Chasing paid engagement — and sometimes catching it

Posted by Bill Brazell on November 3rd, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Daytime TV isn't the only kingdom that belongs to Oprah Winfrey. She's the queen of the web, too, according to Heather Dougherty of Experian Hitwise, which puts first among the most-engaging sites on the web.

Dougherty’s description came as part of a pop-culture-focused panel called "Chasing Paid Engagement," led by Mike Darviche, a board member for Networked Insights, late this morning.

Oprah’s site ranked highest on ‘inspirational’ and ‘life-enhancing,’ but when it comes to ad receptivity, more than holds its own. Ms. Dougherty showed that during the lead-up to Thanksgiving – which she called “the Super Bowl of eating” — visitors look for a whole lot of Swanson broth.

Darviche had kicked off the pop-culture theme by showing the way SocialSenseTV, a Networked Insights platform, measured the ripple effect of ads targeting the social-media chatter around “The Simpsons.” Darviche claimed that such placement provides a $10 million lift to brands who engage that way. He also said that an iPad product placement on the show “Modern Family” had resulted in marketing value of $2.5 million — a good deal more than Apple had paid to place the device in the show.

ScanScout’s Jason Krebs demonstrated the way his company’s interactive technology had strengthened Jeep’s video pre-roll. Krebs said “Jeep doesn’t care about fluff” — i.e., traditional measures of engagement such as click-through rates. Rather, all they want to know is, are they raising awareness vis-à-vis their competition. Given Jeep’s willingness to have its case talked about onstage, it will come as little surprise that the answer was a resounding ‘yes.’ One notable finding: Krebs said, “People wring their hands about 30-second ads versus 15 seconds. But the dropoff rates are almost identical.” A graph reinforced his point; the dropoff rates for :30 were barely distinguishable from the rates for :15 pre-roll.

Back to TV, John Lowell of Starcom warned listeners that “a program that’s highly engaging may be a great place to advertise, and may be an awful place to advertise.” An irrelevant ad may be worse than no ad at all if viewers are particularly engaged, he explained. High levels of engagement lead viewers to expect similarly engaging ads, and if they don’t get them, they may feel more negatively toward the product than they had before they ever saw the ad.

One Response to “Chasing paid engagement — and sometimes catching it”

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