Thursday, November 20, 2014

The NY Times runs its first print native ad

digiday reporting:
The New York Times has been producing increasingly elaborate native ads online, and now it has gone a step further by extending the format to print for the first time.
The ad, for Shell, is set to appear in print and online Wednesday, and it’s a far cry from the advertorials of days past. First, the size: The print component is an eight-page section that’s wrapped around home-delivered copies. (In the case of newsstand copies, the ad wraps the business section.) The top sheet is opaque vellum, for extra effect. The print creative extends the Web version, with infographics that show the urbanization of the world’s population. In what the Times called “icing on the cake,” the print ads are enhanced by augmented reality, so that people using the Blippar app can initiate a video by holding their phone over the page.So-called native ads, which mimic the look and feel of editorial, have largely been an online phenomenon, because the Web offers more multimedia capabilities than print. The print edition has always been treated with kid gloves compared to the Web anyway, where ads have been more intrusive. This is especially true at venerated news organizations including the Times have been sensitive to criticism that native advertising, by its very nature, is trying to trick the reader into thinking it’s editorial content.Native ads, then, have been slow to come to print (although some would say they’ve existed for decades, in the form of fashion magazine ads and advertorials). The Washington Post ran its first print native ad in October, also, as it happens, for Shell, but other than sharing the same physical space as news articles, the ad didn’t match the editorial quality of the host publication, which many would say is a crucial ingredient of native ads.

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