On Na­tive Ad­ver­tis­ing and Ad­ver­to­ri­als

Consumer Voice - - Cover Story -

with its rul­ings or ob­ser­va­tions. Kind of like the Pres­i­dent of In­dia.

There’s out­right paid news and then there are the mod­ern ver­sions of ad­ver­tis­ing that are noth­ing but clev­erly dis­guised paid news. Thus, there is some­thing called na­tive ad­ver­tis­ing. It is a type of ad­ver­tis­ing that re­lies on con­tent, usu­ally an ar­ti­cle or a video, that matches the plat­form on which it ap­pears and the in­ter­est of the plat­form’s read­ers or view­ers. The idea is to cre­ate buz­zwor­thy or share-wor­thy con­tent with a view to pro­mot­ing the prod­uct of the ad­ver­tiser by care­fully and clev­erly merg­ing the con­tent and the prod­uct. Even though the con­tent in ques­tion may be la­belled with a ‘pro­moted by’ or ‘spon­sored by’ tag, of­ten times cus­tomers fail to recog­nise them as spon­sored posts, which isn’t sur­pris­ing as the aim is to seam­lessly blend in the ad­ver­tis­ing bit into snappy, eas­ily di­gestible con­tent. To put it bluntly, the line is meant to be blurred. On pop­u­lar plat­forms, it can take the form of a Buz­zfeed quiz, a paid post on a news­pa­per, a pro­moted Tweet, or a sug­gested Face­book post.

Ad­ver­to­ri­als (ad­ver­tise­ment + ed­i­to­rial) have been around for long, in the form of a news­pa­per sec­tion de­signed to look like any other non-ed­i­to­rial con­tent, in TV and ra­dio in­fomer­cials, or in a mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle that mim­ics the look and feel of a le­git­i­mate news item. The ba­sic rule is that al­though it is ad­ver­tise­ment, it is made to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of ed­i­to­rial con­tent while still mak­ing an ob­vi­ous pitch for the prod­uct. While the dif­fer­ence be­tween na­tive ad­ver­tis­ing and advertorial is fuzzy, the former

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