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发布时间:2022-04-22 丨 浏览次数:520

本文摘要:In recent years, a debate has raged on among publishing and advertising industry insiders over “sponsored content”—more recently called “native advertising” and once known as “advertorial”—the sort of advertising that looks very much like editorial content but is, in fact, directly paid for by an advertiser.近年来在出版发行和广告行业中,关于“赞助商内容”或曰“原生广告”、“软广告”的争辩甚嚣尘上。

In recent years, a debate has raged on among publishing and advertising industry insiders over “sponsored content”—more recently called “native advertising” and once known as “advertorial”—the sort of advertising that looks very much like editorial content but is, in fact, directly paid for by an advertiser.近年来在出版发行和广告行业中,关于“赞助商内容”或曰“原生广告”、“软广告”的争辩甚嚣尘上。顾名思义,“赞助商内容”所指的就是那些看上去很像网友的热心评论,实质上毕竟由广告主必要借钱打造出的广告。The approach has been embraced by newer digital ventures such as BuzzFeed and new digital efforts for very old publications like Forbes and The Atlantic. Industry peers watched and discussed: Is it deceptive? Is it ethical? Does it even work?现在,这种广告模式不仅被BuzzFeed等新兴的网络公司所使用,就连《福布斯》(Forbes )和《大西洋月刊》( The Atlantic)等老牌媒体也印上了软广告的主意。


业内人士在仔细观察之余不免议论纷纷:软广告是不是骗人的?是不是不道德?还有,它到底是不是效果?Whatever the answers, there’s no denying that the approach is suddenly in vogue. Storied news organizations such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Times NYT have since taken the native plunge. (Fortune has also decided to engage in the practice.) Last year, advertisers spent $2.4 billion on native ads, a 77% jump over 2012. That same year, the Post’s CRO called native ads “a spiritual journey.” (Really.)不管这些问题的答案是什么,不可否认的是,这种做广告的方法眼下早已悄悄时兴一起。《华盛顿邮报》(the Washington Post)、《华尔街日报》(Wall Street Journal)、《纽约时报》(New York Times )等大牌报刊也不会隔三岔五放几篇软文。【《财富》(Fortune )也要求仍然置身事外。】去年广告主们花上在软广告上的金额超过了24亿美元,比2012年跃居了77%。

同年,《华盛顿邮报》的研究总监将软广告被誉为“一场心灵的旅程”。(这是知道。)Native ads may be popular with publishers, but consumers are not in love, according to a new survey conducted by Contently, a startup that connects brands with writers who then create sponsored content. (Yes, the survey runs counter to Contently’s mission; more on that in a moment.)根据Contently公司近日公开发表的一篇调查表明,软广告虽然受到了出版商的青睐,但消费者却对它很不发烧。作为一家创业公司,Contently的主要业务就是给品牌和软文专栏作家牵线搭桥,因此这篇调查的结果可以说道真是与Contently的目标背道而驰。

Two-thirds of the survey’s respondents said they felt deceived when they realized an article or video was sponsored by a brand. Just over half said they didn’t trust branded content, regardless of what it was about. Fifty-nine percent said they believe that a news site that runs sponsored content loses credibility—although they also said they view branded content as slightly more trustworthy than Fox News.有三分之二的受访者回应,一旦他们意识到一篇文章或一段视频是由某个品牌赞助商的,他们不会实在受到了愚弄。多达半数的受访者回应他们会坚信软广告,不管它是关于什么的。59%的受访者指出,一个新闻网站如果刊登了软广告之后不会丧失公信力——不过尽管如此,他们还是实在软广告的可信度好歹要比《福克斯新闻》(than Fox News)强劲上那么一丁点。

Publishers and advertisers tend to respond to concerns of confusion or credibility with the same response: “It’s clearly labeled!” Simple disclosure solves all conflicts, they suggest. Readers are smart enough to figure it out, and critics don’t give them enough credit.软广告否不会导致误会以及伤害公信力?出版商和广告主们对这个问题常常用同一句话问:“它早已标明是‘赞助商内容’了!”以读者们聪慧的智商是应当能看出来的,抨击人士或许也有点矫枉过正了。To wit: “They get the drill,” said Lewis Dvorkin, the True/Slant founder who led the massive expansion of the Forbes contributor network and its sponsored BrandVoice program, at an event last year. Likewise, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has said the native ads on the newspaper’s website are clearly labeled to ensure there are no doubts about “what is Times journalism and what is advertising.”也就是像新闻平台True/Slant的创始人刘易斯o德沃金所说的一样,它们都“打了标签”。


But Contently’s findings, based on a survey of 542 people, throw cold water on the notion that readers “get the drill.” According to the study, readers are confused about what “sponsored” even means: When they see the label “Sponsored Content,” half of them think it means that a sponsor paid for and influenced the article. One-fifth of them think the content is produced by an editorial team but “a sponsor’s money allowed it to happen.” Eighteen percent think the sponsor merely paid for its name to be next to the article. Thirteen percent think it means the sponsor actually wrote the article. Even the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is perplexed; a panel on native advertising last year “raised more questions than it answered.”但Contently公司这份基于542人的调查却给两人的观点泼洒了一瓢冷水。据这份调查表明,读者一般并不明白“赞助商”二字的含义,当他们看到“赞助商内容”的标签时,一半人心中想要的是,赞助花钱买来专栏作家讥讽自己,而且认同影响了这篇文章。


就连美国联邦贸易委员会(the U.S. Federal Trade Commission)对软广告也是一知半解。去年,它的一个专门委员会开会讨论软广告,但是这次会议“明确提出的问题比答案的问题还多”。It gets worse. When readers do know what “sponsored” means, they still feel deceived. Fifty-seven percent of the study’s participants said they would prefer that their favorite news sites run banner ads over sponsored posts. (The irony: Native ads were supposed to be the highly engaging innovation to kill the lowly banner ad.) Only 18.7% of respondents said they prefer sponsored posts because they’re more interesting. Two-thirds of respondents said they are less likely to click on an article sponsored by a brand. From the perspective of a reader, sponsored content doesn’t look like a spiritual journey at all.更加差劲的是,等到读者确实明白了“赞助商”的含义,他们就不会深感受到了愚弄。有75%的受访者回应,他们宁可自己讨厌的新闻网站投出横幅式广告,也不不愿看见广告软文。


三分之二的受访者回应,他们不太可能页面一篇由某个品牌赞助商的文章。从读者的看作,软广告奇特显然就不是什么“心灵的旅程”。In fairness, people rarely cop to the fact that they enjoy advertising or that it works on them. This is why, every few years, a survey is released claiming that social media ads, particularly those on Facebook FB 3.52% , don’t work. That may be the case, but I doubt brands would continue to pour billions of dollars into social media advertising—$8.3 billion this year—if it were.平心而论,人们很少否认他们讨厌广告或是他们不会不受广告影响的事实。


But there is no denying that readers’ response to sponsored content is negative and especially strong. The findings of Contently’s survey follow data released earlier this year by Chartbeat, a web analytics company, showing that only 24% of readers scroll through sponsored content, versus 71% for editorial content.不容坚称,读者对软广告的反应是负面的,而且十分反感。就在Contently的调查公布之前不久,网络分析公司Chartbeat也就这个问题展开了调查。调查表明,只有24%的读者有冷静看完了一篇软文,而71%的读者不会看完了一篇长时间编辑内容。You may wonder what all this means for a company like Contently, which is built on the premise that branded content will become a huge part of the marketing industry. Concluding its study, the company suggests with a dose of optimism that brands and publishers will eventually figure things out before they turn readers off completely.大家可能会问,以上所说的这些对于Contently这样的公司到底意味著什么,因为只有软广告在营销市场上大有作为,Contently的业务才有可能有钱赚。

在调查报告的结尾处,Contently还是给传媒界打了一针强心剂,称之为各大品牌和传媒最后还是不会在完全激怒读者之前,寻找问题的解决办法。Contently points to the Times, Mashable, and BuzzFeed: Times readers spend as much time reading sponsored content as regular editorial, says the executive in charge of the Times’ sponsored content. The same goes for Mashable readers, says the site’sbranded content editor. And BuzzFeed, which popularized the native ad format, has numerous case studies showing how well its sponsored articles work.Contently荐了《纽约时报》、Mashable和BuzzFeed等例。据《纽约时报》负责管理赞助商内容的高管回应,《纽约时报》的读者读者赞助商内容和其它编辑内容的时间一样宽。


There is hope for the native ad yet. But publishers should be careful: though readers may be increasingly looking at sponsored content, it doesn’t mean they like what they see.目前软广告依然有之后发展的期望。但传媒界依然须要小心:虽然不愿看软广告的读者可能会更加多,但这并不意味著他们认同讨厌自己看见的东西。



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