Coca-Cola Japan has been named the winner of the inaugural Warc Prize for Asian Strategy. The winner of the $5,000 cash prize is ‘Crush Eco: A Simple Choice Can Change the World’, entered by David Elsworth, vice president, creative excellence Japan, Coca-Cola. The entry told the story of I Lohas, a Japanese bottled water brand launched in 2009, which this month is due to become the latest billion-dollar brand owned by Coca-Cola. The brand was built around crushable packaging, giving consumers the chance to do something simple to aid the environment. In a category dominated by foreign imports, I Lohas found a positioning that made its Japanese origins a strength rather than a weakness.
The entries were scored by a judging panel of senior clients and strategy experts, led by Prize Chairman Miles Young, Worldwide CEO of Ogilvy & Mather. A shortlist of 25 entries was unveiled in May.
“The Coca-Cola ‘Crush Eco’ entry stood out for the bigness of its thinking,” said Young. “Here we saw strategy deployed at the highest level, literally as a game changer, turning conventional thinking upside down.”
Commenting on the win, Elsworth said, “Winning the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy for I Lohas is particularly gratifying, as it is a brand which leaves a legacy beyond its category. It has built a massive market share through strong strategy [and] breakthrough creativity, but is also making a positive contribution to sustainability and environmental action.”
Elsworth added that he would donate the $5,000 Prize to a disaster relief charity following the earthquake that struck Japan in March.
Of the 140 cases, nine additional entries have been named as ‘Highly Commended’ by the organisers. They include Cafe Viet: Are You Man Enough? (Nestlé Vietnam / Lowe Vietnam), Gillette Mach3: WALS – Women Against Lazy Stubble (Procter & Gamble India / MediaCom India), Dove: Winning in China (Unilever China / Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai), Banking on ‘New Standards’ to drive business for Citibank (Citibank / Publicis Hong Kong), How culture codes helped Cadbury Dairy Milk create a new chocolate occasion in India (Cadbury India / Ogilvy & Mather), How ringing the bell can reduce violence against women (Breakthrough Foundation / Ogilvy & Mather), The Anlene Movement (Fonterra / BBDO), Stride Japan Launch (Nihon Kraft / McCann Erickson) and Axe: Call Me (Unilever / BBH).