Australia's advertising effectiveness study launched by the Communications Council

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 19 September 2019

The Communications Council has launched a study into advertising effectiveness in Australia, for the first time using a new database of confidential data submitted with entries to the Effie Awards. 

The report Australian Advertising Effectiveness Rules, co-authored by advertising effectiveness luminaries Rob Brittain and Peter Field, was unveiled at special Effies Work Behind The Work events in Melbourne and Sydney. 

The report marks the first time outside the UK that a report on advertising effectiveness has validated the conclusions of Field's research work with fellow effectiveness guru Les Binet.

The data covers 143 campaigns entered in the 2018 and 2019 Effie Awards.

The key findings:

  • Broad targeting remains the most effective approach in delivering larger impacts on brand profit growth;
  • Longer duration campaigns are more effective in driving business measures;
  • The impact of longer duration campaigns builds cumulatively over time, therefore longer campaign evaluation periods reveal stronger campaign effects;
  • And emotional campaigns are more effective at impacting long-term market share growth.

“This is the first of a series of paper developed with Peter using the new Australian Effies Database, deriving learnings from some of the most effective Australian marketing campaigns," Brittain says.

He says that with Australia in a low economic growth climate, marketing budgets are at greater risk of being cut to meet bottom line targets.

“This environment creates more pressure for marketers to prove the effectiveness of their investment and can lead to a shift in focus towards efficiency," Brittain says.

"However the answer lies in understanding effectiveness, and through this understanding, marketing investment works at its hardest, delivering the future revenue growth that businesses need."

Peter Field says the new report is “an important addition to the evidence base about how advertising works”.

“If I had to single out just one area of this research it would be the ground-breaking findings on how campaign effects evolve over time, and how this differs for short and long-term campaigns. We’ve never been able to look so precisely at this before,” Field says.

“Looking forward, as an industry, we need empirical evidence of what genuinely works, more than ever. We need to be able to challenge each plausible-sounding new theory of effectiveness that comes along, and to see if they hold water before we rush in with our dollars.”

The Communications Council CEO Tony Hale says the Effie database will become over time the most valued resource in Australia when examining what is really driving marketing and advertising effectiveness.

“It is with great pride that we can now publish our very first edition of Australian Advertising Effectiveness Rules," he says. 

In addition to research findings and recommendations, the report also includes two case histories drawn from the recent winners of the 2019 Australian Effie Awards, announced on 5 September.

Grand Effie 2019 winner Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) provides a case study into how taking the long-term approach led to Great Northern becoming Australia’s most popular beer, while Gold Effie winner NRMA Insurance’s Help case study showcases the power of emotional brand building.

In addition to the unveiling of the Australian Advertising Effectiveness Rules report, attendees at the “Effies Work Behind The Work” events in Melbourne and Sydney were treated to insightful ‘behind-the-scenes’ presentations of 2019 Effie award-winning campaigns from Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and CUB, AJF GrowthOps and Officeworks, The Monkeys and NRMA and 2019 Effective Agency of the Year BMF and ALDI.

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