Journalism and advertising are in a sometimes uneasy embrace. The latter supports the former, but those who produce the journalism profess to be uninterested in the ads or those who use them to reach their intended audiences.
I can’t help but notice, though, a bit of similarity in the overarching calls of the folks on both sides of the divide, to engage audiences, get their participation and buy-in. We have folks in journalism discussion groups talking about how much the publications need to engage users, get them to participate, break the old top-down, one-to-many mindset. Then we have advertising execs talking about how they need to engage audiences, get them to interact with the brand -- whether it’s widgets with applications, or clickthrough to a website or discussions on their own sites’ comment areas. Now we have a media buy for Kellogg, where the publisher, Kidzworld, is getting paid for “engagement” -- whether people play with the ad. Says Ad Age:
Since Kidzworld doesn't offer the same reach as a Nickelodeon, Disney or Cartoon Network, it needs a different value proposition for marketers. ... ... Though Kidzworld does assume a certain amount of risk with a deal like this, coming up with alternative ways to measure campaigns is becoming increasingly important as marketers grow disenchanted with measures like cost-per-click and cost-per impressions
Aside: The same AdAge email that tells me of the engagement also notes the resignation of David Verklin, who told me that engagement, not reach and freuqency, is the new sine qua non.