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Dove wins commercially conscious IPA Effectiveness Award for proving beauty is more than skin deep

Winning Dove campaign provides vital lessons for campaigns wanting to deliver purpose and profit.


Dove’s campaign by Ogilvy & Mather London was awarded the inaugural prize for Best Commercial Effectiveness for Good (the President’s Prize), that recognises work that is both commercially successful and socially responsible, at the IPA Effectiveness Awards tonight (2nd November 2016).

The prestigious Special Prize was awarded to Dove’s agency Ogilvy & Mather for proving how their ‘Sketches’, ‘Patches’ and ‘Choose Beautiful’ campaigns resulted in up to a 6% uplift in women feeling beautiful and produced $39 million additional incremental profit to the brand.

IPA President Tom Knox created this award to honour commercial campaigns that demonstrate both great economic and societal value, specifically excluding charities, NGO’s and government campaigns.

Says Tom Knox, IPA President and Chairman, MullenLowe London: “In an uncertain world where we know that consumers are increasingly values-driven, but also cynical about the claims brands make, purposeful brands can and will win. What’s clear from this example and explains why the worthy winner of the first President’s Prize is a Unilever brand (Dove) is that in order to be effective, advertising has to be the peak of the triangle, the base of which – ie the solid foundations - is everything else which the brand actually does and is.”

Other key lessons that IPA President Tom Knox has highlighted from the winning Dove paper include:

  • For FMCG brands, its purpose must have a clear link to its functional attributes. Dove earned the right to have a purpose focused on female confidence and self-esteem through beauty by virtue of the products it markets.
  • Almost by definition, advertising campaigns that relate to a brand’s core purpose will be long-term, with a consistent message repeated over many years (even if the creative expression may vary).
  • Because purposeful brands have to deliver on their vision in the real world, the best campaigns are likely to involve experiential elements which can then be amplified online and in PR.
  • A strong purpose-based brand platform allows you to take advantage of tactical opportunities and to respond to events and the zeitgeist.
  • Purpose-based ‘masterbrand’ advertising can have a multiplier effect on traditional ‘product’ advertising’s effectiveness.

Says Jonathan Allan, Client Judge and Sales Director, Channel 4 “This is a very clear paper telling a great story not just about selling Dove products, but having true cultural resonance. With astounding earned media it accomplished its positive-impact objective.”

The IPA Effectiveness Awards are the world’s most rigorous industry competition that rewards campaigns that demonstrate their marketing payback. In total, 11 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze prizes, along with nine special prizes were awarded at a black tie gala ceremony in London last night (2nd November). 

The full 2016 IPA Effectiveness Awards winners list:

Special Prizes:

Grand Prix – sponsored by Thinkbox
John Lewis, The gift that keeps on giving: John Lewis Christmas advertising, 2012 – 2015 by adam&eveDDB and Manning Gottlieb OMD

Best Commercial Effectiveness for Good (President’s Prize) – sponsored by Outsmart
Dove, Beautifully Effective: How Dove turned cultural resonance into ROI by Ogilvy

Effectiveness Network of the Year

Effectiveness Company of the Year

Best Dedication to Effectiveness (The Simon Broadbent Prize) – sponsored by Radiocentre

Best Multi-Market – sponsored by Ipsos Connect
Snickers, Thinking like a Hollywood blockbuster by AMV BBDO

Best Small Budget – sponsored by MARSH
Narellan Pools, Diving into big data for Narellan Pools by AFFINITY

Best International (The Tim Broadbent Prize) – sponsored by Warc
Speeding (New Zealand Transport Authority), Mistakes by Clemenger BBDO Wellington

The Channon Prize for Best New Learning – sponsored by Newsworks
The Economist, Raising eyebrows and subscriptions by Proximity BBDO London and UM London

Gold winners:

  • Art Fund, The art of framing by 101 London
  • Direct Line, Direct Line: We Solve Problems by Direct Line Group
  • Guinness, An effectiveness story Made of More by AMV BBDO
  • John Lewis, The gift that keeps on giving: John Lewis Christmas advertising, 2012 – 2015 by adam&eveDDB and Manning Gottlieb OMD
  • Macmillan, Macmillan Cancer Support: Making sure no one faces cancer alone, today or tomorrow by VCCP
  • Narellan Pools, Diving into big data for Narellan Pools by AFFINITY
  • Save the Children, Making embarrassing knitwear into something to be proud of by adam&eveDDB
  • Snickers, Thinking like a Hollywood blockbuster by AMV BBDO
  • Speeding (New Zealand Transport Agency), Mistakes by Clemenger BBDO Wellington
  • Stoptober, Stoptober: a radical new way to get England to quit smoking by 23red and MEC London
  • The Economist, Raising eyebrows and subscriptions by Proximity BBDO London and UM London

Silver winners:

  • Dove, Beautifully Effective: How Dove turned cultural resonance into ROI by Ogilvy
  • John Lewis Insurance, The power of true brand extension marketing by adam&eveDDB and Manning Gottlieb OMD
  • Lidl, How Lidl found itself atop the grocer's Christmas tree by TBWA\London
  • L'Oreal Age Perfect, How L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect transformed its fortunes by showing older women they’re still ‘worth it’ by McCann London
  • Pepsi Max, Unbelievable by AMV BBDO
  • Plusnet, The pride of Yorkshire: how Plusnet's adverts transformed its fortunes, against ever-increasing odds by Karmarama and Maxus
  • Sainsbury's, Christmas is for Sharing by AMV BBDO
  • Sensodyne, Solving Problems, Not Selling Benefits by Grey London
  • Sixt, How Sixt challenged car hire culture, and changed its fortunes by Grey London
  • The Guardian & Observer, Time for transformation by BBH London
  • The Royal British Legion, Fortune favours the brave by RKCR/Y&R
  • Three, Sorry (not sorry) for all the holiday spam by Wieden+Kennedy London
  • Wall's, Getting the long tail wagging again: How Wall’s said ‘Goodbye’ to a serious business challenge by adam&eveDDB

Bronze winners:

  • Coors Light, Van Damme good results: how Jean Claude transformed the fortunes of Coors Light by VCCP and ZenithOptimedia
  • Costa, Creating a nation of coffee lovers by Karmarama
  • Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle: Engineering Success by OMD UK
  • first direct, Made for millennials by J. Walter Thompson
  • First4Adoption, Start your adoption story by Kindred
  • Kenco, Coffee Vs Gangs: How a strong brand purpose changed lives in Honduras and changed fortunes for Kenco by J. Walter Thompson
  • Mattessons, The Mattesson'aissance by Saatchi & Saatchi
  • McVitie's, McVitie's: Waking the sleeping giant by Grey London
  • Officeworks, How Officeworks realised its own big idea by AJF Partnership and Initiative
  • Santander, From “who?” to hero: how Santander became king of the switchers by The Engine Group
  • Spies Travels, Do it for Denmark and Do it for Mom by Robert/Boisen & Likeminded and Spies Travels
  • The Conservative Party, Winning the benefit of the doubt by M&C Saatchi
  • UK Government, The missing millions - giving expats their voice by Ogilvy
  • Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, From manufacturer to service partner: How Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles did more with less by adam&eveDDB
  • Volvo, “Or by”: how two little words made Volvo’s safety matter again by Grey London

The 2016 Awards are partnered with Thinkbox, Newsworks, OutSmart, Radiocentre, Warc, Ipsos Connect and sponsored by Marsh.

To view further details about the winning campaigns and additional effectiveness content including what the judges thought, visit or WARC. You can also join the conversation on Twitter using #IPAEff.

The IPA is also publishing Advertising Works 23, which shows how marketing communications have helped organisations as diverse as Guinness, The Economist and Save the Children translate big ideas into impressive business results.

The IPA also runs the Eff Test, a qualification designed to help planners identify and evaluate the planning and effectiveness measurement techniques that are central to understanding how agencies can create effective campaigns for their clients. 

Last updated 03/11/2016

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