Behavioural science is becoming mainstream, with brands increasingly looking to this field for a better understanding of consumer behaviour and marketers keen to see how it can inform the creative process.

The most-read article on Warc on this subject in 2016, Behavioural science gets creative, observed that marketers shouldn't expect it to "magically produce" creative ideas; behavioural science's greatest contribution is its "ability to deliver surprises during periods of preparation and incubation that keep the process moving along until illumination", it said.

A Warc Best Practice paper was in second place. What we know about behavioural economics explored key themes, including how small 'nudges' can produce big gains, how brands need to provoke an immediate reaction to stand out and why emotive campaigns are more memorable.

In third place, Behavioural change in healthcare advertising looked at how advertisers can use the discipline to remove the emotional barriers that affect decision-making and encourage behaviour change that will promote better health.

The effects on another sector were examined in the fourth most-read article, Behaviourally informed retail. In this, pricing strategy emerged as key, since people don't view monetary outcomes in the absolute, but see prices as relative, while the 'principle of the silver lining' suggests that discounts should always be packaged separately - which can make people more willing to pay a high 'base' price.

Finally, in Warc Webinar, Getting the best out of Behavioural Economics, Rory Sutherland and Nick Southgate discussed how best practice is emerging in the application of Behavioural Economics in the world of marketing and communication and what this means for creativity.

Data sourced from Warc