Emotional Engagement: How Television Builds Big Brands At Low Attention

Robert Heath
University of Bath School of Management


The difficulty of defining “engagement” is demonstrated by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) 2006 “Engagement Definitions and Anatomy” white paper that advanced 25 different opinions on the possible meaning of the word. There was some consensus that the ultimate objective of engagement is to improve brand sales and equity. As Robert Passikoff wrote, “Engagement is the consequence of a marketing or communication effort that results in an increased level of brand equity for the product/service” (ARF, 2006, p. 6). And this is reflected in the working definition that emerged: “Engagement is turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context” (ARF, 2006, p. 10).