Sometimes, Native Advertising is Actually Pretty Good

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I am generally not a fan of advertising of any kind. Print, billboards, TV - no matter how creative you are, I find it an annoying distraction that I try to tune out. But there have been a couple of smart attempts at online advertising recently that were great not so much for their content, but for their rollout. They spoke to me because is was clear that the folks behind the campaigns have a pretty good grip on the internet.

Last week, Fox's The Mindy Project (a show that, as a viewer, I have written off) created profiles for its characters on the dating app Tinder as though they were really were actual users of the site. For a show about serially single 30-somethings, there is hardly a more appropriate place for the show to advertise.

Another piece of native advertising that I liked even better appeared on the the subreddit /r/gonewild. Gonewild is purely devoted to posting nude selfies. But this afternoon, the characters in the animated FX show Archer started contributing their own nude pics with the same nervous, excited headlines that regular contributors of the site usually use (link is work safe, as long as your bosses aren't offended by a cartoon butt). 

There are a lot of legitimate gripes about native ads - about how they dilute valuable news sources and blur the line between editorial and advertising. But in these milieux there's no threat to editorial voice and these ads don't compromise any kind of voice. it's just a fun interruption. Congratulations advertisers. You've got my attention.