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  • Bec Cooke

'Spark planning academy' snap recap 25.03

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

The power of matching media & message


Each fortnight here at Spark, we host our very own Planning Academy where we take a deep dive into topics, theories, research and tools that are shaping the marketing and media landscape.


Last week we investigated the symbiosis and importance of matching media with message. You can read all about it in our latest recap below! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


It’s hard to not hear Disney starlets in your head when being presented with statements like “the best of both worlds”.


The premise of Hannah Montana on the surface is ridiculous. Balancing the life of a structured student, who finds herself attempting to maintain relationships between various stakeholders and that of a glamourous, adored performer who can live in a world of flounce, primping and preening to convey a clear personality to the masses. But when you look at the crux of it, the experience mirrors quite closely the balance of media and creative agency and the two different, but equally important roles they play in a successful campaign.

You can’t have the performance without ensuring the stage is set, and the performer has finished their homework and is there on time.


The relationship between creative and media hasn’t always been sunshine and lollipops, and a lot of it stems from a lack of understanding of how the other works and what goes into the final delivered product – and that’s on both parties.

Data has shown that Creative is King, with Nielsen stats indicating that 47% of the contribution of advertising impact is driven by creative.


An emotional story is always more effective than rational arguments, and that’s where creative can truly shine. It’s important for media planners to leverage the message in the best possible way, but when we don’t see the final ideation until moments before a live date how can we leverage messaging in the best possible way? This is why at Spark we are committed to better understanding the steps of our creative counterparts, and to find where they mirror our own timeline to make the most of our potential opportunities for partnership.

It’s important that we also do not duplicate the work – if creative and media agencies pair up there’s opportunity for greater efficiency and more holistic approaches, particularly as it relates to identifying marketing opportunity, audience strategies, the development of creative platforms and channel planning. In doing so, we can better inform each other on what’s possible, unearth insights that would not be picked up by the other and really understand how media can enhance the creative idea.

For Media Agencies to be more effective, we there’s an action we can take immediately: start with an idea, not an execution. Reaching out to piece together an idea that is connected throughout the process is what will give us the ability to produce integrated work that goes above and beyond the usual spots and dots.

There have been several successful case studies of this, in Australia and abroad. Including Suncorp Insurance’s One House, Snickers Hungerithm and Decoded for Bing/Jay-Z. Each of these examples reflects synergized work. In an ideal world, this should be the norm, not the extraordinary exception to look at in awe.

It’s easy to see our differences, but when combining our strengths and expertise no one says it better than Lizzie Maguire – this is what dreams are made of.

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