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What we can learn from the WARC 100

News, 26 April 2017
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LONDON: TV-led campaigns remain highly effective, intelligent use of data can deliver relevance and the inclusion of participatory elements aids recall and loyalty, according to a new WARC report.

In WARC 100: Lessons from the world's best marketing campaigns, the 2017 rankings are compared with both the previous year and with all other case studies published on WARC in the same year, to see if there are any significant differences between the highly awarded WARC 100 campaigns and a more 'typical' example of an effective marketing campaign.

While digital channels feature prominently – over the past three years social media has been the most-used lead channel – when they are compared to the proportion of campaigns leading with TV, the dominance of social media as a lead channel is decreasing.

Alongside a fall in the proportion leading with social has been a steady increase in those leading with TV: more campaigns now lead with TV than in any previous year, the analysis finds – including the two top campaigns (Share the Load from detergent brand Ariel and retailer John Lewis's Christmas advertising).

This may reflect the changing nature of social – for example, the clampdown on organic reach – the report conjectures, but it may equally reflect much recent research suggesting that marketers should use TV to ensure maximum reach.

The next two trends suggest that marketers are taking increasing notice of neuroscience.

One is the appearance of data-driven campaigns, such as those from Narellan Pools and The Economist, in the upper reaches of the WARC 100, using programmatic ad trading to deliver personalised digital messages at relevant moments.

From a neuroscience angle, the report notes, the brain forms memories and brand associations more strongly when messages are perceived to be personally relevant, so programmatic at its best can give marketers the opportunity to build valuable relationships at scale.

Similar thinking may inform the growing use of participation as a creative approach: campaigns with an event element, for example, can help drive a wide range of brand associations, with a strong emotional layer.

If a brand can reinforce and grow these associations, the benefits for brand recall and loyalty are positive.

Finally, the report observes the growing use of profit as an effectiveness measure, both when compared to last year's WARC 100 and when compared to the 'average' case study on WARC.com

Data sourced from WARC

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