I was confused by Jo-Anne Flack’s Special Report (MW March 9), which stated “brands like… AOL… have spent little money on above the line”. On the contrary, AOL has a creditable record in above-the-line spend and, in the past three months, we have committed &£15m to our /discuss platform across TV, outdoor, print, cinema, online – and PR.
The success of Arctic Monkeys illustrates the new era of individual empowerment by the internet – the power of people to choose what they consume, rather than just passively absorbing messages pushed through traditional media.
The true value of this integration is in both sides of the line working harder together to create a platform for consumer engagement that ensures longer residual brand benefits than just shouting at consumers with a loud budget. While PR is an
integral part of this approach, the role played by above-the-line media spend is crucial in terms of bringing an issue and/or a platform to the fore – it is the surest way to cut through the various other buzzes Flack refers to.
I believe AOL’s integrated campaign approach is the way forward and we continue to spend above the line as part of that – but in a way that is a lot more integrated with other media than the ways most brands, including ours, have used in the past. Engagement is the future, while interuption is the past – but above-the-line media still has a fundamental role to play in this engaged future. Discuss.
Director of brand marketing
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