The Week in Native Advertising (July 1-5)

propwash junction patchNative advertising is big and getting bigger. In fact, it’s been around long enough that bloggers can legitimately write posts titled Rethinking Native Advertising.” Check out what’s happened in the fast-moving world of native advertising this past week, July 1-5, 2013…

AOL’s Patch Creates Fictional Site for Disney Film

On Tuesday, AdWeek reported on a full-scale native advertising campaign launched by AOL’s local news publisher, Patch. AOL and Patch teamed up with Disney to create a fictional site for Planes, an animated Disney film with an August release date.

The Patch site, Propwash Junction, features news stories, blog posts, advertisements, events, businesses, and more. And it’s all fake. (Except for the events, which are actual air shows.) The approach is similar to last year’s fake Monsters University website.

The New York Times Introduces Interactive Ad Units for iPad

The New York Times sometimes seems resistant to native advertising, writes Michael Sebastian, choosing to focus on creative and engaging interactive ads instead. The new interactive ads – some of which do bear striking resemblance to native advertising – will now be iPad-compatible.

Examples include:

  • 360º view of a retail store
  • Ability to purchase media directly from iTunes through an ad unit

The Nation on Native Advertising

If you’re looking for an insightful read about native advertising and sponsored content, check out this piece in The Nation by Michael Serazio, who writes:

It’s not hard to see why publishing might be headed in this direction [native advertising]. Thanks to changing technologies and plummeting advertising revenues—with newspapers losing $20 billion and magazine money similarly sliding—journalism has suffered through a decade-long swoon. On the other side, laughable click-through rates for banner ads means marketers are eagerly exploring other alternatives to engage eyeballs.”

Serazio runs through a fascinating list of examples of how native advertising is creeping in on every front, concluding, “It’s a dangerous game when a news organization plays fast and loose with its credibility, for credibility is, ultimately, the most important ‘unique selling proposition’ that journalism has to offer (to borrow a phrase marketers should understand).”

What’s your take on native advertising? How far will content marketing’s sister go? 

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Ben Richardson is a writer based in Nashville, TN. While he loves writing on a variety of subjects, he's our go-to on all things related to branding and the creative aspects of content marketing. Follow him on Twitter!

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