Insights from Effectiveness

30 Jan,2019



By A Correspondent


WARC has released an insights report examining current effective marketing trends following an analysis of the winning campaigns from the 2018 IPA Effectiveness Awards, an international competition rewarding campaigns that demonstrate payback on marketing spend.

Said Lucy Aitken, Managing Editor, Case Studies, WARC: “WARC’s IPA insights report analyses the metadata of the winning entries to establish themes and trends to improve the understanding around what typifies effective advertising. 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.”

Added Neil Waller, Co-Founder, Whalar: “The 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.”

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.


The following are the main insights from the winning campaigns of the 2018 IPA Effectiveness Awards 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, cited emotion as their main creative strategy.

However, in the report, Phil Barden, Managing Director of DECODE Marketing and author of ‘Decoded. The Science Behind Why We Buy’ points out the complexities of using emotion and highlights the importance of a motivational message to trigger an emotional response to prompt purchase. He comments: “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

The 2018 Awards confirmed the appeal of TV advertising, with 71% of winning papers using it as a lead medium. Brands such as The Automobile Association (UK) 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

Many winning campaigns used distinctive assets to help gain attention. Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot Christmas campaign (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 among the winning papers. Having assets that are distinctive in this way represents an opportunity for brands to short-circuit capturing people’s attention.

:: The growing power of influence

Nearly all campaigns that were entered into the Awards had a social component, with 71% of winners using social in their media mix. Some of the most striking uses of social, however, leveraged its ability to attach shared meaning to brands. For instance, L’Oréal Paris True Match’s 23 Shades, 23 Stories campaign used social media and influencer marketing to story-tell and communicate its inclusive message.


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