Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Commercials and Engagement

Dave Trott, a brilliant advertising man, wrote the following.

“For me, there are two requirements for anything I read. I have to learn something. Or I have to be entertained. If I’m not getting either of these two, why would I keep reading?”

This holds true not only for reading, but also in regards to watching commercials.

Am I learning something? Or, am I being entertained?

Two simple questions that should be the starting point for any creative brief.

But it’s the last part of Dave’s quote that I find most intriguing. “If I’m not getting either of these two, why would I keep reading.” For commercials, of course, we can substitute “watching” for “reading.”

Or in other words, if I’m not getting either of those, why would I stay “engaged.”

Today, the industry talks about engagement as a media issue.

It’s not.

It’s a creative issue.

As such, we can measure “engagement.” It’s the amount of time that the viewer continues to watch the commercial.

One other thing that Dave’s logic seems to imply.

Engagement is not something that we do.

It’s something that is in complete control of the consumer.

Not unlike their money.

Ironically, the greater the amount of time a consumer spends with a brand’s advertising, the more inclined they are to spend money on that brand.

So here’s the formula.

Engagement = time.

And, as we already know, time is money.

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