GLOBAL: The most effective campaigns put some serious thought into what technology can help them achieve, such as building emotional equity, rather than simply using tech for tech’s sake, according to a WARC study.

The 2018 Media Strategy Report, an analysis of the shortlisted entries to the 2017 WARC Media Awards, shows how the winning campaigns eschewed gimmickry and deployed tech to address both societal and commercial challenges in a way that suggests a new maturity in its use.

Building brand equity was easily the most popular objective in the Effective Use of Tech category, followed by brand awareness and sales growth.

Category Grand Prix-winner Deutsche Telekom, for example, was looking to reinforce its ‘life is for sharing’ positioning in a sector where differentiation is a perennial challenge.

“Memories and the people we share them with are what really matters in life,” noted Sonja Wessel, Senior Manager, International Marketing Communications at Deutsche Telekom. “However, dementia is destroying that belief.”

The brand observed a synergy between dementia and gaming because challenges with navigation are one of the first symptoms of dementia and also a popular gaming mechanic – and that led it to develop a free mobile video game, Sea Hero Quest, based on the story of an ageing explorer who slowly loses his memories of past sea voyages to dementia.

Sea Hero Quest achieved almost four million downloads against a target of 100,000, and delivered a new stream of real-time data to feed into dementia research. The story was also picked up by some 2,700 media outlets globally, with a global media value estimated at more than €30m.

Male grooming brand Lynx also generated positive sentiment with a campaign that significantly raised awareness of male suicide, especially in its younger target audience.

This saw it work with suicide charity CALM to use digital OOH to highlight that what people were talking about most on social at any given time – Christmas ads, frothy coffee etc – was seen as more important than suicide; for two weeks, headlines were changed every two hours, 24 hours a day.

Sourced from WARC