Advertisements exist to sell us things, but sometimes they can change the way we think. A commercial encouraging men in India to do their fair share of household chores has become the world’s most effective adverts, according to a study. “Share the Load,” an ad for laundry brand Ariel, resulted in doubled sales by value and by volume, the study by advertising research company WARC said. More than 1.5 million men in India also pledged to do their fair share of housework. Procter and Gamble, which owns Ariel, is the world’s number one advertiser, according to WARC, with five advertising campaigns in a list of the top 100.
Other adverts that made it into the top five include a subscription campaign for The Economist by agency Proximity London, which had a return on investment of 25 to one, and a series of ads for Australian swimming pool company Narellan, which used data to target people at times when they were most likely to buy a pool resulting in a 23 percent sales uplift. Other winners include Apple, Always and U.K. department store John Lewis. WARC put the list together by analyzing more than 2,000 winners of advertising effectiveness campaigns around the world, in partnership with King’s College London.
Here the five most effective advertising campaigns globally, according to WARC.
1. Ariel “Share the Load,” India
A father in India looks on as his daughter returns from work. Her son needs a clean shirt, her husband demands his dinner and her living room needs tidying. Ariel wanted the ad to encourage fathers to help with household chores – and of course sell detergent.
2. John Lewis Christmas advertising, 2012 to 2015, U.K.
The British department store’s Christmas adverts are hugely anticipated, highly critiqued, and often parodied every year. This spot from 2015 showed an elderly man alone on the moon, while a young girl watched him through a telescope in her bedroom, and ended with her sending him a telescope of his own. It sparked £1 million in donations ($1.2 million) and resulted in the store’s highest Christmas sales at the time.
3. Double Robotics, “Lucy the Robot,” Australia
When Lucy the Robot turned up in a queue for the new iPhone 6 in Sydney, Australia, it was more than just a PR stunt. Technology company Double Robotics had sent her to the store, aiming too help businesses understand what robots could do for them, and the campaign resulted in more than 12,400 inquiries in three days.
4. Media Markt, “Rabbit Race,” Germany
This eye-catching ad for electronics retailer Media Markt saw rabbits ‘racing’ live on TV. People could get money off goods if a number on their receipt matched the number on the winning bunny, and the campaign was seen by 21 million people.
5. The Economist, “Raising Eyebrows and Subscriptions,” U.K.
The Economist was seen as a “boring business publication” by those who hadn’t read it, so to get more subscribers, it used data to place highly relevant ads online. So on an article with the headline “How women can break through the glass ceiling” it placed an ad saying “Would Lehman sisters have done a better job?” for example, and the campaign resulted in more than 64,000 new subscribers.
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