The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s Effectiveness Awards demand some of the most detailed analysis of payback from marketing spend. WARC’s analysis of the 2018 Awards highlights four key themes that paint a picture of strategy today.

WARC has today released its analysis of the IPA Effectiveness Awards, which “analyses the metadata of the winning entries to establish themes and trends to improve the understanding around what typifies effective advertising,” says Lucy Aitken, Managing Editor, WARC. “A more sophisticated understanding of emotion-led ad campaigns, the flexibility of TV, distinctive assets to achieve cut through and the power of influence were four clear themes to emerge from the 2018 IPA Effectiveness winners.”

The 2018 global IPA Effectiveness Awards attracted 70 entries, of which nine Golds, 19 Silvers and 11 Bronzes, along with 10 special prizes, were awarded to companies from six countries. Read a sample of the report here. Subscribers can read the full report here.

The four key insights from WARC’s analysis are:

Understanding how emotion works

Emotion is a key creative driver among the awarded 2018 IPA Effectiveness papers as  advertisers develop their understanding of how emotional marketing works. 55% of winning campaigns, including the Grand-Prix winner Audi UK, cited emotion as their main creative strategy.

This said, emotion is also a complex tool which requires an understanding of the underlying motivations in order to get the best out of the strategy. Phil Barden, Managing Director of DECODE Marketing and author of Decoded. The Science Behind Why We Buy, argues in the report that “to impact consumer behaviour we need to get both the emotional impact as well as motivation drivers right.”

A TV-led model continues to dominate

TV is still a core media choice among the winning entries, with 71% of papers using it as a lead medium.

Brands such as the UK Automobile Association (AA) relied on TV to help turn around their businesses, while others, including Guinness and Audi, depended on it to build fame. “TV is evidently not dead,” writes Tom Sussman, Planning Partner, adam&eve DDB. “The internet has not terminally unplugged our television sets.”

Succeeding in a low-attention economy

Instant recognition of distinctive brand assets is becoming more and more important to drive brand growth in a low-attention economy. Many of the winning campaigns, such as Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot Christmas campaign in the UK achieved instant-recognition distinctiveness which, according to Tom Ewing, Head of Communications, System1 Group “is a major driver of brand growth”. System1 calls these assets ‘Fluent Devices’, and there were many examples of them among the winning papers.

The growing power of influence

Social has become extremely common in effective campaigns, with 71% of winners including social in their media mix – but some of the most striking examples leverage the medium’s plurality, its ability to give brands a shared meaning. In the case of L’Oréal Paris True Match’s 23 Shades, 23 Stories UK campaign, the brand used social media, bolstered by a sensitive choice of influencers to communicate an inclusive message.

“These effective influencer campaigns are not just using influencers as an audience rental opportunity that’s been bolted onto a campaign with a little bit of leftover budget to tick the influencer marketing box”, said Neil Waller, Co-Founder, Whalar.

Sourced from WARC