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WARC reveals effective trends in media strategy

GLOBAL – WARC, the global authority on advertising and media effectiveness, has today released its 2018 Media Strategy Report, highlighting key trends in media strategy with lessons drawn from the winners of the global WARC Media Awards, recognising communications planning which has made a positive impact on business results.

Lucy Aitken, Case Study Editor, WARC, comments: “Media today is more diverse and interesting than ever, with an increasing spectrum of formats. The 2017 WARC Media Awards saw media channels encompass anything from the wrapper of a Wrigley’s chewing gum stick to nail designs in Fanta’s distinctive orange.

“We’ve analysed the data of the shortlisted and winning entries of the WARC Media Awards spanning 17 countries to establish insights and themes for effective media strategy. This report provides detailed and valuable lessons to the industry of advertising that works.”


WARC’s 2018 Media Strategy Report highlights the following key insights and marketing trends in media:

Integration spawns innovation: There is a huge scope for innovation within integrated campaigns where each channel not only plays to its strengths but reinforces the roles of other channels. Earned media saw many more models of integration in the 2017 Awards, with social media and online video being the most relied upon supporting media for integrated campaigns, and television remaining the most popular lead media. This backs up research by WARC and consultant Peter Field identifying social as an amplifier in the media mix.

Data: programmatic and personalisation: Programmatic has evolved from an efficiency buy into a more sophisticated method of delivering either personalised or highly relevant marketing. Fast becoming the new normal, programmatic is helping to steer more detailed targeting.

Partnerships: content and celebrity drive success: For effective partnerships and sponsorships, the onus is squarely on high-quality, hard-working content that meets the objectives of both parties involved. Celebrity remains the preferred creative strategy among partnerships and sponsorships, with high-profile celebrity partnerships ensuring that brands stand out.

Tech: building emotional equity: Fewer campaigns than in the 2016 Awards could be accused of using tech for tech’s sake, with more thought going into what could be achieved. This helped to establish an effective use of tech as a tool to help brands achieve both commercial and purposeful objectives.

The 2018 Media Strategy Report in full is now available to WARC subscribers on The report includes chapter analysis for each of the four entries categories and summaries of all the winning case studies from the 2017 WARC Media Awards, including the Grand Prix winners Prospan for Best Use of Data, Deutsche Telekom for Best Use of Tech, Channel 4 for Effective Channel Integration, and M&M’s for Effective Partnerships & Sponsorships.

Now in their second year, the WARC Media Awards examine the insight, strategy and analytics that power effective media investment. The Awards are free to enter and there is a $40,000 prize fund for winning entries. Case studies are welcomed from any territory or discipline. 50 judges on four juries spread across continents and disciplines make it a truly global competition with a level playing field.

The WARC Media Awards 2018 will launch in early May and close in late September.

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