Native advertising is paid content that matches a publication’s editorial standards while meeting the audience’s expectations.
Think Captain Morgan’s campaign on BuzzFeed in general, their 15 Things You Didn’t Know About 15 Captains, Commanders And Conquerors article in particular.
First off, the theme of the article matches the brand’s values: Captain Morgan was a real live pirate who thrived on adventure and raw conquest — a theme not too foreign to BuzzFeed readers.
Moreover, the article matches the editorial standards of BuzzFeed: a list with big images and short, quirky copy — a format their audience expects.
Three important points need to be noted here:
- The content is clearly labeled “BuzzFeed Partner.”
- Nothing is being sold. The call to action is to visit the Captain Morgan YouTube page.
- The Captain Morgan BuzzFeed author page is branded.
This is classic sponsored or branded content. Now let’s look at another example of native advertising, this time a historical one.