In Plain Sight
By Francesca Bacardi on Dec 12, 2013
Technology has come so far that people can avoid advertisements pretty much whenever they want. Don’t want to watch commercials? DVR the show. Pop-ups showing up everywhere? Use a pop-up blocker. People don’t have to look at ads if they don’t want to, but as of late that might be changing.
Websites such as Buzzfeed and The Atlantic have adopted “native advertising” – ads that are designed to mimic the editorial content of the website. The ads are always well-labeled, as they are marked to stand out in various ways. All articles are usually labeled with the word “sponsored” or are written in a different color font.
One such ad is Intel’s latest sponsored article on Buzzfeed titled, “Ten sci-fi mash-up genres we wish existed.” The ad seamlessly follows Buzzfeed’s signature list style. Joe McCambley, founder of The Wonder Factory, thinks that this style of advertising might be one of the few ways to capture readers’ attention.
“People are really good at using technology to eliminate advertising from their lives,” McCambley said. “If you want to get your message out to users, you better be in the content space.”
Agencies who create native advertisements have direct access into websites’ content management systems. They have the ability to publish what they want and when they want it, which is a power some might see as risky.
“If you don’t have some sort of editorial oversight, I think you’re making a huge mistake,” McCambley said. “You better have a good editorial staff overseeing your native content to ensure quality.”
With print journalism on the decline, and Newsweek folding its print edition, publishers have had to find new ways to increase revenues. But according to McCambley, native advertising won’t be the solution.
“Native isn’t going to save [print journalism],” McCambley said. “Publishers have to save themselves. I think you’re going to see a dramatic shift in publishing.”
Instead, native advertising could be a motivation for change in journalism. Because native advertising mimics a website’s editorial content, McCambley said it’s pushing journalism to do more and be better. Publications such as The Atlantic and Forbes, which are known for good journalism, need to also have “good” native advertising or else it could ruin the user’s experience, according to McCambley. After The Atlantic’s faux pas with a sponsored article promoting the Church of Scientology, McCambley said the publication “learned a great lesson.”
“[The Atlantic] dramatically changed its approach,” McCambley said. “Great native advertising is also great journalism.”
McCambley believes that the shift toward native advertising is going back to the basics of good fundamental marketing. “It’s definitely changing advertisers and the way they think,” McCambley said.
ADC 97th Annual Awards: “Where Craft Will Take Us” with John C Jay
As the extended deadline for submissions approaches, we wanted to leave you with the final film in our "Where Craft Will Take Us" series — The One Club for Creativity Hall of Fame laureate John C Jay, the iconic design maven and President of Global Creative for Uniqlo.
George Lois Keynote - 2017 Creative Summit
George Lois discusses the origination and development of 27 newly discovered sketches of his classic Esquire covers from The George Lois Big Idea Archives at CCNY.
Nick Law Keynote - 2017 Creative Summit
Does the Art and Copy team that launched the creative revolution 60 years ago have a future? If not, who will make the stuff that tomorrow’s audience will care about? How will they work and what will their work look like? Nick Law, Vice Chairman and Global Chief Creative Officer, R/GA, will do his best to answer these questions.
Cadillac Keynote - 2017 Creative Summit
Melody Lee, Director of Brand Marketing at Cadillac presents at the 2017 Creative Summit. Cadillac was for many years synonymous with the American Dream. But as consumer tastes and the world changed, that Dream became less well-defined. Find out how Cadillac’s latest campaign captures their view of what inspires today’s consumers and how they’re redefining the luxury market.