During the inauguration ceremony of masters and postgraduate studies, which took place in the Auditorium of Blanquerna FCRI, Dra Mara Einstein, from Queens College, Cuny, in New York, was in charge of addressing an important issue within the field of communication: branded content, media influencers and the perils of covert marketing, all of which is written and explained in her book: “Black Ops Advertising: Native Ads, Content Marketing and the Covert World of the Digital Sell” (OR Books, 2016).
A black op, in military slang, means a clandestine operation carried out by a government, agency or paramilitary organization with the purpose of making it appear as if it a third party was behind it. In other words: to confuse.
The advertising world, as we know, is full of… military slang: to target, to join forces, to use the secret weapon, even the idea of an agency developing selling proposals. To put out the artillery. That’s exactly what Dr. Einstein did in her lecture, in order to explain the collateral damage of the blurred lines between editorial and advertising content in the digital age.
She explained the basics: what native advertising is, the percentage of its use in the United States and in Spain, and the perils of its use: especially when consumers fail to recognize native advertisement from editorial, which, with no doubt, leads, to very risky confusion of content.
Dr. Einstein explained the trends on this subject, where digital and legacy media are seamlessly integrated, with a continual increase in video over static creativity and a call of death for the sales funnel: “The consumer decision process has collapsed into a single step”. As she put it, there’s no longer a wall between church & state, and as future professionals and content generators, we must take note of this.
You can listen to her whole lecture or you can take 5 and view the short interview she offered before.