Commenting on the findings in the report, Amy Rodgers, managing editor of research and rankings at WARC, says,  "Getting the right balance when allocating media budgets is critical to the success of a campaign."

"The findings in this year's report show an increase of ad spend for TV — which delivers reach — and digital, which supplements reach and aids activation," Rodgers adds. Using its database of effective advertising campaigns, WARC has analysed over 1 100 case studies between 2009 and 2018 that contain budget and media allocation information for the following:
  • TV
  • digital (including online and mobile)
  • OOH/experiential
  • print
  • radio
  • design
  • direct marketing
  • cinema
  • PR
The study looks at budget, sector and economic status. Some key findings included in the report include:
  • Successful brands now spend 82% of their budgets on television and digital channels combined.
  • The biggest determinant of media allocation is the size of the budget. Successful, prize-winning low-budget campaigns are highly digital-focussed. At high budget levels, TV takes up more than 60% of a prize-winning brand's advertising investment.
  • Media allocation varies by sector. Categories with low budgets, such as government and not-for-profit, are highly digital-led, whereas categories with high budgets, such as drinks, tend to spend more on TV.
  • Campaigns with higher TV allocations often use storytelling as a creative strategy. Prize-winning storytelling campaigns allocate 44% of their budgets to TV.
The full report, which includes charts, sector and country data, is available to WARC subscribers on the website.

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