Watch 'EffWorks 2020: Planning for effectiveness amidst a pandemic' on demand

Part of the EffWorks Global 2020 conference. 

As we moved into lockdown in March, our ability to predict the outcomes of our advertising campaigns diminished.  The world was a different place, consumer behaviour had shifted, shops were closed, and travel was off the table - whilst ecommerce flourished, and everyday essentials were stripped bare from supermarket shelves.

What’s the implication of this for media planning – should we throw all our past learnings and data away and start again?

Last year, working with Gain Theory, MediaCom and Wavemaker, we created a budget setting and media optimisation planning tool (The Demand Generator) based on £1.4bn of econometric analysis that can be used to help advertisers and agencies run what-if scenarios bespoke to their specific business. Whilst this is based on pre-COVID data, it’s an excellent starting point for advertisers to assess their annual planning.

In a COVID world, smart planning has never been more important and there’s still a huge amount we can learn from what worked in the past. The fundamentals of effective planning, measurement and optimisation haven’t changed - we just need to factor in the new known variables to give ourselves the best chance of planning for effectiveness.

This session offered advice and guidance for advertisers on how they can use historic econometric analysis and tools to help provide a starting point for their annual planning. It covered what pragmatic overlays and adjustments need to be made to plan effectively in the current climate and for the future.

We heard from two leading brands on how COVID has impacted their businesses and marketing plans, how the pandemic has affected their media selection, and how they’re approaching planning for a future that’s proving impossible to predict.

Presented by Thinkbox with MediaCom, Wavemaker and Gain Theory


  • Jane Christian, Managing Partner & Head of Systems Intelligence, MediaCom
  • Dominic Charles, Head of Effectiveness, Wavemaker


  • Matt Hill, Research & Planning Director, Thinkbox
  • Cordelia Linacre, Media Director, Mars UK
  • Sam Taylor, Head of Group Performance/Commercial Marketing, Direct Line Group

Part of the EffWorks Global 2020 programme – find out more at

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