In a recent research study completed by Omnicom Group's OMD, it was determined that a viewer's engagement with a commercial had a much greater impact on ROI than a viewer's engagement with the program in which the commercial ran.
In other words, the more attention paid to the commercial itself, rather than just to the program that housed the commercial, the greater the chance of selling something to someone.
While this seems like a fairly straightforward observation, its importance should not be overlooked for two reasons.
The first being that it starts to clearly delineate the role of media from the role of creative. The current discussion around engagement has been muddied by the disagreement over who creates it - the program that carries the commercial. Or, the commercial itself.
As the OMD study indicates, while both are a factor, engagement in the commercial carries much more weight than engagement in the program.
The second reason why this study is important is that it starts to show a direct correlation between a return on investment to the advertiser and a return on involvement in the commercial.
According to OMD, factoring in engagement increased an advertiser's return on investment by 15% to 20% over models that factor in GRPs alone.
Advertisers, you would think, would be quite interested in learning how they can best measure a return on involvement. OMD used copy-testing results to measure a viewers' involvement in the commercials.
Fortunately, the digital marketplace offers a more accountable way to measure involvement - time spent with the commercial. Time spent can be measured on a per use basis. And, to the second.
As it has now seemingly been verified that time spent with a commercial offers value, it's only a matter of time before time spent is monetized so that advertisers can pay more to agencies that deliver better value than agencies that don't.
After all, the Digital Economy, unlike the mass media economy, isn't about size.
The Digital Economy is about relationships.
And relationships are about time spent.
Go ask your spouse.