Get your 2020 Effective Content Strategy Report

As countries continue to go in and out of lockdown resulting in an increased dependency on screens to inform and entertain, there is a voracious appetite for good content. In this environment, content is coming into its own, with advertisers demonstrating a clearer understanding of how a well thought out content strategy can pay off for their brands.

This development is outlined in WARC’s latest study, the 2020 Content Strategy Report, which provides insights and themes from the winners of the Effective Content Strategy category of the 2020 WARC Awards and the implications for advertisers, agencies and media owners.

Lucy Aitken (picture), Managing Editor, Case Studies, WARC, comments, “Following our analysis of this year’s winning case studies, we’ve identified the most effective content marketing strategies to bring actionable insights for brands and agencies to drive business success.” 

WARC’s 2020 Effective Content Strategy Report identifies three key themes: 

  • Content should aim to be part of culture

Considering different content formats that can be cultural properties in their own right was a popular approach among this year’s winners that included a love song, a feature film and a podcast series. 

James Tucker, Senior Strategist, Colenso BBDO, and part of the team behind this year’s Grand Prix-winning DB Export campaign, says: “The beauty of content is that it doesn’t have to feel like an ad. It’s not confined to specific formats and length. The world always needs great content and sometimes that content can be advertising. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.”

  • Content can drive behaviour change

As content can build emotional connections with audiences, it can be a powerful way to shift entrenched behaviours. At a time when behaviour change programmes around mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing have been rapidly implemented, lessons from this year’s winners about using content to drive behaviour change are especially pertinent.

Jury member Valerie Pinto , Chief Executive Officer, Weber Shandwick, India, advises: “Given these uncertain times, content strategy will become integral to more brands because it will be more important to connect with audiences through relevant content led by an emotional approach. The pandemic is an opportunity for us to convert challenges into advantages, to think freely, to open our minds to new ideas, and to take decisive action faster than ever before.”

  • Considering context benefits content strategies

A deep understanding of context can play a key role in making a content strategy more effective. This could entail a range of approaches, such as a smart partnership or hijacking a relevant media space. As lives become more screen-based and marketing budgets skew more towards digital platforms, identifying new ways for content and context to work symbiotically will become increasingly important.

Judge Diana Lopes (picture below), Former Strategy Director, AMV BBDO, comments: “Improving consumers’ interactions with a brand is a continuous job of testing and learning that goes hand-in-hand with content development. It isn’t called consumer journey by accident: it has a direction, with a beginning, a middle and an end. And understanding context makes it far more likely for our stories to have the happy endings we seek.”

The 2020 Effective Content Strategy Report is available to WARC subscribers on .

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


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