Reports on media strategy performed well in Warc’s annual ranking of its most-read articles, with analyses of the Warc 100 and Cannes Lions, best practice for marketing to millennials and an in-depth piece on Snapchat also in the top five.

The top article of 2016 - defined as a Warc paper that is not a case study, trends piece or academic research - was the Connection Strategy Casebook, an analysis of the entrants for the 2016 Warc Prize for Connection Strategy, a competition that aims to award excellence in media planning.

According to the report, which analysed the metadata of the winning case studies, the line between creative development and media development is becoming increasingly blurred – the creative idea would often not work without the media thinking.

The Connection Strategy Casebook also showed that partnerships and collaboration was the lead creative strategy as brands looked to cut through the crowd via alternatives to paid media.

The second-placed article of 2016 was Warc 100: Lessons from the world's best marketing campaigns. This meta-analysis took a similar approach to the Connection Strategy Casebook, though this time the case study set under the microscope were those campaigns ranked in the Warc 100 - our annual list of the world’s best campaigns, judged on performance across effectiveness and strategy competitions around the world.

In third was a Warc Best Practice paper, authored by Millward Brown’s Ola Mobolade. How to market effectively to Millennials suggested that, for youth-oriented marketing, brands should try to communicate a more meaningful underlying purpose to their business, be authentic and leverage digital content and social media effectively.

Meanwhile, a Guide to Advertising on Snapchat provided information on how brands can use Snapchat to engage young audiences, along with case studies of successful campaigns, and was the fourth most-read article of 2016.

Rounding out the top five was Cannes Lions Creative Effectiveness: Insights from the 2016 awards, a Warc report that looked into shared characteristics of the campaigns entered into the 2016 Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions, including campaign budgets, media channel usage, campaign duration, creative approaches, metrics and regional variation.

Data sourced from Warc