Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Native Ads In The Form Of A Selfie

We all worry that we are being duped on web sites when we see content that is not truly editorial, but paid sponsorship from a company.  These native ads though have become more valuable than banners as more people click on them.  Whether they know it is an ad or not, the caption and photo engages us to click.  Some sites do more to tell us which content is paid and which is not; others do not.

So on the Academy Award telecast on Sunday, we were treated to Ellen DeGeneres taking a selfie with a number of stars using her Samsung Galaxy phone.  Product promotion, native ad, it was a scripted piece.  And from what we now understand, a paid for moment.  "The integration of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 into the show itself offered another example of why marketers have become so fond of programming like the Oscars and the Super Bowl. They are live shows that tens of millions of viewers deem each year as must-watch television, and they provide numerous alternative ways to engage with consumers beyond traditional commercials." All I can say is brilliant marketing!

But there was unintended product placement, too.  "And during the pizza delivery stunt engineered by Ms. DeGeneres, there were two brand logos clearly visible on the boxes delivered to the theater: Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria and Coca-Cola."  Unfortunately, neither paid for a sponsorship.  And in fact, the soft drink sponsor was their competitor, Pepsi.  Of course, when programming is live, unintended things happen, too.  At least we didn't have any streakers.

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