Congrats to Steve Rubel for finally saying that the emperor has no clothes. Is brand engagement a myth? I’d argue yes, particularly when it purports to come as a result of advertising.
Advertising is an awareness vehicle. That’s all it ever was and, I think, all it ever will be. As used by advertising people, engagement is a term designed to protect budgets. It’s a claim that advertising (of any kind) is capable of achieving more that it really can. But how can this be? When you talk about engagement, you’re really saying that consumer behavior has changed with respect to a particular brand. Since most ad agencies still don’t handle any of the promotions activities that are proven to change behavior, they’re really claiming that their creative is doing something that it, in fact, isn’t.
Let’s hear it for more truth in advertising.