Trends In PR: Sponsored Content, Native Advertising?

SkierNative Advertising and Sponsored Content are making the rounds as the new words and trends in advertising.  For the record, native advertising has nothing to do with indigenous peoples. Really.  But if it did, I would definitely share that with you here.

Gini Dietrich over at SpinSucks wrote an entry about native advertising that explains it well.  To read Gini’s blog post, check it out here. I do love the reference to Jay Peak, that super wonderful ski resort in Vermont, which propelled another type of native advertising, if we can even call it that, demonstrating Jay Peak’s incredibly savvy investment/immigration incentive that ultimately benefits the people of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

Then there is sponsored content. Sponsored content means that the content question, is paid for and financially sponsors the outlet in question. The Atlantic decided to run sponsored content by the Church of Scientology, critical view by Techdirt here.  A major industry voice has spoken on sponsored content –– see Richard Edelman’s Change of Heart thought-piece here.

Samsung sponsoring AP Tweets;  effective, or not?  How is it different from The New York Times first-ever display ad on its front page in 2009?

Are we on a slippery slope that will just get steeper and steeper as we effectively try to capture consumer attention?

Finally, I must ask this question:  Can we call native advertising something else?  Like, indigenous sharing?  First Orgs Content? No? For sponsored content, how about…plain old advertising? Isn’t that what it is? I know, I know.  We need to come up with new words for new ways of doing things that essentially do the same thing that we have been doing in the past.

Like … promotion.


Photo credit:  iStockphoto

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