Everything Old Is New Again

I get a kick out of folks who have only worked in new media and often times convince themselves that they invented some new technique ignoring all of the history that those who have worked in traditional media most of our lives ever did anything of note.

 I speak more specifically about content marketing and native advertising. First, content marketing and native advertising are not new. All that has happened recently is that new media folks have discovered them. Discover does not mean invent. Discover, by definition, is that someone found something that was already there.

 I managed media planning and buying for the Campbell’s Soup Company some 15 years ago. Guess what our most successful advertising was? It was recipes in magazines featuring soup as an ingredient. We ran these in food magazines and service magazines and most readers embraced the ads as if it were editorial in the magazine. These people were looking for recipes and the source was not important if the outcome was to their needs/standards. Does this qualify as content marketing?

A few years later I worked on the Victoria’s Secret advertising account. We put their annual fashion show on TV. The show featured the new line of merchandise with some entertainment (Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli, etc.) and was funded by ads from Victoria’s Secret and other marketers. People tuned in to see the new line—and guys tuned in for the jiggle factor. It was a marketing message disguised as entertainment. Does this qualify as content marketing?

Magazines often offer paid advertisers ‘advertorials’; bonus space with content-like appeal written by either the editorial staff or, more often, the magazine’s marketing staff. These advertorials usually had a subject matter that was consistent with the editorial premise of the magazine. These are still done today and although editors almost always require the words “Paid Advertisement” stamped on top, if the content is of value the reader does not care. Does this qualify as native advertising?

I certainly hope that folks involved in new media continue to discover that some of our older ways have merit in their world as well as continue to develop new techniques that can only be executed via online/mobile. 

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2 thoughts on “Everything Old Is New Again

  1. Hi Dave, Yes this is the recent twist on “advertorial,” “infomercial,” and long form advertising in general. Perhaps where the online experience stretches along the continuum is encouragement to share from viewers to their friends, expanding the reach of the form; and our ability to measure various attributes (counts of views, shares, geographic and demographic data) in real time, or nearly so. That gives us insight into effectiveness.

  2. markkolier says:

    Great title for a post since it totally applies to native advertising David. I was recently at a Direct Marketing Club of NY (DMCNY) meeting where many of the attendees were rolling their eyes at native advertising since seemingly everyone had been involved with advertorials at some point in their careers. It just a new name for an old song. Thanks for the reminder.

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