New York Times goes native in print

Native advertising, where sponsored content sits alongside traditional editorial, has been a popular revenue stream on the web for quite some time. But news that the New York Times is to run its first native advert in a printed edition marks a first for the newspaper.

If you think this means the nature of paid-for-content has come full circle, you may be right. Not so long ago, paid for content in print were known as advertorials. No? Apparently, the two are different, according to Lucia Moses.

Importantly, there’s the size. Running across eight pages, the new advertorial, for Shell, sounds more like a supplement than an embedded article. It has plenty of whistles and bells:

The top sheet is opaque vellum, for extra effect. The print creative extends the Web version, with infographics that show the urbanisation 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.

Meredith Levien, executive vice president of advertising for the New York Times, said:

“We wanted to do branded content at the highest level possible to capture the reader’s attention in a matter that’s befitting the Times”

Similar sentiments from Sebastian Tomich, vice president of advertising at the Times, said:

“A lot of the conversation was, is this the return of advertorial?… This is not the case. We are truly bringing a new story to our readers from Shell”

According to Digiday, the campaign attempts to establish Shell as a thought-leader in the area of energy needs. It was created by T Brand Studio, the newspaper’s in-house native ad production arm.

Editor's pick

Most popular