The New York Times‘ ‘Snowfall’ was a great example of how a major publisher can use modern tools to tell stories. And now its relatively new Brand Studio has launched what some are calling the paid-for equivalent of that project, a multi-media series on women in prison that ties in to the new season of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black.
Unlike some native ads, there is already inherent interest in the topic—and the show itself—so it’s an easier editorial sell than say, financial services or baked beans. But, unlike some native ad producers, The New York Times fiercely protects its editorial integrity and does everything in its power not to deceive readers, so it doesn’t promote paid-for posts through its existing social channels and has created a separate Twitter handle for its Brand Studio projects. At the time of writing, that had 174 followers vs The NY Times 12.4 million, so it’s obviously missing out on a fair few eyeballs by taking this approach. But if it maintains the quality and creates something of journalistic value that allows a brand to bask in the glow, then it’s likely to get shared on merit, as this has.
Speaking of The New York Times, if you’re into digital media and you haven’t read the leaked Innovation Report, put your feet up and click here.