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Posts Tagged ‘The Awl’

Alec Baldwin Has Had It With All You People

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In a move that could not possibly inspire any self-respecting journalist to use the phrase “prima donna”, Alec Baldwin decided to make his latest “I’m retiring from public life for good, no takebacks this time” statement via a New York magazine cover story by Joe Hagan.

While he’s “had a relatively charmed life”, it seems Baldwin now faces the unbearable stress of living ”…out there in a world where if you do make a mistake, it echoes in a digital canyon forever.”

Valid point, but what follows is approximately 5,000 words of A+ trolling.

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Shape Tries, Fails to Push Native Ad Boundaries

Adco-superJumboEarlier this week we revisited the fact that native ads are nothing new with more than a little help from Adrienne LaFrance and The Awl.

Now Shape magazine has given us a great example of how the game has changed since the days of traditional print advertorials: the rag received a smackdown from the National Advertising Division after making what seemed like an earnest attempt to gin up some revenue by “editorializing” all over a product it created.

At first we thought “what’s wrong with a publication promoting its own ‘snake oil’ (not our words)?”

The worst part about this story, though, was the painfully obvious spin.

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Native Advertising Is Nothing New (and Here’s Proof)

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You had us at “Dom Perignon”

We already knew this, but yesterday The Awl posted a nice history of “native ads”, aka “advertorials.”

Yes, it’s long—but you should read it anyway. While you’re here, though, you should click through for some images of vintage native ads.

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Someone Finally Told The New York Times About Sponsored Content

We know it’s something of a stereotype that traditional and especially print media tend to take their time in arriving at/commenting on a hot story. Such is the case with The New York Times, which made waves this weekend by reporting on a phenomenon that PR and marketing folk already know quite well: paid or sponsored content.

We’re not saying that the many talented reporters at the Times have ignored the trend until now; this Media Decoder post regarding The Atlantic‘s Scientology advertorial scandal mentions the fact that BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and other top web publishers already maintain sponsored content sections. But the weekend’s article does seem to be the first time the Times has deemed such content worthy of comment in print.

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What’s ‘Native Advertising’ All About, Anyway?

Native advertising: you’ve heard the term, and you’re going to hear it quite often in the months ahead. We haven’t directly addressed it on this blog yet, so here goes:

First: any web surfer will tell you that banner ads (aka “traditional paid media”) are on the way out. They do provide “impressions” or glances, but very few people actually click them.

A debate on the topic within the PR industry has all but resolved itself at this point: integrated or “native” spots created through “brand journalism” are part of the PR/marketing landscape along with “sponsored” tweets and the like. They’re here to stay, and PR teams need to start creating more of them ASAP or they’ll find themselves replaced by other third-party content creators and media buyers. (Here’s a great post on the issue from our friends at Spin Sucks.)

Right. But what does “native” mean, exactly? Well, this Mashable infographic made our heads hurt, so we’ll give you a better example: Check out The Awl, a sort of literary/culture blog that happens to be one of our favorite web destinations. Scroll down the page a bit and you’ll come across at least one post that looks slightly different than the rest (they’re usually hosted on a grey background and filed under the “sponsored stories” heading).

These are stories commissioned and created by brands like Pillsbury, HBO, Samsung, and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. These brands (and the firms that represent them) want to court members of The Awl’s audience, and they came up with a good way to do so: create original content that complements the site’s existing stories.

It’s fairly simple, really:

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Identity of @BPGlobalPR Revealed

The Awl has posted an exclusive interview with the man behind @BPGlobalPR, Los Angeles-based comedian Josh Simpson.

The account is actually a spoof of an insensitive BP publicist. (Example: “Attention lazy fishermen! If you won’t clean our mess, we’re taking your money. Fair is fair. http://ow.ly/27SJF,” posted on July 7.) Earlier this year, the identity of @BPGlobalPR remained a mystery, even as the tweets made news.  During the interview with The Awl, Simpson says he had a team of 15 who worked with him to maintain the account. One re-tweet by Roger Ebert, and the number of followers took off, reaching more than 180,000.

Asked where he got the idea to start the account, Simpson responded, “It was very obvious to me BP was more worried about its image than about actually letting people see and understand what was happening on the Gulf.”

Ultimately, he had to admit that the site was a parody. Still, the New York Times was interested and wrote a story about the account. For those interested, the actual BP Twitter account is BP_America.

[Image via The Awl]