Case Study: Campaign Development

Sole provider to Australian Government to evaluate all campaigns 

CS Australian government

Implementing a campaign evaluation framework and conducting a range of tracking programs to evaluate the Australian Government communications campaigns.

The issue

The Federal Government needed a way to consistently evaluate its campaigns rather than have a department-initiated approach that lacked cohesiveness or consistency: it was difficult to know how effective a Department’s campaigns were relative to other Departments or to optimise investment. All campaigns above a threshold campaign spend were therefore required to be measured using the same framework. The aim was to deliver cost-efficiencies and consistency so that decisions could be made by Departments to deliver a better return on investment.

What we did

We developed a best practice framework, encompassing communications evaluation design principles, decision rules for sample size and data collection, and scalability to manage campaigns as they go to market (often quickly). We continue to implement this across all Department, including analysis and education regarding application of norms.


Since July 2018, we have completed ~70 separate campaign evaluations across a diversity of portfolios, including, but not limited to the Department of Health, Department of the Treasury, Defence Force Recruiting and Department of Social Services.

This has involved establishing analysis approaches, a distinctive and consistent reporting style, and more recently the establishment of a norms database to enable evaluation findings to be properly contextualised. We are in the process of building an insights learning program which will encompass deep dive analyses to explore key campaign performance issues, such as the effectiveness of different creative approaches (montage vs. narrative), identifying wear-out, advertising in a crowded media environment, and ad memorability.

Our insights have helped departments to optimise their future communications activities, and started a broader conversation around strategies to improve the effectiveness of government advertising. Most recently this revised approach to evaluation has delivered much more effective advertising.

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