I read an article in The New York Times this morning, For Super Bowl XLIV Advertisers, Synergy Is the Name of the Game, that got me a bit irritated. The premise of the article, and a view that I subscribe to, is that marketers must think beyond the 30-second TV spot and incorporate all digital forms of customer engagement appropriately.

However, this comment caught my attention: “That’s the way you have to go to market now” said Kathy O’Brien, vice president for personal care at the Unilever United States office in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. “The Super Bowl is an element of a complete, 360-degree campaign.” I started to cheer, but that was premature. She followed her statement with the following: “During the Super Bowl, we’re going to use Twitter to engage the audience in real time by reaching out to people Tweeting”, she added, and urging them to watch our commercial again.

Give me a break! Is this what marketers mean by 360-degree campaigns? Using Twitter to encourage re-watching a TV spot? You have to be kidding! Clearly, companies are still struggling to plan coherent, integrated customer-engagement programs.

I have several thoughts on the subject, which I’ll be sharing over the next few months. But first, I’d like to know what you think the root cause of this problem is. Why is this still so hard? Send me your thoughts.