Award Category
Best Use of Data, Adtech, Analytics or Research




The major objectives were to maintain YOY sales, i.e. 0% growth, particularly in the peak cold season from May to July; and reach one million mums with children under 12. Affinity identified an insight that mums actually ignore children’s coughs and they go untreated. Qualitative research revealed that this occurred because mothers generally felt that coughs just “sort themselves out” over time but that this waiting period was riddled with doubt. This signalled a window of opportunity for Prospan to predict when children would have a cough and when it would worry mums.


Affinity worked to get a better understanding of the perfect conditions for a cough. The common cold is a key trigger in developing a cough and thrives in the cold which also dampens immune systems. Various data from across Australia was overlaid and the agency used a multi-variant model to test thousands of inputs to build a Cough Prediction Algorithm. A cold snap is all it takes to get a cough, but here’s the ‘cool’ part – the difference in temperature needed to start a cough is unique to each suburb. As the temperature dropped just enough to get kids coughing and mums worrying in a given suburb, Prospan’s ad was there with a reassuring message to not ignore it.


Despite the 2016 winter being the fourth hottest on record and the warmest autumn ever, and the average temperatures not reaching the ‘peak illness zone’, all objectives were smashed. A 27% increase in sales was gained during the cold and flu season despite the market down by 8.5%, making for an 18.5% growth in market share. With the algorithm activated, engagement was up by 54% through an increase in CTR, reducing media costs by 67%. Reach increased by 14% to 1.13 million with the average frequency up 42.6%-63.8% and winter season coverage of 138 days increased by 181.6%.

Judges Comments

Judges felt this entry went over and above in this category. The weather strategy had sophistication that ‘ticked all the boxes’ and the level of precision that brought this entry out on top.