Each year, the World Advertising Research Center (WARC) publishes their WARC 100 rankings, recognising the world’s most awarded campaigns and companies across media, creativity, and effectiveness. 2023 was a stellar year for Havas Media Group in the rankings*. Particularly of note was Havas Play’s performance, with four recognitions across Media and Effectiveness.
We sat down with Stéphane Guerry, President and CEO of Havas Play France, to learn about the Havas Play campaigns that were honoured by the WARC, and how these results validate Havas’ recent global launch of Havas Play.
Can you tell us more about the Havas Play campaigns that were recognised by the WARC this year?
We were thrilled to have four campaigns included in the WARC 100 this year:
NAverse for Narcotics Anonymous aimed to address the fact that 9 out of 10 addicts do not attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings out of fear or embarrassment of being recognised at meetings or seen as an addict. With the metaverse dominating the public psyche, we saw an opportunity to create a virtual space where meetings could be held free of stigma, and to increase awareness of Narcotics Anonymous in France.
Coded Tweets for Alpine harnessed the power of social media to create viral buzz around the renewal of superstar racing driver Fernando Alonso’s contract with Alpine. Fans collaborated to solve the mystery of the driver’s cryptic tweets and decoded his announcement.
Game Billboard for CANAL+ launched the second season of the popular CANAL+ rap drama, “Validé”, with a billboard in one of the cities that resonated most with the show’s followers – Grand Theft Auto’s Los Santos. The virtual billboard created hype for the new season in one of San Andreas’ busiest streets, and broke new ground as the first ever in-game billboard for a series.
Undercover Avatar for L’Enfant Bleu helped children who were victims of abuse by using the power of the video game Fortnite. An undercover avatar was created and placed in the popular video game, allowing the game’s young users to confide potential instances of domestic violence without arousing suspicion.
Campaigns from Havas Play were recognised across both the WARC’s Media and Effectiveness rankings. What do you think this says about Havas Play’s work?
These campaigns are united by the fact that they’re rooted in consumer passions – from video games, to sports, to entertainment. The belief that activating these passions drives more meaningful engagements is central to Havas Play, and ultimately creates an enduring impact for brands. Our inclusion in both the Media and Effectiveness rankings is a testament to this philosophy – not only did these campaigns represent cutting edge media activations, they also effectively communicated brands’ messages by playing to consumers’ passions and generated a change of behaviour.
Earlier in March, Havas Play was launched as a global network within Havas. What can we expect from Havas Play in the future?
Havas has truly unique capabilities across sports, gaming, music, and fandom through our integration into Vivendi. With our new global scale and capabilities, we have a greater ability to leverage Vivendi’s resources and collaborate with the cultural influences that command consumers’ attention and passion. I’m excited to see these meaningful experiences take shape in France and around the world.
* eight campaigns from the network were included in the media and effectiveness rankings, and seven agencies – Havas Dubai, Havas Play France, Havas Tel Aviv, Havas Media USA, Havas Business UK, Arena Media Portugal and Spain – made the list of top 2023 rankings