Publishing’s Native Ad Trend

According to a recent article on Ad Week, Heart Magazines is the latest publisher to join the native gold rush, with new products that will let advertisers run their messages into editorial real estate and, if desired, incorporate edit-produced content. They are adding five new units designed to let advertisers take advantage of the growth of mobile devices, social media and video.

What is native advertising? Well as defined by Wiki, it’s web advertising methods in which the advertiser provides meaningful content during the users experience. Think of it as an online advertorial but with video, photos, music and interactive media elements.

From the Ad Week article:
Addressing a common knock that native advertising is unscalable, the units can run across Hearst brands, among them Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping and Esquire, and the content can run outside Hearst, if the client wishes.

Robin Steinberg, evp of MediaVest, said the products are an example of how Hearst isn’t acting like a traditional media company. “I give them a lot of credit for diversifying their offerings,” she said. “Everyone has to iterate, re-imagine the type of products they create and how they use technology to distribute.”

There doesn’t seem to be any hard and fast rules yet about when editorial will supply the copy or how such copy will be labeled when it appears in ads. This trend is definitely greying the once defined line between editorial and ad/sales.

Other big magazine publishers have been active in adopting native in search of more engaging, lucrative online ad formats. But coming up with new alternatives to the tired banner is challenging. Do you think this strategy will succeed or is it just another marketing trend?

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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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