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Engadget Runs ‘Post-Like’ BMW Ads

Posted By Darren Rowse 26th of May 2006 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

I just saw an ad that I haven’t seen before over at Engadget. It’s placed between the end of individual posts and the ‘recent posts’ section.

The ad is labeled twice as ‘Advertisement’ but is also very well blended with the rest of the site with it’s heading in the same color and format as other heading on the blog and the link to the advertiser the same as other links at the bottom of posts. The font of the copy is slightly different as is the background color.

The ad is also largely text with a picture (similar to normal Engadget formats for posts). I’m not quite sure what to call this type of ads except to call them ‘post like’.

See the ad below.

I don’t have any problem with the ad in terms of blending – they’ve labeled it twice – but it’s definitely interesting development for Engadget and a newish type of ad for blogs.

By the way – the ad links to a BMW video ad and an interesting campaign in and of itself.


About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. So what’s your take on ad-blending Darren? I noticed that some of your ads are “blended” in (i.e the ad links are the same color as your normal post links”), and some aren’t.

    Which way do you think works best? From what I’ve heard, blending is the best way to go, but I’ll take your word for it since I’m sure you’re not making $0.63 a day on this site =).

  2. In contrast, Metafilter is running an ad for the same BMW campaign, but they’re using a white skyscraper on MeFi’s blue background.

    I know that blended ads work best, but I wonder if there’s a big difference in what BMW is paying for each of them, as well.

  3. Yeah I saw that and it fooled me to start with – I even thought it was some sort of comedy piece to start with – ending with ‘now it’s your turn to say no’.

    It looks good I have to say – it wasn’t til I saw the two advertisement signs. I suppose it’s a little bit like the ‘blended ad articles’ you get in newspapers, only they always use a different font – it’s usually for memory improvement products and such. This is far more subtle.

  4. Not as blended as it could be. The ad title isn’t underlined hyperlinked like the normal Engadget posts are, nor is the font quite right, at least in my browser. Also the ad background looks like a different background color.

  5. Pretty cool ad, actually. Nice integration.

  6. I’ve been expecting this to happen, and I think Engadget took the necessary steps to avoid confusion in this first attempt. I’m pretty sure the envelope will get pushed further along from here, and it will be interesting to see if and when readers cry foul.

  7. A few things about these:

    1. We’d never run something that wasn’t clearly labelled as advertising.
    2. These ads don’t appear in our RSS feed and are not “normal posts”.
    3. We put the ads in a special yellow background and a border around them to clearly differentiate it from content. All editorial posts have white backgrounds and no borders.
    4. The titles aren’t hyperlinked or underlined, and they don’t have any of the usual stuff that accompanies a post (date, byline, etc).

    It’s really not any different than the kind of advertorial you’d get in a newspaper or magazine. Our readers are really smart and they know the difference between an ad and our editorial (they’d also let us know if we cross the line). As long as there’s no attempt to mislead or disguise, I think readers are generally cool with these sorts of ads.


  8. It’s called an adverpost and we’ve been doing them for a very long time.

    As Peter says we decided to go overboard in making sure these were clearly an advertisement (two Advertisement labels+background color+indented+a box)

    Check this post from Feb. 2005 where I talk about it!


  9. Also, I think most folks prefer text-based ads to the image heavy/flash-based ads. At least the research shows that (i.e. adsense vs. images).

    The biggest issue with this kind of adverpost advertising is getting people to take the time to write the copy.

  10. It reminds me of those ads in some magazines that look like editorials or articles, except for the tiny “advertisement” at the top of the page.

  11. Very cool of Peter and Jason to show up. I think this is the natural way to advertise on a blog, and I would never pay for the blinking sidebar mess that we all are so good at ignoring.

  12. […] It may simply be an issue of timing. Things are moving quickly in the business blogosphere. Selling was a dirty word when I started Copyblogger back in January, but now we see bloggers talking about calls to action and Engadget experimenting with advertisements as blog posts. […]

  13. Thanks for that clarification Jason and Peter – like I say – I think you’ve done them well – very tasteful and well integrated with appropriate labeling and distinguishing as different from content. Nice work.

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen them before as a daily Engadget reader – goes to show how blind I’ve become to ads I guess :-)

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