Monday, August 04, 2014

Jon Oliver on native advertising is smarter than you might think.

"No longer are we asking ourselves [...] are we violating church and state, whatever that was..."
— Time's CEO.. Whoops.
Watch the video below. It's great. If you've never quite understood what "native advertising" is and why there are currently media wars over how to properly utilize it, this is a fine primer.

That said, my friend Scott had some issues with it. And I think some of his issues were valid. Scott's a super smart guy and his biggest complaint was that Oliver focused more on Buzzfeed than anything else, and by doing so cheapened his argument by picking too easy a traget, but I didn't feel quite the same way.

The bits of interview footage with Joe Ripp, the Time Inc. CEO and Meredith Kopit Levien of The New York Times was a pretty good argument expanding the native advertising argument past the Buzzfeed level. 
 This issue is simple: native advertising is fine if it’s clearly marked. But the folks running the media companies don’t want it clearly marked because they know it will then be passed over as an ad. And you know that sentiment can turn negative if a native ad is particularly effective since then people feel tricked. And yes, that’s the snake eating its tail and even I don’t have a surefire solution on how to fix that, yet. 
 Personally I think the OitNB piece fell in the category of a good native ad with but much does not. I’ve seen a few things on Death And Taxes that doesn’t even include a tiny “sponsored by” line. And almost every client I’ve worked with was resistant to creating native advertising that is actually meaningful to a reader because, basically, they just want their brand messaging reinforced and can’t understand why average joes don’t want to hear that. 
But you know that already.

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