Pay Up or Shut Up

Native advertising. Branded content. What are those? They’re advertisements (typically online) that are placed within a publication whose contents blend with the context of the user experience. “What?” As I assume you just said to yourself. Well, it’s just a new form of ads that are less annoying and more entertaining. For all intents and purposes, let’s call it the future of advertising.

What does all this mean? Well blog readers, students, people seeking knowledge and also people desperately trying to connect with interesting people, it means shitty ads are on the decline.

What is the actual meaning of native advertising? Maybe a new annoying and innovative version of ads? Deceitful messaging? Perhaps even a desperate cry to make money for your brand?…#budlight. The answer will be debated for the next few years to come. Some people may say that the advertising industry should take caution or become self-conscious of their new and eager ways of connecting with people–I’m most certainly not.

67% of consumers feel positive about the advertising they see around them. And that was when advertising looked like this.   And now, thank God we at least have videos like this.

I have no complaints. Do you? That’s a rhetorical question. If in your head you are still saying, “but wait, no I think that ads are extremely annoying and….” Then start a Kickstarter campaign for a new way to pay for your mindless Internet activity because ads are keeping you from paying for your 140 character news bits, cat videos, Facebook stalking and celebrity photoshopped porn (maybe you pay for that last one).

Anyway, I’m not the biggest proponent of online advertising, either. Everyone gets annoyed when you try to show someone a song or video on YouTube and the excitedness is delayed because of a dumbass Geico ad. However, advertising in general is paving a toll free road for us to access our favorite websites. In this case, the more enjoyable and entertaining advertising, the happier we all can be.

If you still aren’t convinced, then tell me why and we’ll talk. At this point, not even Mark Copyranter himself could keep me from trying to steer you to an alternative perception.

Whether we’re talking about Siri taking over the world, printing guns or free Internet, the future is something we cannot predict. We can dream, imagine, think and maybe even plan. However, it is not something that we can necessarily control.  If that sounds cynical and blunt, then you are awarded no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. If you are still upset, then please buy more RAM for your brain, increase your bandwidth and figure out more shortcuts to your laptop because this is where life is heading.

This is the current future of online interaction. Advertising in some way, form or fashion is evolving into entertainment. This is beyond your ordinary Coca Cola shoutout in a Mary Kate and Ashley movie. Where we are now with advertising is authentic productions, short stories, documentaries and sometimes parodies.  Don’t tell me you haven’t cringed during a Red Bull video or laughed at a branded video from Funny or Die.  If you don’t keep up with these social trends or choose not to, then I applaud you more than Spike Lee during a Knicks game–it’s nice to be unplugged.  Just know that even Alexander Supertramp himself couldn’t survive alone without technology in today’s world. Clothing, bare essentials, maps, weapons and a few good conversations can keep a dream alive, but they will hardly allow you to achieve it.  Be opinionated,  pursue your dreams and keep the Internet alive and well.


Side note–please realize that you just read an entire native advertisement for this blog; branded under Two Beers and a Coffee.





Charmin places a commercial into a show, “The Crazy Ones”

I’ll keep my reservations about the show, Crazy One’s to myself. Because the show sucks. However the most recent episode, did provide a great use of native advertising. Subtle? Eh. Cheaper than a 30 second spot during prime time? It’s definitely possible.

The show opened with the Charmin team meeting with the client in a boardroom, reviewing a commercial they worked on. The way this was shown made it look like an actual commercial. I even fast forwarded past the opening credits because I was fooled. When in fact the camera was just zoomed in on the TV in the boardroom, and then zoomed out showing the team.

What happened after that was the crafty part. In the show, the dialogue advances to the Charmin client raising questions about the uses of Kleenex and why Charmin can’t be used for those instances.

“There is no reason people can’t be drying their eyes with Charmin. People need to wipe their glasses? Why not Charmin? Blow your nose? Why not Charmin? Remove a little makeup? Why not Charmin? Stuff your bra before the prom? Why not Charmin? Why not Charmin!?” It goes beyond the reasonable product replacements and gets a bit silly when the client wears toilet paper on his head and says, “You’re outside on a baking hot day. You forgot your sunscreen. Why NOT Charmin?”

I would certainly speculate with confidence that this is not a coincidence for Charmin. If it is, they benefited extremely well. The Charmin twitter handle played it off as if they had no clue.

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But I have to think that it was too well played, scripted and intentional with the way they mentioned the realistic ways that Charmin could replace KleenexKleenex, how do you feel? If anything, this is another great example of how brands are integrating with their audience’s regular entertainment.

I would not be surprised if next week’s episode opened with a tricky Kleenex commercial. Why use Charmin when you can use Kleenex? Why can’t Kleenex be the only paper in the bathroom? Why can’t Kleenex takeover the napkin and paper towel category as well? What a sneaky way to get people’s reactions and thoughts on Twitter. I’m a genius.