Many viewers at Super Bowl time are more interested in the commercials than the game itself. And why would someone with absolutely no interest in American football; someone who may not even know what teams are playing, want to watch commercials? This is because they are very entertaining (and captivatingly expensive).
By and large people don’t like advertising. They don’t like being told what to do or what to buy. This makes it tuff for advertisers who have a product to sell. Taking the Super Bowl approach of making the ads entertaining certainly gets them watched, but how many people are actually insured with Geico because of the hugely entertaining gecko, or with Aflac because of the equally entertaining duck? The old adage about leading a horse to water comes to mind. What if you could convince the horse that he is really, really thirsty?
This is what advertorials aim to do: give the readers some informative and/or entertaining background to the product or service being promoted, and let them realize that this is exactly what they have always wanted. AdvertorialAgency.com provides an advertorial distribution service.
Next question: What is an advertorial? The portmanteau word - derived from advertisement and editorial - describes the print equivalent of an infomercial, that is, an editorial style advertisement. Or as Wiktionary defines it: An advertisement written in the form of an objective editorial, presented in a printed publication, and usually designed to look like a legitimate and independent news article.
The strength of an advertorial lies in the fact that people tend to give more credibility to editorial content than to paid advertisements, for the obvious reason that advertisers will say whatever they need to in order to get you to buy their product. For the same reason, newspapers are not always keen to print “news” articles written by an advertiser, and compromise by putting “advertisement” above the article. This definitely cuts down on the number of people who will even look at the advertorial, let alone read to the end where the contact information is placed. But there is a possible win-win solution.
In many cases, if the advertiser buys a display ad, the newspaper will include the advertorial as presented by the advertiser, or sometimes re-written by the newspaper’s staff. The newspaper gets the revenue from the ad, and the advertiser gets an advertorial which really does look like a legitimate news article, backed up by the display ad for a one-two punch.
Well-written, carefully-placed advertorials have been shown to boost sales more than other forms of advertising, including display advertising in newspapers and online banners, both of which are often ignored by readers and internet users respectively. New businesses have reported that their mixed media advertising campaigns stimulated virtually no interest until an advertorial appeared, at which point the phone began ringing off the hook.
Free promotion in the form of unpaid news articles – a sort of widely disseminated “word-of-mouth” – does more for a business than dozens of paid advertisements. A good advertorial is the next best thing.