PS is a freelance marketer and copywriter. She is actively involved in market research to help entrepreneurs with brand-building.
We have already discussed how to write an effective advertorial. We talked about writing advertorials that are not perceived as dodgy or overly-promotional. Now, let’s look at a few examples from the past and modern times. These advertorials are cleverly crafted in a manner that rarely appears to be salesy, and at the same time, engage readers to know more about the product.
1. Adobe and New York Times
Adobe partnered with New York Times’ “T Brand Studio” to provide valuable insights about virtual shopping. The advertorial informs the readers about VR-shopping trends using statistics and research studies. A thoughtful and detailed content, written more like an editorial, delivers a powerful way to promote the brand name. Adobe didn’t only promote themselves, they also educate their readers to learn about the latest trends that can be quite helpful for them while shopping online.
BBC is famously known as a public service broadcaster. Alongside, they also run native ad channels such as BBC Culture, BBC Future, BBC Worklife, BBC Travel, and so on. You can find this content at the bottom of the page. The site doesn’t mark these posts as sponsored or advertisements. Various brands have gained immense popularity through this site such as Morgan Stanley. BBC content doesn’t focus primarily on the product being referred to. Though their main aim is to deliver value to the readers even if it comes from a profit-making brand, this ultimately results in brand success.
3. The Message by GE (General Electric)
Advertorial doesn’t only work in the form of a written article. You can also use different channels such as podcasts, videos, and documentary series. The Message is one such example of a podcast advertising. It received wide-recognition and won the Webby Award for Native Advertising in 2016. Unlike other brands, GE was among the first to use podcasts as a native ad channel. They popularised podcasting and also increased its brand conversion rate. Click here to listen to the podcast.
4. Hindustan Times Advertorial Section
The section is filled with a plethora of advertorials. Articles are explicitly mentioned as advertorials, yet it is one of the most-read sections of the website. Take a look at the headlines and content. The headlines are crafted as benefits to the readers. Also, it is crucial that the content successfully delivers what’s being promised to the reader. Here is the link to the advertorial section.
5. South London Hosted by Artwork co-created with AirBnB
The channel vividly talks about South London. It uses engaging videos, original articles, and maps to show the actual location. The channel time-to-time mentions AirBnB as the best way to explore the place. It doesn’t sound overly laid at all. A perfect example of how to craft a story and introduce a brand name as a supporting character.
6. Netflix and Wall Street Journal
The famous Wall Street Journal native advertising for Netflix by the name Cocainenomics gained immense popularity among readers and critics. Netflix used this medium to promote Narcos, a drama series about the rise of the cocaine trade in Colombia. The crafted plot explains the history of the drug trade and its connection with Colombia.
Different businesses offer different values and have varied customers. The right kind of partnership can give you a huge boost in the number of your customers.
7. Bon Appetit Magazine
Bon Appetit Magazine originally started solely for advertising purposes. Now, it’s one of the biggest food magazines and also serves the purpose of promoting different products. The example shown here is about white vinegar. The article clearly matches with magazine norms and focuses on how to clean your kitchen rather than talking about the product. Here is a link to the advertorial.
8. Metro Parent
Metro Parent is an online community that offers parenting advice, stories on the latest trends and issues. The article presented here is written for Alpine Academy. The article focuses on why your children should come to Alpine Academy. Unlike other advertorials where barbed name remains hideous till the end, this advertorial clearly urges readers to let their children join Alpine Academy. The reason why it works is its clearly mentioned benefits with apt headlines. Reading this article will help you understand how persuasiveness can impact readers’ minds.
9. Newcastle and Gizmodo
Newcastle’s brutal honesty in this advertorial to promote their delicious Newcastle Brown Ale made one of the best ads of 2014. When every brand is trying to persuade readers with stories, it is sometimes fine to take a straightforward road. Only if you understand the norms. Gizmodo doesn’t have this advertorial on their website now. Here is an alternative link to read it.
10. Seven Seas and The Telegraph
Seven Seas is a leading UK company as a supplier of vitamins, minerals, and other supplements worldwide. They adopted a unique style to advertising themselves by sponsoring a page on The Telegraph. While their main is to promote their Cod Liver Oil product, they never mention anything about it on the page. Their sole purpose is to deliver health news to the readers. Here is the link to the curated page.
11. Xerox and The Atlantic
Xerox developed a portal in collaboration with The Atlantic. The content revolves around the ideas important for boosting productivity and overall business growth. Their targeted customer is B2B customers. Their posts show how these businesses can face and solve the challenges related to alignment, productivity, and agility. Check out the portal here.
12. Ikea and The Telegraph
The Telegraph is a popular choice among brands to advertise their products and services. The advertorial is in the form of a quiz that lets people how to have a sound sleep at night. It doesn’t sell any product but focuses on building brand awareness. As an advertisement, it is a fresh style to engage readers. Would you like to take the quiz too? Click here.
13. Vanguard and The New York Times
Vanguard is an American investment management company. Along with The New York Times, it launched an interactive quiz to help customers make the best of their investing. The headline is highly engaging by itself. It covers the customers’ needs, the best line is “you’ve to make the most of the situation you’re in, to protect your savings”.
14. Leidos and Politico Focus
Leidos is a scientific research company. They explore the risks that current society faces in the cyber world. As the name suggests, “Hacker Avenue” is designed to make readers aware of what happens when a hacker steals control. The article is accompanied by engaging statistics and infographics. The use of infographics never gets old, just add it to your content and its popularity spreads like wildfire. Here is the link.
15. IBM and The Atlantic
IBM launched a four-part series called “Blood, Sweat, and Data”. A discussion about the revolutionary rise of technology in sports. This is a perfect example of how to produce informative content with the right visuals and headlines to boost the readers’ engagement. You must read this advertorial here to know how to balance the information quotient with entertainment.
You can also take inspiration from legendary copywriters like David Ogilvy, John Caples, Eugene Schwarts, and many more. Most of them are for print, yet their dialect is perfectly suitable for web copy as well.
Besides the above-mentioned sites, you can also find many other advertorials on the following sites:
- Search Engine Journal
- CSS Tricks
- Vanity Fair
- The Onion
Takeaway: The most important point to notice in all these advertorial variations is how brands find the most resourceful partners to advertise their products and services. They both can be from similar fields like the Bon Appetit Magazine and the kitchen cleaning product. Or totally opposite like Adobe and The New York Times.
© 2020 Prachi Sharma