Coca-Cola and Unilever top Effie 2020 global marketing rankings

Global rankings for marketing effectiveness sees iconic soft drink brand in the top spot once again and global giant Unilever leading for the fourth consecutive year.

Coca-Cola is the most effective brand globally, while Unilever is the most effective marketer, according to the Effie 2020 global index rankings, which have just been announced. 

Coca-Cola has ranked in the top five every year since the Index launched in 2011, taking the top spot six times. Coca-Cola China’s ‘Faces of the City’ campaign was a standout, winning gold, silver and bronze recognitions for its effective use of augmented reality (AR) and packaging.

McDonald's came in second place for the second year in a row, with work such as ‘Anticipating Hungry Moments’ for McDonald’s Hong Kong. The campaign was the first to use Google’s real-time triggers in Hong Kong, aimed at targeting late-night World Cup viewers. KFC and Vodafone swapped third and fourth places, thanks to KFC’s success in APAC, MENA and Europe, but otherwise the top five most effective brands are exactly the same as last year.

Breaking down the brand list, food and drink brands feature heavily in the top 10, with McDonalds, KFC, Burger King and Sprite in this group. Telecom brands, Vodafone and Claro, also make the top 10 as well as Swedish homewares giant, Ikea and Chevrolet and Mastercard.

Australian brands have made it into the list, with NRMA Insurance ranked 34, Heart Foundation of Australia at 43, and Tourism Australia and Officeworks both coming in at number 74.

“As the industry experiences change and disruption, the marketers featured in the rankings of the Effie Index demonstrate continued success and an unwavering dedication to marketing effectiveness,” said Effie Worldwide president and CEO, Traci Alford.

In the list of effective marketers, Unilever leads the category for the fourth year in a row, with work for brands including Axe, Dove, Knorr, Lifebuoy, Lux, Omo, Rexona and Surf Excel. The global packaged-goods company has held the top spot seven times over the past 10 years. The top 10 list includes Coca-Cola, Nestle, PepsiCo, McDonalds, Procter & Gamble, Vodafone and Ikea. Australian marketer on the list included the National Heart Foundation, which was ranked 70.

Alford stressed the importance of marketing effectiveness in times of economic uncertainty. “The Index showcases great examples of companies that have consistently excelled and driven brand growth around the world,” she said. 

The Effie Index identifies and ranks the marketing communications industry's most effective agencies, marketers and brands by analysing finalist and winner data from more than 50 worldwide Effie Award competitions. Originally launched in June 2011, it provides an insight globally, regionally, in specific countries and in different product categories into campaigns that resonate across the globe.

Meanwhile, the Global Best of the Best Effie Awards competition has been postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted the industry. At the time it was announced, Effie Worldwide CEO and global president, Traci Alford, said it is accelerating online learning initiatives and “working with our Effie Awards partners around the world to adapt our 2020 programming to continue to be a resource for marketeers during these challenging times”.

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