Back in the Golden Age of television, most shows were “sponsored by” one or two products. Between acts, TV characters proclaimed their love of a certain product and today we have product placement that requires the cops of Hawaii Five-o to stop and eat a Subway sandwich.
In other words, we’ve been blurring the lines between editorial content and advertising for a long while. We took a little break in the 80’s and 90’s and now we’re finding all new ways to mix brands and content.
Taking the Brand to the Content
Tanzina Vega of the New York Times published a piece this week on this very subject. She points out a collection of space tech articles on Mashable that were sponsored by Snapdragon (a Qualcom brand of computer chip) then remains journalisticly neutral, presenting both sides of the issue.