Associated involvement is the term I give the collection of advertising techniques that includes sponsorship, product placement and advertising-funded programming. While they are clearly enjoying a purple patch at the moment it is sheer folly to imagine that they are the answer to the challenges that advertising is facing. Getting your brand to rub shoulders with a cult comedy series or a Hollywood A-list actor and hoping something sticks is all well and good but let’s be serious for a moment. They simply cannot hope to replace the potency and control of dedicated brand communications and those who advocate these techniques as a panacea for all advertising’s ills need a reality check. The industry requires far more imaginative thinking and talented people if it is to solve the problems it is facing.

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