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May 24, 2016

Celebrities and Native Advertising

Celebrities and Native Advertising

When something works, you can always count on those with public images to jump in to join.

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When Jared Leto’s “Beyond the Horizon” series of in-depth interviews, focusing on the future of mankind and its most intriguing, important denizens of fields spanning the sciences and arts, it went for 10 weeks and garnered significant press coverage throughout its duration.

It was also a native ad campaign.

Structured to herald AOL’s Build, a live interview platform, the company ran digital ads before indexplaying media content on multiple sites, and plastered the viewing window and opening seconds of video with the AOL logo. While the noble intent of Leto and his production team may have brought the value to the program, and while the purpose of the series was worthy on its own right to run, it was clear that AOL’s interest in the pieces were native in nature.

In light of this, the strong critical reception which Leto’s work received, the humanitarian, philosophical implications of the series itself, some people may feel ill towards AOL for making an ad out of a valiant effort for good. But that’s not what it was. Beyond the Horizon used the market appeal of a celebrity, and the power to promote of a major company, to tell unique and edifying stories. Without the drive to advertise, this may never have been able to happen. If anything, this serves as a perfect example of native advertising’s positive effect.

If you want to check out Beyond the Horizon, click HERE.

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