Category: Personnal Ramblings

Random notes about myself or other topic that does not fit into whatever theme that this blog turns into.

‘Native’ Advertising – HuffPost One Step Beyond

Native Advertising on HuffPost

Today I noticed an ad that caught my eye on the Huffington Post.  The layout was in the same style as a normal front page story, with a little border around it indicating that it was ‘Presented by HuffPost Partner Studio’  – which I assume to be their Native Advertising group.  Guess what?  The article is all about dismissing common beliefs about Native Advertising!

So this is an ad, that looks like a front page article promotion, that links to an article that is really an ad for Native Advertising on the Huffington Post.

This is exactly what I find to be horrific about Native Advertising (yes, I know I should not capitalize, but I think it highlights the monster it can be).  My points here apply to the arena of News sites – not entertainment or other ‘soft’ content sources.  I am referring more to the likes of the New York Times, etc.

Myth #1 – “It’s All The Same”
This is just a bit of rubbish to obscure the fact that Native is advertiser injected content.  In their samples they use search results and widgets Outbrain and Taboola.  While I do not really approve of these either – at least they truly stand out as outside links – not internal content.

There are also mentions of ‘outside’ samples like Bloomberg, Gawker and Buzzfeed doing this.  The ‘well they are doing it, so we are too’ argument always causes me to think of the ‘if your friends all jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge – would you?’.  Weak.

Myth #2 – “It’s Deceitful”
Here they go into how ‘no one would ever do this and jeopardize their brand.’  Fact of life – advertising revenue is in the gutter – and native provides a lot message space.  I do believe that it has a very strong potential of being deceitful – not always, but the scales could be easily tipped – just as HuffPost did to get me to this rant.

Myth #3 – “It’s A Completely New Phenomenon”
They have this one right – it is not new, but there is a big difference from ‘Guide to Oysters’ to ‘Off Shore Drilling Safety’ in the New York Times (completely made up example).  The internet is allowing the depth and reach of this advertising form to push the limits.

Myth #4 – “Consumers Don’t Want It. Or Like It”
Their examples are skewed towards general advertising – not Native Advertising.  Sure advertising has its place – but maybe not as ‘news.’

Myth #5: “It’s Poor Quality And Offers The Readers No Value”
This is a wash – good quality will be consumed (to what end would be the question here), but I cannot argue with their comments here.

Myth #6: “It Signals The Death Of Display”
This is all pure sales pitch – and trying to save their current banner advertising clients.  Snore.

Myth #7: “It Doesn’t Scale”
Another sales pitch – and complete bull…

Myth #8: “Every Brand Should Do It”
Read ‘You might not be big enough for this level, but if you are…’  Feel free to contact the ‘sponsor’ HuffPost Partner Studio – who does Huffington Post’s Native Advertising placements.

This is completely ridiculous – and it is a sign of the times and the end of news.

Confirmed: Even Lexus thinks their drivers are the worst

I have been seeing this commercial all over the place lately and every time I see it I see what I have always known – other than BMW drivers – Lexus drivers are the worst on the road.  The drivers in this commercial illustrate all the behaviors I see from them and why I give them all a little extra space when I am near one.

So if you have no idea on how to drive – our safety engineers at Lexus have figured out a way to keep you alive.

This is where this spot really fails for me.  It screams that if you are a poor driver, this is the product for you – and why I would not want any part of this product.

Last Chance to Stream The Wedding Banquet

The Wedding Banquet

The rumor is that is pulling The Wedding Banquet from their roster.  Here is a partial list from Gizmodo, and I noticed ‘my film’ in the list. This is probably the most famous movie of my brief time working in film [well, it was 10+ years – mostly commercials].  If you wait until the very end you will see a Best Boy credit with my name attached to it.  It was interesting working with Ang Lee before he became Ang Lee But I was way too far down the line to ever really interact with him, but you have to name drop when you can.

You can also catch a credit on one of these:

Living in Oblivion [there wasn’t a non-union crew that didn’t work on this. Bonus: Peter Dinklage]

Six Ways to Sunday [the movie that killed my feature career,  too long to explain here]

The Daytrippers [I think I have a credit – did a few days.  You should really see it either way]

This concludes today’s rambling.

Decode DC – Worth a Listen


My sister brought the podcast Decode DC to my attention not too long ago, because Andrea Seabrook is an alum of her college – that and I work for a DC paper at times.  I have to say that I am, so far, quite impressed with what I have heard so far.  I am a bit of a podcast ‘freak’ – it is pretty much all I listen to in the car, doing dishes, at the gym.

I just finished ‘Episode 7: Cerfing the Net‘ – which was pretty interesting conversation with Vint Cerf – “One of the Fathers of the Internet”.

I do have one very small issue with podcast though – and that is the it seems a little over produced.  Something I see happening more an more with several podcasts.   I call it the ‘This American Life’ syndrome.  TAL mixes a fair amount of ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ background and transition music into their broadcasts, for the most part very well.  Occasionally you might wonder if they need to pad the hour, but generally it is done quite well.

Those with TALS – try to achieve the same effect as the ‘masters’ of this, but generally do not accomplish the same feel.  There were several points in these episodes where the music became too dominant [loud] and went on for such a long time that I was wondering if I accidentally hit a music button on my iWhatever.

The worst sufferer of this syndrome that I have come across is Freakonomics – fantastic listen, subject-wise – you will wonder if the podcast would only be 3 minutes without lead-ins, transitions, pauses and padding to the end [and the podcast ALWAYS cuts off before the actual end, but it only credits].

Well, I have digressed way off the path in my rant.  I do strongly recommend Decode DC – they are looking for sponsors, funding and advertising – I am hoping for more stories from them more frequently and hope at least someone will take a look at them after reading this.

Go – and please enjoy.