Opinion: Brands Should Focus on Awareness, Not Engagement


In a recent AdWeek piece, Syracuse Professor, Brian Sheehan, offered a perspective: “Advertisers need to stop chasing engagement and get back to focusing on awareness.”

Sheehan’s point is an important one: brands can no longer rely on interruption methods and need to market themselves from the bottom up.

“In this new relationship between innovation and media, advertising is akin to publicity, with its focus on influence rather than persuasion…no longer can brands effectively persuade from the top down.”

As Sheehan says, “it should come as no surprise that a majority of the 23 Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners this year could best be described as bottom-up disruptive innovations versus top-down ads, including Fearless GirlBoost Mobile’s voting centersWhirlpool’s “Care Counts,” Burger King’s Google Home idea, among others.

Check out the full piece via AdWeek here.