Ranked #1: Campaign: Contract for Change for Michelob Ultra by FCB Chicago & FCB New York | Creative Agency: FCB New York | Media Agency: Wavemaker Mumbai | Digital/Specialist Agency: Semetis Brussels | Network: Ogilvy | Holding Company: WPP | Brand: McDonald’s | Advertiser: AB InBev | Country: USA

Top campaigns use celebrity fame to reach target audiences and deliver brand growth

21 March 2023WARC Effective 100, the ultimate independent global benchmark celebrating excellence in advertising effectiveness, is now released featuring the most awarded campaigns and companies in the world. 


Compiled by WARC, the international marketing insights company, the annual Effective 100Ranking is produced by combining the results of the industry’s most important global and regional effectiveness award shows of 2022. The awards tracked are determined by a global industry panel survey and consultation with the WARC Rankings Advisory Board.

Commenting on the themes of the most effective campaigns in the world, Amy Rodgers, Head of WARC Creative, said: “In our final Ranking, the Effective 100, we see that three of the top five campaigns involved celebrity endorsements to reach target audiences and deliver brand growth. Cadbury used Indian actor and film producer Shah Rukh Khan to promote and endorse small local stores. McDonald’s asked multiple celebrities, including Travis Scott and BTS, to share their favourite McDonald’s order and released these orders as meals. Meanwhile, Jif partnered with Ludacris to help improve their brand perception.

“The collection of work that is the Effective 100 will provide inspiration to help the industry embed a culture of effectiveness going forward.” 

#1 Campaign for effectiveness: Contract for Change for Michelob Ultra by FCB Chicago and FCB New York

The most awarded campaign for effectiveness is ‘Contract for Change’ by FCB Chicago and FCB New York, for which Michelob made the US agricultural sector more sustainable by creating a programme that incentivised farmers to become organic growers. 

Andrés Ordóñez, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Chicago, said: “Creativity has the power to grow businesses and also to fuel change. We are beyond proud that Michelob ULTRA’s ‘Contract for Change’ was named the top campaign for effectiveness by WARC. This work has the power to reverse the damage done to our farmland and ecosystems and to create a healthier diet for millions of Americans.”

In second place is ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad 2.0’ by Ogilvy Mumbai and Wavemaker Mumbai. Cadbury increased sales of its Celebrations product to pre-pandemic levels during Diwali with this geo-targeted campaign that made Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan the ambassador for small, local stores. In third, is ‘Famous Orders’ by Wieden+Kennedy New York for McDonald’s. The fast food brand released various celebrities’ orders as meals to engage with multicultural youth after years of sales and market share decline amongst younger US audiences. 

#1 Creative Agency for effectiveness: FCB New York 

After entering the top 10 for the first time last year, FCB New York has risen from #7 to become the top creative agency. It had three campaigns in the top 100 including the #1 campaign, Contract for Change.  

Michael Aimette, Chief Creative Officer, FCB New York, said: “At FCB, we’re big believers in using creativity as an economic multiplier to drive our clients’ brands and business. We’re incredibly proud to be recognized for the effectiveness of our business-driving ideas and we’re beyond thrilled to be named WARC’s #1 Creative Agency.”

Ranked second is Alma Miami, the most improved agency, rising from 45th last year. In third place is Energy BBDO, Chicago, a new entry to the Effective 100 Ranking.  

# 1 Media Agency for effectiveness: Wavemaker Mumbai

Up from fifth position last year to claim top spot, Wavemaker Mumbai’s best performing campaign was ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad 2.0’, ranked second this year. Mindshare New York entered the top ten to claim second place, up from #17 last year. Zenith Bogotá is ranked third.

#1 Digital/Specialist Agency for effectiveness: Semetis, Brussels

The highest ranked agency is a new entry – Semetis Brussels. Its top ranking is down to its work on The Breakaway for Decathlon, which ranked third. 

Narrative Los Angeles, jumps up from 41st to claim second place. Taking joint third position are BlueMedia Shanghai, up from #40 last year and new entry WeberShandwick Singapore.  

#1 Network for effectiveness: Ogilvy

After nine years of placing in the top five networks for effectiveness, Ogilvy has risen one place to become the #1 network for the first time ever. The network has nine campaigns in the top 100 and seven agencies in the creative agencies ranking.

Devika Bulchandani, Global CEO of Ogilvy, said: “We believe in the unreasonable power of creativity to impact business and society. Ranking atop both WARC’s Creative 100 and Effective 100 lists is a spectacular testament to the impact we created with our clients around the world last year. I want to congratulate and thank all our brilliant teams and clients behind the award-winning campaigns that made this accomplishment possible.” 

DDB Worldwide moves up from fifth to take second place this year with a total of seven campaigns in the top 100 and three creative agencies and two digital/specialist agencies ranked in the top 50. Leo Burnett is in third, rising from 9th last year. The network has nine campaigns and three creative and one digital/specialist agencies in the top 50. 

#1 Holding Company for effectiveness: WPP

WPP has ranked in first place for the fifth consecutive year, with nine networks in the top 50, including Ogilvy in first place. The holding company has now claimed top position across all three WARC Rankings.

Mark Read, CEO, WPP, said: “We’re extremely proud to have topped the WARC Media 100, Creative 100, and now the WARC Effective 100 lists for 2023. Our strong agency representation across the three rankings showcases both the power of our ideas and the strength of our partnerships with clients. This recognition from WARC is a great endorsement of our amazing teams and their ability to deliver creative and innovative work that has a transformative impact around the world.”

Omnicom Group is in second place and Interpublic Group in third. 

#1 Brand for effectiveness: McDonald’s 

McDonald’s is the highest ranked brand for effectiveness for the fourth year in a row, accruing more than twice the points of second place. Three of its campaigns ranked in the top 100 and 35 more campaigns from 24 different countries contributed to its total points. 

Morgan Flatley, Executive Vice President, Global Chief Marketing Officer and New Business Ventures, McDonald’s, said: “I’m so proud of our marketing and agency teams all over the world that have brought a true sense of swagger back to McDonald’s. Being recognized as the #1 most effective brand by WARC for the fourth year in a row is a real testament to their sustained commitment to creative bravery that’s helped us build deeper connections with our fans. We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate our marketers who are sharing and scaling big, bold ideas that resonate across so many of our communities and markets – and importantly, move both culture and the business forward.”  

KFC moves up one place to be ranked second and Cadbury’ in third, moves up from #17 last year.

#1 Advertiser for effectiveness: Anheuser-Busch InBev

After topping the advertiser ranking for effectiveness for the first time last year, Anheuser-Busch InBev has retained its position. It had four campaigns ranked in the top 100, three of which are from Michelob Ultra. 37 other brands contributed to its total points including Corona, Cerveza Presidente and Pony Malta.

Marcel Marcondes, Chief Marketing Officer of AB InBev, said: “We are proud to be ranked number one for the second year in a row. Effective creative is an important part of our brand building process, as it is designed to solve consumer and business problems.”

Climbing up two places from last year, McDonald’s claims second place and Unilever comes in at third. 

#1 Country for effectiveness: USA

The top three countries have remained the same for the past three years, with the USA claiming first place, followed by China in second and India in third. The USA has 25 campaigns in the top 100, while China and India have four each.

The UK recovered slightly from last year, rising from 7th to 4th. It has three campaigns in the top 100, with its best performing campaign coming in 10th place. The most improved country is France, rising eight places to 9th.  

The world’s top ten most highly ranked campaigns and companies in the 2023 WARC Effectiveness are 100 are:


The WARC Effective 100 has been compiled by applying a rigorous, unbiased and transparent methodology. Available to view in full here, the ranking includes the world’s top 100 awarded campaigns for effectiveness, top 50 creative, media and digital/specialist agencies, agency networks, brands, advertisers, countries and top holding companies. The campaigns, case studies, credits and subsequent insights reports are available to WARC Creative subscribers.

The WARC Creative 100 and Media 100 were revealed recently.