10 Principles For Marketing In The Age Of Engagement

Jim Carroll

When I began my career in advertising and attended my first creative reviews, I recall there was a clear priority to the criteria by which scripts or ideas were assessed. First and foremost, the reviewing team would discuss whether that script or idea communicated the core message as defined by the creative brief. Second, and subordinately, we would consider whether that message had been conveyed in a way that would interest or entertain the target audience. This approach tended to produce work that communicated clearly, but that was only mildly engaging. Entertainment was a sugar coating around the message that sweetened its path to the intended goal.

Now I observe that creative reviews are fundamentally different, in that those priorities have been reversed. The primary and pre-eminent questions in considering work are: Will it cut through? Is it interesting or amusing? Would people talk about it? Could it enter popular currency? Once we have established that we are looking at a vehicle with genuine potential to engage, then we consider if it has the capacity to carry the appropriate message.