Written by Kylie Lynch, Senior Communications Executive and Sian Gborie, Communications Apprentice. 


From 13th – 18th September 2021, we embarked on EffWeek – one of our agency’s favourite weeks of the year! We had a very exciting line-up of industry leading speakers in to talk to us about advertising effectiveness each day of the week. We’ve rounded up the key highlights from each of the sessions below:  


Session One: Andrew Tenzer: Director of Market Insight & Brand Strategy at Reach plc 

On Monday, Andrew Tenzer talked to us about ‘The Empathy Delusion’. Andrew outlined the subconscious biases people in the marketing industry have which means their views on key topics differ from the average UK adult. He showed the value in building greater empathy for more insightful, persuasive and effective advertising. Central to achieving this is diversity of thought, and understanding people that have different biases to you. Read the whitepaper on the topic above. 


Session Two: Dr Grace Kite: Founder & Economist Strategy at Magic Numbers 

On Tuesday, Dr. Grace Kite talked us through new and better ways of advertising effectiveness. The session focused on how online advertising has two tasks which help marketers, media planners and advertisers measure online advertising.  

The first task of online advertising is investing in generating demand and producing sales now and in the future.  

The second task is to help people that are already on their way to a business website to safely arrive – the online equivalent of the high street storefront. This is often the overlooked task of the two and is treated as is task one, but this can result in mistakes. Dr. Grace Kite looks at the online ads as new rent – replacing things like physical buildings (rent) – and these signposts deliver return as they affirm the decision to already purchase something. Her recommendation is to start to think about allocating budget for next year in three buckets: brand, performance and rent-like ads. 


Session Three: Kate Waters: WACL President, Director of Client 

Strategy & Planning at ITV and Jon Evans: Chief Marketing officer at System1 

Wednesday’s session explored ‘Feeling Seen’, a recent study looking at ads that include a spectrum of different diverse groups including race, disabilities, sexual orientation and more to understand the impact on ad effectiveness when people feel seen/represented. They found that when diverse groups are represented the campaign is more successful and makes an impact for longer. But, that diversity only helps good ads. If the ad underperforms diversity does not improve the effectiveness.  


Session Four: Professor Karen Nelson-Field, Founder and CEO at Amplified Intelligence 

Thursday’s talk was from Professor Karen Nelson-Field. 

A marketing and media academic who founded a research consultancy group called Amplified Intelligence focused on understanding attention in advertising. She challenged industry mistruths and myths in a talk, titled ‘No Attention, No Impact: Correcting the course of a broken ecosystem’. Nelson-Field urges us to seek out more demanding research on the attention adverts drive across platforms and formats. Her critique is built around the issues with ‘impression data’ not reflecting what the human watching the ad actually sees or how they behave. Her research shows the importance in optimising to attention as overspending on low attention media platforms and underspending on high attention media will lead to declines in business and brand measures.  


Session Five: Zoe Harkness, Head of Training at Thinkbox TV

On Friday, we heard from the Head of Training at ThinkBox TV Zoe Harkness who gave a presentation on a study they conducted over the course of last year to determine the impact of the media channel on the message the audience receives. The study found that TV is the most trusted medium as respondents noted that adverts on television receive instant trust. Magazines have an average amount of trust from consumers and social media and video sharing sites are below average in terms of trust. These findings were consistent across age groups as well. 


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