We've been giving a lot of thought to branded content in it's various forms - advertorials, native advertising or as I've recently heard it called, brand journalism.
This is essentially space or time filled with content that's paid but meant to look earned. Media owners like it. Brands are cautious. And the journalism community has mixed reactions - some see employment opportunities, others see an intolerable "church and state" violation that erodes editorial credibility.
Our advice: proceed with extreme care.
Done well, it can engage communities meaningfully in ways that standard advertising cannot and with greater control than standard PR.
But done poorly, it can really piss people off.
Check out the interview below with Rick Hamann, CCO of The Onion on how they make it work.
Don’t make a commercial. The greatest mistake a client can make is wanting to create a traditional 30-second broadcast commercial and try to run it as a piece. That’s really bad.