Saturday, November 07, 2009

If Media Wants To Be Accountable For Engagement, Then Should Creative Be Accountable For Disengagement?


Everywhere you look it seems that media is trying its best to be held accountable for advertising’s new buzz word – engagement.
Even though everyone knows that engagement is truly a shared responsibility between media and creative.
So to make things easier, what if we said, "Okay, media, you’re accountable for engagement.  And then, creative, you’re accountable for disengagement." 
Of course, this won’t work for pre-roll spots, where the viewer has no control over the commercial.  With pre-roll, engagement is a forced view and disengagement is disallowed. 
But where it does work well is for the future of advertising, where the viewer is in control over the type of advertising they watch and for how long. 
As we have said in the past, control gives the viewer the freedom to opt-in simply because it also gives the viewer the freedom to opt-out.  And, what we have found is that viewers don’t mind investing time in commercials as long as they can control the time invested.
If a viewer is truly engaged in a commercial, chances are they’ll watch more of it rather than less.  When they decide to disengage, it means the commercial has lost interest.  
Creating interest is the responsibility of the creative agency.
The point of disengagement is revealing because it’s at this point that the creative is no longer doing its job.
Which is why it’s at the point of disengagement that the fee should change for the creative agency.   If the majority of viewers disengage from a 60-second spot ten seconds in, the agency should make less money for creating that commercial then if the majority of viewers disengage 55 seconds in.
Fifty-five seconds watched offers more value to the advertiser then ten seconds watched.  If the creative agency delivered more value, then the advertiser should be willing to pay the agency more money for delivering that value.
It’s a model called Viewer Time Spent Compensation.  Basically, it’s a performance-based model for commercial creation.
Since both engagement and disengagement are now measurable metrics on most digital platforms, advertisers can start holding media accountable for the former and their creative agency for the latter.
Can you say win/win?

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