Advertorials – Selling Deception

advertorialWhen does an editorial stop being an editorial and becomes a full blown ad that intends to deceive you into thinking it has anything to do with valid news? Pretty much as soon as you read the word “Advertorial”. This is a relatively new thing today. Advertising agencies are starting to use this technique to get their intended message, “by my crap” across to those who just don’t look at pop up ads anymore. They’re shifting to this underhanded method of polluting our minds because the old school ways are failing. We just aren’t looking at the banner ads, pop ups, and ad bars across the top and bottom of your screen, anymore.

These old school techniques aren’t working as well to drive revenue and sales. So, now they have to be extra sneaky by making their ads appear to be news articles. Why? Because people will read a news article. If you are good enough at it you can pull the wool over the eyes of a lot of people who would normally see a pop up ad and close it right away out of annoyance. And some of these agencies are so good at advertorials that if I hadn’t heard the piece CBC Radio One ran on it months back I may not see them as the advertisements they really are.

I understand that a company needs to sell their crap. I do. In a way I sell my opinions for attention. I don’t make money off of it and don’t intend to, but you can say that I am looking for a bit of self gain just like they do. The difference is that this article you’re reading right now is an honest attempt to pass on to you important information, I sincerely feel you need to know. This advertorial tries to convince you that your privacy and security as an internet goer is at a higher risk than it really is… just to get into your wallet. I’m up front when I say that I prefer that my articles, stories, comics and artwork are shared – and only because my intent is to entertain you or inform you. I require no money and I certainly won’t shove information down your throat with a spoon full of sugar. You may leave knowing just a little more than you did before you got here. You may leave with a laugh or even upset at my opinion, but the emotions I provoke are based on real ideas.

Wait a second, are not your fears of losing privacy also a very real thing? Yes, but only if it is based on real reasons, presented in a way that is not intended to fool you right out of the gate in order to make a sale. Otherwise the emotion the above advert intends to provoke is not based on anything real.

So, as I always caution, just be careful of what source you are reading. Research before trusting what you read and you won’t feel the need to shell out money for a strawman.