Marketers strive to make effective work – but there’s a difficult question that we don’t always ask: what do we mean by effectiveness?

Those of us who work with case studies, research reports, best practice guides and the like will know what I mean. In one paper effectiveness can mean long-term profit and pricing impact for a brand. In another it might mean impact on culture. In yet another it might mean a change in brand health or customer behaviour. And then there are the ones that just confuse it with efficiency!

If this sounds familiar, I urge you to tune into LIONS Live this week to watch a new study from ex-planner James Hurman, alongside Peter Field (who I’m sure needs no introduction to WARC users!). Their keynote takes place today (13.00 BST, 22nd June) then will be available on-demand for the rest of the week.

The session reveals a new joint Cannes Lions/WARC framework created from an analysis of nearly 5,000 case studies on WARC. It introduces a Creative Effectiveness Ladder - the result of a year’s consultation with strategists and clients worldwide. 

This Ladder identifies the six main types of effects that creative marketing produces, setting them in a hierarchy of levels from least to most commercially impactful. The study breaks down the key principles of climbing the ladder, and what’s required to reach the upper levels.It also introduces a principle called Creative Commitment - the greater the Creative Commitment, the higher the chance of campaign success.

All will be revealed later today - tune in and let us know what you think!

Live Keynote: Effectiveness in the age of E-Commerce

That’s not all we have going on this week. On Tuesday (13.15 BST, 23rd June) I’ll be looking at what the accelerated shift to e-commerce over the past three months means effectiveness. We pull out three big implications, and what you can do about them.

This in-depth report features contributions from global experts from all sides of the marketing world, including: Jill Baskin, CMO - The Hershey Company; Cheryl Calverley, CEO - Eve Sleep; Patrick Miller, Co-Founder - Flywheel Digital; Tiffany Lilze, Senior eCommerce Supply Director - Procter & Gamble; Elijah Whaley, Chief Marketing Officer – Parklu; and Jerry Daykin, EMEA Media Director, GSK.


WARC will also feature a series of films that will be available throughout the week:

  • ‘Behind the Winning Idea’ series: Our experts look back at recent work from Nike, Tesco and Budweiser to see what brands can learn from those who've been there, done that, and effectively reinvented it in response to Covid-19.
  • Where the Lemons Bloom – a short film by Orlando Wood, Chief Innovation Officer, System 1, including new thinking around creativity in digital platforms and creativity post-pandemic.
  • It’s Time to Talk about Attention - Prof. Karen Nelson-Field, Founder & CEO, Amplified Intelligence, builds on her recent WARC Guide to Planning for Attention.
  • How to use The Creative Effectiveness Ladder - James Hurman, Ex-Creative, Author and Innovation Consultant, goes deep on how to apply the new Ladder framework. 

You can register for Lions Live, which is free to all, here