The all-new WARC Effectiveness Awards 2021 launched

13 January 2021 - WARC has launched The WARC Effectiveness Awards in association with LIONS, a new worldwide competition that integrates the WARC/LIONS Creative Effectiveness Ladder and promises feedback from judges to all shortlisted entrants and winners across the six categories it includes. 

The Creative Effectiveness Ladder is a universal framework of the six approaches for using strategy and creativity to drive specific marketing outcomes. It provides a consistent approach and shared language for benchmarking effectiveness globally.

 Creative Effectiveness Ladder


James Hurman, Founding Partner of Previously Unavailable, who developed the WARC/LIONS Creative Effectiveness Ladder in 2020, will preside over the use of the Ladder as part of the judging process.

Philip Thomas, President, Ascential Marketing Division and Chairman of LIONS, says: “The WARC Effectiveness Awards offer marketers a global benchmark against which to assess just how well their marketing is working. Using the WARC/LIONS Creative Effectiveness Ladder as part of the judging process will give the industry a universal standard showing what great effective work looks like.”

Paul Coxhill, Managing Director, WARC, adds: “The invaluable feedback that will be given to shortlisted and winning entrants will enable them to consistently produce highly effective creative campaigns and initiatives.” 

The categories

Grand Prix, Gold, Silver and Bronze accolades as well as Special Awards honouring particular areas of excellence will be awarded to best-in-class work across six categories:

Customer Experience: awarding new ways of engaging with consumers and innovative experiences created to connect and immerse on the path to commercial success.

Collaboration & Culture: awarding strategies and instances of brands entering or impacting on culture that can demonstrate a business outcome.

Sustained Growth: for campaigns that have invested in building a brand over time (12 months or more).

Instant Impact: for short-term campaigns (with a duration of six months or less) that led directly to a sales increase.

Brand Purpose: for marketing initiatives that have successfully embraced a brand purpose and achieved commercial success as well as benefit for the wider community.

Business-to-Business: awarding effective campaigns from one business targeting another.

Entry details

The WARC Effectiveness Awards are open to submissions from any country and communications discipline and the entry fee has been waived for 2021. Papers will be accepted from 15 February until 01 April. The six shortlists will be announced in May and the winners will be announced at Cannes Lions in June.

More information on the new WARC Effectiveness Awards is available here. Jury chairs will be announced on 18 January and full juries early February.