Mumbai: In an annual ranking of the best creative agencies and the best marketing campaigns released by the World Advertising Research Centre (WARC), advertising agency Lowe Lintas + Partners India and advertiser Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) have emerged number one in their respective categories globally.

This is the first time an Indian ad agency has landed the top spot in these rankings. With two of its campaigns making it to the top five globally, HUL was named Advertiser of the Year.

Incidentally, the HUL campaigns—Kan Khajura Tesan, a missed call marketing campaign, and Help a Child Reach 5 for Lifebuoy—were created by Lowe Lintas.

Privately-owned WARC has advertising and media agencies, research companies, universities and advertisers as its clients. It offers best practices insights from the world’s leading brands and also publishes journals including Admap, Market Leader, the Journal of Advertising Research and the International Journal of Market Research.

The WARC rankings for the best agency and campaign were based on marketing that makes a difference, driving business performance or changing consumer behaviour.

The Kan Khajura Tesan (Earworm station) campaign developed by Lowe Lintas for HUL was named the top marketing campaign globally with a score of 121 points. The Help a Child Reach 5 for Lifebuoy, a soap brand from HUL, was ranked 4th on the list. These are also the only campaigns from India to feature in the top 10 list.

“We are delighted to receive this recognition for our campaigns. It is wonderful that the work we have done with our agency partners has been recognized at a global level. This is indeed reflective of the high quality marketing work being done in India and such recognitions will only add to the momentum," said Priya Nair, executive director–home care, HUL.

The Kan Khajura Tesan campaign was a missed-call marketing-led initiative that went on to garner mass reach in the hinterland markets of Bihar and Jharkhand. The campaign itself saw calls from around 30 million people, nearly 200 million ad impressions (the number of times callers hear the company’s ad), and the consumption of around 500 million minutes of content.

The Lifebuoy campaign, which ranked fourth, aimed to educate people and spread the idea of good hand-washing habits. Through its behavioural change programme, it has been able to reach over 180 million people, according to the company website. Every year, around 1.7 million children die before the age of five, due to diarrhoea and pneumonia. According to the company, the simple act of hand-washing can help prevent many of these deaths.

The second spot with 89 points was taken by Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, created by Ogilvy & Mather, Sao Paulo, and PHD, a media and communications firm. Ogilvy & Mather, London, was third at 78 points for the Expedia campaign titled, Travel Yourself Interesting.

The WARC rankings are compiled based on the winners of effectiveness and strategy awards from around the world. Lowe Lintas India accumulated a total of 212.9 points, while the second on the list, AMV BBDO UK, was at 191 points. Colenso BBDO New Zealand collected 147.6 points to finish third.

Lowe Lintas + Partners is part of the Lowe and Partners Worldwide network—a wholly owned subsidiary of New York based Inter Public Group (IPG).

Joseph George, chief executive officer, Lowe Lintas + Partners, said that recognitions like these matter as they help reinforce their belief in the work they do and for driving effectiveness for clients.

The agency has rolled out some successful campaigns in the recent past, among them the ads it created for Idea Cellular, Tata Tea and jewellery brand Tanishq.

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