Notes on the Changing Advertorial Landscape

Advertising looks a lot different now than it did ten years ago. We’ve hit some major milestones in the past few years alone. The industry has needed to adapt to fit new mediums, new audiences, and new ways of living. Data-driven personal advertisements have revolutionized our industry, and search engine optimization is shaping the ways in which we find information. But what does this mean for marketers?

We firmly believe that we will always have ads in traditional spots. Billboards still adorn highways across the United States, shepherding drivers toward nearby attractions and lodgings. Cable television is alive and well in Generation X and Baby Boomer households, where ad spots are still sold in the tens of millions of dollars. This year, despite a critical mass of cord-cutting Millennials, Super Bowl LV ad round-up YouTube videos racked up millions of views. Even in the world on digital streaming, we still experience ads while watching Hulu and HBO – unless, of course, we pay for the premium, ad-free subscription.

But the advertorial landscape is changing. It’s already changed. Targeted advertisement makes up the infrastructure of most of the media we consume. Whether as noticeable as a banner advertisement on The New York Times website or as subtle as a paid product placement in a television show, we are constantly in view of a paid advertisement. On The Sopranos, the characters switched from drinking Coke to Budweiser to Heineken, then back to Budweiser, depending on the season. When Ron Swanson visited the Lagavulin distillery, viewers saw it as a logical plot decision for the character – not as a paid advertisement. As marketers and ad people, our decisions, to an extent, govern the lives of those around us. It’s a big responsibility.

This provides an opportunity for marketing firms. The modern ad company knows how to find the right spots to place ads – to the point where they might not even feel like advertisements. Today’s customers appreciate choice and convenience, and native marketing can simulate both. Take SEO marketing as an example. When a person heads to a search engine to find something, the websites in the top ten spots have worked hard to be there. Whether through keyword mentions or link-building campaigns, those companies have paid marketing firms to help them get there. If you don’t even know if your website the structure or the power to rank for important terms, you could spend a lot of time, money, and energy believing your next blog post is going to change everything for your business.

Advertising is changing, and only the best ad firms will rise to the top. There are several ways to get through – paid or native, digital or print – but businesses need more marketing help than ever before. We hope you’ll be there to lend a hand.