Yahoo! does something “new”

Marissa Mayer and some of her best recently acquired friends took to the CES  stage (this is a conference in the US somewhere) to tell us about what to expect from Yahoo! in 2014. She insists that Yahoo! has a few new tricks up their sleeves in terms of delivering news and media to your eager little eyeballs, and they just so happen to do an excellent job of delivering you ads, too. How nice.


The key way Yahoo! is doing this is through their new digital magazines (que trumpets)

Yahoo! Food

This delightful site brings you recipes, tips, tricks, and video from leading “food personalities” (whatever that is) . All of the information is presented in “small, manageable chunks” (just like your six, fist sized, daily food portions should be!!)

What I found most noticeable was the massive Knorr branding slap bang in the middle of the feed. Remember that buzz word marketers love to throw around “native advertising” (que dramatic music), we’ll this is a key example of it. Knorr have a range of recipes, showing the user how to use their various products, to make deliciously easy meals. I mean this is nothing new but I like how well suited the branded content is. Its does not look like an “ad.” Knorr shares useful info rather than intrusive flashing banners. Its subtle and speaks to the audience’s interest. Now I have my issues with native advertising but this is a goodish example of it… In my opinion.

Knorr contextual, native advertising example

Yahoo! Tech

This is apparently Yahoo!’s baby. And I like it the least.

Introduced by David Pogue, the former tech writer for the New York Times. He’ll be putting out daily articles onto Yahoo! Tech, which is very much meant to be a daily magazine, rather than an ongoing blog (I mean what’s this difference?). According to Pogue, their distinguishing factor of Yahoo! Tech is the nature of the articles; moulded to a broader audience, rather than just the techies form Silicon Valley. “Pogue and his friends will be doing straight-talk, no-nonsense tech reporting accessible to everyone, including daily and weekly features”

Pogue was also excited to mention the lack of banner ads on Yahoo! Tech. Instead, the ads will be more “well-hidden” (you mean more sneaky like a ninja!)

(In his words) – “they’ll be tiles that look like regular article tiles, but marked as sponsored.” In fact, a big part of the presentation was about how Yahoo! finally figured out how to make money off Tumblr. The sponsored ads are joined by entire corporate Tumblrs  – where companies can buy advertising Tumblrs, and use them to create more engaging campaigns that can be shared on Tumblr’s network.

So in short more native advertising opportunities. But when native advertising is used in a newspaper or magazine, my eye twitches a little.

If I was at this conference I’d have put up my hand and asked Miss Mayer the following question: “While native advertising is just fabulous for advertisers. What about the readers. Do you think its fair to publish a review on the new Mac Book Pro, for instance, that is written by an Apple employee?! I mean that’s just insulting. Can the integrity of journalism be preserved when an article is self serving”

And then as Mayor opens her mouth to answer I’d interrupt her and say: “Nevermind Ma’am, that question was rhetorical ” and walk out of the hall all dramatically.

References: basically the PR manager deserves a raise, I found a million of these “reviews” about Yahoo!’s ground breaking new oppertunities, pfft!