Media planner veteran (and maybe inventor) Erwin Ephron has been calling the media's bluff on promoting 'engagement' to advertisers. In July, he made a presentation to the ANA explaining engagement in magazine advertising. Here he disassembles the idea of engagement in TV advertising.
It all comes back to relevance, although many other things can get in the way. I do believe that one day (far away) all advertising will be legally required to be direct, requested advertising.
ENGAGEMENT EXPLAINED: The Confusion is Engagement is Many Different Things. By Erwin Ephron (free registration required)
...we tend to think of Engagement as a single thing: A consumer state which results in greater likelihood of response to advertising. Engagement as a measurement is not a single thing. In TV viewing it is the sum of all measurable variables that significantly affect the probability of viewer response to the ad message. These variables include:
- Size of the unit. Because recall studies tell us that a 30-second commercial is more likely to produce a response than a 15 is.
- Clutter. Because a nine message pod will lose more viewers for the average commercial than a three message pod.
- Situation. Because the number of persons in the room, the location of set, the time of the telecast, multi-tasking, etc. will affect who sees and gets involved with the commercial.
- And finally, Relevance. Because what the commercial is about helps to determine viewer interest and response.