Get a demo Do I subscribe? News sign-up

Media planning

Media planning is the development of media objectives, strategies and plans on behalf of a brand. It aims to ensure the intended message is received by the target audience. It determines the best combination of media to achieve this with the available budget, considering the reach and strengths of the various media. It also guides the effective and efficient use of each medium by outlining, for example, the frequency, continuity, format and placement of ads.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This article describes nine challenges that media planners must address when planning communications campaigns. These include the need to solve business problems rather than communications briefs, creating useful strategy tools and integrating big data into the planning process.
Why the future of comms planning lies in creating value for people rather than preying on their time.
How using a combination of ad lengths, when done well, can work best of all for TV campaigns.
Five lessons from anthropology that could help media planners find the most effective context.
This report explores how advertisers can maximise frequency for online ads whilst minimising annoyance.

Case Study

This case study shows how Newsworks, the marketing body for national newspapers, demonstrated that when people view advertised brands within a familiar or loved media context, they form a positive impression of the advertised brand, and the effect is stronger when the relationship is deep.

Case Study

This article describes how the Guardian, the UK newspaper group, developed a cross-media planning tool to encourage advertisers to use a broader range of its platforms.

Case Study

This case study describes how AXE body spray used mobile behavioural data and multi-screen behaviour as a guide to capture its Taiwanese core target audience accurately, and serve them with relevant tailored messages to trigger their interest in the brand.
View all case studies on this topic


This article reveals how Argos, the UK retailer, emphasised its competitive advantage of same day delivery on over 20,000 products through a series of 80 targeted ads across TV, digital, social and in-store.


This article provides an overview of how marketers can co-ordinate multiple media channels to amplify the impact of each and increase effectiveness.


This article explores key differences between Chinese consumers and Western markets, including high ad positivity, more interest in personalisation and frustration with poor programmatic targeting.


This article explains how using cinema in the media mix can help build brands and deliver impact and cost efficiency in today's cross-media landscape.


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


This article explains how beauty brands can overcome biases about their category and use bold online strategies that resonate with consumers.
View all articles on this topic
  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 exclusive report analyses the most effective social media campaigns, including an in-depth review of how social strategy drives effectiveness and practical suggestions for other brands to follow.

  4. 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.

  5. Article

    This report explores excellence in connection strategy, channel analysis and measurement, by studying the entries to the 2015 Warc Prize for Connection Strategy.

  6. Article

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

View everything on this topic

Want to find out more? Contact us