Total Recall: advertising exposure and engagement

Steve Cox

The UK media industry is generally extremely well served by its standard 'currency' research. Whether it is BARB, RAJAR, NRS or POSTAR, we largely have a high degree of confidence in our respective medium's ability to deliver believable coverage and frequency projections for any proposed campaign. However, what POSTAR (or any other media industry currency) cannot do is factor in additional issues that might suggest whether a particular format will generate genuine 'engagement'.

Nor should it. Engagement with advertising is a critical component of any successful campaign, but its measurement should be kept separate from 'head-counting', not least because the factors that drive it are open to debate, and often highly subjective. The subject matter for the ad, the creative execution, and the mode and mindset of the observer will all have a bearing on whether engagement actually takes place, and quantitative analysis of these factors is challenging, to say the least. However, there is an additional factor that has a key influence, the measurement of which is considerably easier. This factor is duration of exposure.