The key lessons on advertising effectiveness from studying the Effies

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 20 September 2019

Why do some ads work better than others? Are there common themes?

The Communications Council studied 143 campaigns entered in the 2018 and 2019 Effie Awards to understand the patterns
and trends in advertising effectiveness in Australia.

The result is the Australian Advertising Effectiveness Rules report, co-authored by advertising effectiveness luminaries Rob Brittain and Peter Field. 

The Effie’s Australia databank, containing confidential data submitted alongside entries to the awards, captures a range of campaign inputs such as business context, objectives, strategy and media choices, and campaign outcomes, including business effectiveness measures and brand measures.

"Australia is in a low growth climate where marketing budgets are at greater risk of being cut to meet bottom line targets," says  the report.

"This can create a downward spiral for brands as reduced marketing investment comes at the expense of delivering future revenue growth and lower revenue growth leads to less investment and the cycle continues.

"This environment creates more pressure for marketers to prove the effectiveness of their investment and can lead to a shift in focus towards efficiency; however, the answer lies in understanding effectiveness.

"It is through this understanding marketing investment works at its hardest, delivering the future revenue growth that businesses need."

The results of the study:

  1. Broad targeting remains the more effective approach due to its ability to acquire new customers and, in doing so, delivering a larger impact on brand profit growth.
  2. Think longer term. Longer duration campaigns are more effective than short-term ones, particularly in driving business measures. A series of very short campaigns (8 weeks or less) are unlikely to be as effective as a single, longer campaign.
  3. Don’t jump the gun when evaluating longer campaigns. The impact builds cumulatively over time. A longer campaign evaluation period reveals stronger campaign effects.
  4. Emotion is stronger over the long term. Emotional campaigns are more effective at impacting long term market share growth and longer-term brand metrics related to memory structures. Rational persuasion campaigns work effectively in the short term due to their ability to acquire new customers. 

The findings in charts:

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