Skip to main content

Will people reject native advertising?

People don’t read or watch advertising. They engage with content they like which might happen to be advertising.   Advertisers, publishers and journalists have yet to come to terms with “native” advertising, which is content produced or sponsored by advertisers in magazines, newspapers... For example, you can check out this article sponsored by Geico in Buzzfeed.  You can also watch Andrew Sullivan and Ben Smith live debate on native ads at social media week 2013. 

On one hand, some journalists and publishers argue that native advertising is bad. It is misleading and violates the consumer trust. People visit publishers’ sites such as The New York Times and Washington Post for unbiased information, not to be sold.

On the other hand, advertisers and some publishers argue that native advertising has been around forever in some shape or form.  As long as the content is properly labeled, it is fine. Plus, it helps pay the bills. Publishers have been struggling just to keep above water as revenue from print declines and digital fails to make up the difference.

I think there is fairness to both arguments. Publishers need to play a balancing act: Increase digital revenue without alienating their customer base. The current digital revenue model, which depends on display ads and/or subscription, is not working. Therefore, the reality is probably somewhere in the middle.  We should accept native advertising as long as it is not misleading, and more importantly, consumers see value in it.

We live in an era of branded entertainment. Consumers, especially millennials, who will compromise 75% of the workforce in 2025, are likely to accept this trade off as long as they get value out of it and don't feel misled. A recent study of millennials (Gen Y) from Edelman yielded some interesting insights relating to Branded Entertainment. Millennials want brands to entertain and help them. Consequently, in the future, native advertising should not be an isue as long as consumers get value out of the content.


Popular posts from this blog

How Cool Brands Stay Hot: Aim for Love, Not Likes

Love is an unconditional emotion while like is a more watered-down version of love. Loving someone means that he or she means everything to you while liking someone implies that you are only happy being with that person. Love involves deeper, stronger emotions, while like is more of a tender feeling towards that special someone. In a world of infinite choices, love is everything. Like is a nice to have.  Today, we live in a world of abundance, where people intent to create content surpass their time to consume it. Video content is much easier and cheaper to produce than at any other time in history. YouTube sees 400 hours of video uploaded every minute. Facebook has more than 250,000 status updates in the same span. We could never read and see everything online.  With unlimited possibilities and limited time, we pay sustainable attention to what we love and divided attention to what we like. We spend hours watching Homeland and give our divided attention to our news feed on Facebook. …

Persuasive Simplicity, Persuasive Commerce

In a complex world, simplicity wins. In a human world, purpose sets us apart. In a complex and human world, we need persuasive simplicity to survive. Persuasive simplicity is putting simplicity in the path of motivation. It is simplicity with purpose. The Perfect Machine Today we are entrenched in a performance-marketing race. We want to make commerce as efficient as possible. We want to build the perfect commerce machine—one that knows what we like, hate, love, and need. A precise machine that doesn't spoil us with too many choices.  A nimble machine that delivers goods in hours, not days or weeks. A frictionless machine where we can order in one click, one button, one voice order, anytime, anywhere. A cost-effective machine that guarantees the best price. This machine sounds a lot like,,, and The Human World

Winter and Summer in Adland

It is winter in Adland.  We have moved from a world of scarcity to a world of abundance and algorithms.  We have lost the power of influence. Trust has been severely damaged.  Consumer attention is the new bottleneck. We no longer decide who sees us. Instead, we get picked.  30 second is not enough anymore. We need to take consumers through a scenic journey to create a long lasting relationship.  Everyone is a publisher. It is easier than ever to create, but harder than ever to make a hit.  The impulse to make has far outrun the desire to consume.  New forces have emerged in the form of sophisticated algorithms.  A new model has surfaced called "pay per play,” which scored everything we do on relevance to feeding the machine. It decides what gets picked, when, and where, based on extreme relevancy.  Mass media has vanished. Precision and personalization have emerged.  It is winter in Adland. The good days are all long gone.  It is Summer in Adland We now have the power to make bra…