Friday, August 19, 2011

Impressions Vs Engagement. The Fallacy of Logic

In a client meeting yesterday, an interesting discussion ensued.

The agency had created three different, fifty-second commercials to run online.

The digital media person on the client side wanted shorter commercials, fifteen-seconds in length, because she wanted to make a pre-roll buy.

The agency’s argument was that the online space was more about engagement than impressions. That the key to long-term brand success online was to get the viewer to spend more time with the brand through longer messaging.

In other words, the length of time spent with the brand was more important than the number of people that were exposed to the message.

The digital media person didn’t argue that. Instead, she said that everyone bought pre-roll.

The marketing director than chimed in. “If everyone is doing it, than it must work.”

And there you have it. The fallacy of logic.

Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t mean it’s effective. What it means is that it’s easy.

It’s easy to port fifteen-second TV commercials over to the online space to run as pre-roll. It’s easy to buy based on reach and frequency. That’s how the media buying system is structured.

But it doesn’t mean it’s effective.

And yet, because everyone is doing it, the assumption is that it must work.

Abraham Lincoln used to point to a man in a rocking chair and say, “The important thing is to never confuse motion with action.”

We have a lot of motion in the online space.

But are we moving forward?

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