamble · Leo Burnett Vietnam, Saatchi & Saatchi Vietnam, MSL Group Vietnam · Vietnam
  • Play Everything · PlayStation · Sony Interactive Entertainment Singapore · TBWA\Singapore · Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand

View the winning case studies in the Effective Social Strategy category as well as the winners of the Innovation and Brand Purpose categories – https://www.warc.com/warcawards.prize

The Effective Content Strategy winners will be announced next week.

The annual WARC Awards are free to enter with the Grand Prix and Special Award winners across all four categories – Effective Social Strategy, Effective Content Strategy, Effective Innovation, Effective Use of Brand Purpose – sharing a $40,000 prize fund.

WARC Awards 2018 – Effective Social Strategy winners announced

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