Research discussing the payback delivered by award-winning advertising campaigns provided the most popular Warc news story of this year.

Leo Burnett found there was an 86% correlation between big ideas that won Cannes Lions, or other similar honours, and improvements in key brand metrics.

This compared with a figure of 78% in 1997, the first year the company conducted this type of analysis.

Elsewhere, the adoption of eye-catching marketing strategies by major players generated significant interest.

PepsiCo's decision to move away from its long-standing "big brand" philosophy was the second most widely-read item, while Coca-Cola's evolving social media strategy finished fourth.

More generally, viral marketing stories proved consistently attractive to readers.

A McKinsey report showing that communications programmes aiming to drive word-of-mouth are more successful than other, more traditional, equivalents claimed third.

Rounding out the top five was a study from DDB that revealed 90% of Facebook users following a company or product would recommend it to their friends.

Data sourced from Warc