Successful brands now spend 82% of their budgets on television and digital, finds Warc

Warc has released its Media Allocation Benchmark after using its database of effective advertising campaigns to evaluate 1,100 case studies between 2009 and 2018. The report identifies where successful advertisers invest their budget.

Warc looked at advertising campaigns that contain budget and media allocation information for TV, digital (including online and mobile), OOH/experiential, print and other media (including radio, design, direct marketing, cinema, PR and any other media).

The study looks at budget, sector and economic status. Some key findings included in the report are:

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-focused. 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 the creative strategy. Prize-winning storytelling campaigns allocate 44% of their budgets to TV

Commenting on the findings in the report, Amy Rodgers – managing editor, research and rankings at Warc – said: “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 adspend for TV, which delivers reach, and digital, which supplements reach and aids activation.”

The full report, which includes charts, sector and country data, is available to Warc subscribers on


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