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Digital media

Digital media covers general usage of online channels for marketing, including online display, search, online video, microsites and social media (separate in-depth pages are available on WARC for some of these). Emerging formats include virtual and augmented reality, and in-game advertising. While the rise of digital media has led to new real-time, targeted opportunities, there are concerns that they have led to a focus on short-term ‘activation’ at the expense of long-term brand-building.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

Les Binet and Peter Field at how the use of digital channels of various kinds should be assessed. This paper builds on their previous IPA report, which found that emotional priming builds more profitable long-term effects and rational messaging is best for generating short-term sales.
This paper provides a best practice guide to boosting the return on investment of digital marketing.
What is digital media planning and how can marketers develop a successful digital campaign?
Stephen Rappaport's lessons learned from 197 digital metrics, 150 studies and 12 essays.
The developments in virtual and augmented reality that are offering new opportunities for emotional engagement.

Case Study

This case study explains how UNICEF, the international non-governmental organisation dedicated to helping children, grew awareness of gender selection in developing countries with emotional ads and increased donations in Switzerland.

Case Study

This case study shows how Bou Khalil, a supermarket chain, successfully increased brand awareness by creating a platform that allowed Lebanese people to help child beggars.

Case Study

This case study explains how The Sun, the British newspaper, successfully introduced charges for a previously free fantasy football platform by using influencers and social media ads.

Case Study

This case study explains how Philips, the electronics giant, promoted its SimplyGo oxygen device in the US by working with respiratory illness sufferers to create an inspiring short film which was distributed primarily through paid social media.

Case Study

This case study shows how ANZ, a financial services brand, successfully engaged Australian female audiences by launching a phased campaign regarding equal pay.

Case Study

This case study shows how Microsoft, a tech company, helped US girls realise their potential in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers by presenting them with inspirational role models.
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This event report looks at the evolution of the BBC’s digital engagement with children via its apps.


This article outlines how Procter & Gamble Japan is urging agency partners to take leadership on media transparency several months after Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard revealed the company’s new measurement standards.


This article details how audience measurement methodologies are adapting to the growth of digital access in a range of media, including TV, radio, print and out of home.

Research Paper

This report details the findings of a study into the costs and economics of the programmatic advertising ecosystem, and offers practical solutions to help advertisers take greater control of their programmatic investments.


This article provides marketers with information and guidance about combining TV and digital media strategies.


This article explores how moment marketing can be used to effectively maximise consumers' engagement and purchase through reaching the right audience with relevant content at the right time.


This infographic is based on research from GlobalWebIndex, created with data from a survey of more than 19,000 tablet users - here defined as those who say they have accessed the internet on a tablet in the past month.
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  1. Article

    This report looks at the trends and technologies that are set to become more important and relevant to marketers in 2017 including live video, VR and AR, web TV and chatbots.

  2. Article

    This article, taken from the Warc Toolkit 2017 report, discusses how to achieve marketing effectiveness in the digital age by striking the right balance between close targeting and mass reach, and between short- and long-term strategies.

  3. Article

    This article, taken from the Warc Toolkit 2017 report, explores how developments in virtual and augmented reality are offering new and increasingly viable ways for brands to emotionally engage with consumers.

  4. Article

    This article summarises Warc's Toolkit 2017, a guide to six key challenges for brands in the coming year.

  5. Article

    This report discusses Marketing in the Digital Age, a new work looking into the causes of marketing effectiveness from Les Binet and Peter Field.

  6. Article

    This article, taken from the Warc Toolkit 2016 report, looks at growing interest by marketers in identifying and targeting 'moments'.

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