Are they content? Or commercials? Yes!
In this Opinion piece, the NY Times examines why brands like McDonald’s, John Deere, Facebook, Trader Joe’s, McAfee and — even the US Navy — not just buying ad insertions but creating their own podcasts.
Finding the right content/commercial balance is key, and Sound That BRANDS® Storyfinder Matrix™ can help. A strong brand like Trader Joe’s, for example, has strong stories, too. So as the Times points out, “The supermarket’s loyal following doesn’t seem to mind the self-promotion. ‘Inside Trader Joe’s has almost a perfect five-star rating on iTunes.”
In our opinion, content that’s transparently commercial doesn’t blur lines. On the other hand, commercials that aren’t perceived and consumed as content will not be effective.