Embracing constraints is key to effectiveness – Effie UK report

embracing constraints - effie uk report

Embracing constraints, setting clear objectives, and sticking with long-running campaigns were key themes to the most effective UK campaigns during the pandemic crisis, according to a report released by Effie UK in partnership with Ipsos.

The 2021 Effie UK Report is based on an investigation of winning entries and finalists in the 2021 Effie UK Awards, which rewarded work from 2020 – the first year of the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

The results provide essential learnings for brands now, as the industry tries to navigate 2022 – the pandemic’s third year.

Conducting multiple streams of research, using more channels, boosting spend, not assuming you always need to outspend the competition, and focusing on doing things differently in creative and media were also effectiveness success factors, the report shows.

Embracing constraints

The value of embracing constraints and adapting quickly, but staying true to your brand voice, was epitomised by McDonald’s, a Bronze winner in the “Rising to the Challenge 2020” category. 

Through its efforts, McDonalds stole a march on the category and established an all-time high market share by genuinely listening to what its customers were going through, then answering with the behaviour of a true leader.

Aldi UK, a Bronze winner in “Sustained Success,” is cited in the report as an example of keeping faith with a long-term campaign during a crisis with its commitment to “Kevin the Carrot.” 

NHS England’s “We Are The NHS: Then, Now, Always,” a Silver winner in “Positive Change,” demonstrates the value and power of bringing together multiple research streams to inform campaign strategy during a crisis, the report adds.

To demonstrate the power of doing things differently in creative and media, the report highlights how Eve Sleep, a Gold winner in “Small Budgets,” maintained the brand, built trust, grew quality perceptions, traffic and revenue by spending radically more efficiently with its “Getting the nation to switch off” campaign.

TV was heavily used by entrants and winners – in line with a worldwide Effie trend, revealed the report. 

Also, winners use more social media than entrants – Facebook and Instagram being the most popular choices. 

Twitter and YouTube also feature often in the mix for winners – demonstrating not only the importance of making the right platform choice but also using the right tactics for each channel and platform.

Juliet Haygarth, Managing Director at Effie UK said: ““This report highlights some of the most effective work that ran in the UK at the height of the pandemic.

“It celebrates those who demonstrated creative thinking, judgement and skill in the face of huge challenges.

“Contained with their stories are insights and learnings that we can all apply to make our own work that little bit more successful.”

Eleanor Thornton-Firkin, Head of Creative Excellence at Ipsos in the UK, said: “The pandemic brought about a shift in the way that we live and relate to others, the likes of which most of us will never have experienced before. 

“In this report we see the impact of that rapid change in the world of brands, creative and media. Brands that flexed to the context while remaining true to themselves prospered.”