Discover the five trends powering the most effective ads

Kantar’s Creative Effectiveness Awards not only celebrates great creative advertising from around the world, it recognises the ads that were most effective at driving sales and increasing long-term brand equity. What makes these awards unique is that consumers are the judges.

The awards celebrate the ten best-performing ads in three categories: digital and social, TV, and print and outdoor, and show that effectiveness should be the goal for all advertisers, whatever format or sector. Winning ads from brands, including Amazon, KFC, Calvé, Lego, and many more, have vastly different creative approaches, but all represent the highest quality in effective campaigns.


We live in a digital world; it is restless, fast-moving and everevolving. This presents challenges for marketers and their agencies. How can you be creative and effective on channels that relentlessly innovate? Do the same rules apply? We also live in a permacrisis (pandemic, war, cost of living) that feels exhausting and never-ending for many. Perhaps advertising can (and should) play a role in solving problems by soothing, calming, and even helping us to escape.

The winning ads embody the key trends which set apart the most effective ads, acting as a creative beacon for the industry during a time when creativity and effectiveness are ever-more important. New analysis recently co-published by Kantar and WARC found that the most creative and effective ads generate greater than 4X profitability. 

The most creative and effective ads of 2022

This year’s winning ads come from a diverse range of brands, categories, and markets using different creative approaches to engage consumers and be memorable, from across 13,000 ads tested in 2022 using their proprietary Link creative testing platform.

Digital and Social


Brand Country Advert Agency
1 Cadbury Dairy Milk Canada Garage 30s Digital VCCP
2 Twinings (Italy) Chile Tealand – YouTube Saatchi & Saatchi Italy adapted by Raya Chile
3 Heineken 0.0 Netherlands When you drive never drink (Riding is still driving) PUBLICIS ITALY/LePub



Brand Country Advert Agency
1 KFC France France KFC Héritage Havas Paris
2 Tennent’s Lager UK Tennent’s Lager – It’s a Wonderful Pint (60′) Studio Something
3 Bosch SpainLive sustainable #LikeABosch Jung von Matt / Pingüino Torreblanca

Print and Outdoor


Brand Country AdvertAgency
1 Starbucks Chilled Coffee UK Starbucks chilled coffee – OOHLandor & Fitch
2 The North Face UK It’s More than a Jacket – Summit SeriesThe North Face Creative Team
3 Occhio Germany LargoMartin et Karczinski

Download the report to view the full list of winning and shortlisted ads across all categories

Winning ads reveal the themes powering effective creative

To be effective, ads need to have clear marketing objectives with brilliant execution; they must be distinctive, brand intrinsically, be meaningfully different, trigger an emotional response and stay close to their consumers. But they also need to stay up to date in an industry that never rests. Getting these elements right in a multichannel environment is challenging, but the learning journey through a creative testing process is the key to a successful campaign. We want to help our clients be the best at getting better with their advertising – so let’s learn from the best.

The five creative themes that set apart the most effective ads:

  1. Emotion – Many of the award winners use powerful storytelling and music to engage consumers and be more memorable.
  2. Escapism – The ongoing challenges and crises of recent years have led to a search for other realities and a sense of escapism. We have seen ads digging into nostalgia and others flying into the future. 
  3. Humour – Ads are bringing light relief, helping people to forget their troubles and providing a distraction. 
  4. Simplicity – In a world of ever-evolving technology, some simply go down a refreshing and straightforward route of clear, easy, direct messaging. 
  5. Better world – Some of the winners continue a rising trend in advertising that is working towards a better world for all, featuring genuine and positive social and environmental responsibility messages. 

Commentating in the awards, Jane Ostler, EVP, Global Thought Leadership, Kantar, said: “We have just reached a major milestone of evaluating the effectiveness of over 250,000 ads with Link. And great ads have one thing in common: they leverage technology to understand how creative across all platforms can help brands be meaningful and different. Those who stand out focus on understanding what makes people tick and what helps the brand to be memorable. In a time when financial pressures mount in every corner of the world, it is not surprising that humour and emotive storytelling permeate all award-winning ads”. 

Download the report to see the full top ten award winners in each category: or catch the launch on demand here where we reveal the complete list of winning ads and share what makes them great.