Strategy and insight remain at the heart of effective media investment, despite the continuing rise of digital platforms, according to a new study from WARC.

The 2019 Media Strategy Report, an analysis of the shortlisted entries to the 2018 WARC Media Awards, shows how campaigns that demonstrated an impact on business outcomes through communications planning, are reimagining media orthodoxy.

2019 Media Strategy Report

Download a sample here.

“Against a backdrop of greater automation in the media landscape, the rise in search budgets and the inexorable rise of Amazon as an ad platform, the 2018 WARC Media Awards winners were an impressive combination of data-driven insight, precision targeting and well thought-out strategy”, commented Lucy Aitken, Managing Editor, Case Studies at WARC.


  1. Imaginative phasing can reach elusive audiences
    Effective Channel Integration winners in the 2018 WARC Media Awards, such as Tourism Australia’s Dundee, by Droga5, show how to reach elusive audiences through imaginative phasing and leveraging the right combination of paid, owned and earned media. The campaign was able to use a massive media moment to surface a breakthrough creative concept combined with a full-funnel approach to deliver an 83% increase in intent to book. 
  2. TV is a flexible tool for successful partnerships
    In the Effective Use of Partnerships and Sponsorships category, TV proved an agile channel. For instance, Grand Prix winner, Suzuki’s An Ignis Adventure, by the7stars London created its own TV show for the UK’s Channel 4 when it couldn’t find the right programme around which to advertise, driving sales in a declining market.

  3. Tech can create new channel opportunities
    Tech is maturing in a way that allows brands to communicate their unique propositions, with context playing a key role. Effective Use of Tech Grand-Prix-winner, National Safety Council’s Prescribed to Death, by Energy BBDO, used CNC carving and 3D modelling to put the faces of real victims of opioid overdoses onto pills, which then formed a memorial as part of a compelling art installation.

  4. Data is key to encouraging behaviour change
    Many of the award winners in the Effective Use of Data category demonstrated the use of data in fostering behaviour change. In the Grand-Prix-winning Lifebuoy: The Adaptive Data Lighthouse by Mindshare Mumbai, was able to target the people most at risk of infections preventable by good hand hygiene to increase sales in rural India.

Sourced from WARC