It has been a while since I’ve mentioned or discussed the concept of engagement and that relates to a paper I’ve co-authored with Thaiane Oliveira in 2018. In fact, in that year I was invited to give a talk to students at UFF. In the paper we aimed to explore various conceptual frameworks surrounding the concept of engagement in advertising, focusing on the diverse experiences of individuals. To achieve this, we conducted a comprehensive review of relevant literature, aiming to elucidate the fundamental principles underlying engagement across behavioural, emotional, and cognitive dimensions.

We argued that engagement goes beyond a mere number: “engagement with the media becomes linked to sharing not only of the body but also the response to an activity and performance of the
individuals when interacting with the media in question.”. Also in our manuscript, we argue and conclude that:

“Even though multiplatform advertising and gaming allow for a type of playful experience, both in
action and narrative, the relationship between the player’s engagement in the game and the consumer engagement with advertising, whether multiplatform or not, does not only refer to the interaction of subjects with communicational objects, even though they are fundamental to providing a type of immersive experience that involves them in the proposed gameplay or agency activity over
cross-platform products. However, the crossing between the notion of engagement in these two spheres is related to a conditioned aesthetic experience of this materiality, in which affection is an intrinsic element to the psychological effects of the subjects.”

Oliveira and Wanick (2018)

In a way, this suggests that it is expected that engagement is somewhat expected as a concept but it is not only conveyed due to the materiality of the medium. Interestingly enough, now in 2024, I came across the concept of ‘disengagement‘, which is also something that needs to be taken into account when trying to measure or understand engagement per se.

I leave here some food for thought. There is a lot to be discussed about engagement and it become a ‘mainstream’ term for what we want to achieve – student engagement, patient engagement, player engagement. How might we unravel the concept? Is it actually measurable? Are there other ways we can understand it? Are there other methods?

Read more about our article here:

Thaiane, Oliveira and Wanick, Vanissa (2018) Desdobrando o conceito de engajamento: revisão bibliográfica sobre seus aspectos comportamentais, emocionais e cognitivos. Revista do Programa de Pós-graduação em Comunicação, 12 (2), 150-171.

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