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Sony smoothly integrates advertising with editorial in Flipboard campaign

sony flipboard

Sony's Flipboard campaign

Sony is taking a native approach to advertising on magazine aggregator application Flipboard that takes the form of a carousel for editorial content, engaging and attracting interested readers. 

For its Alpha camera brand, Sony is the first to leverage Flipboard’s new ad unit, adapted from an editorial tool for a better user experience. Sony is taking content from its online hub for all things photography to best take advantage of the ad unit to better appeal to consumers. 

“The Alpha Universe website is online community to share amazing photographs with like-minded photography enthusiasts,” Nicole McCormack, head of sales strategy at Flipboard. “The site has incredible, high quality content to inspire and inform photographers and photography enthusiasts to be better at their craft. 

“Sony is adding value to the consumer experience on Flipboard by contributing this high quality content to our photography channel - where we strive to combine content from the best publishers and brands for our community of photography enthusiasts,” she said. “Sony is the first to leverage the Promoted Roundup and embrace an editorial storytelling format that we have just made available to brands; the brand is using the new unit to promote AlphaUniverse.com, not its products.

“Sony has been curating a Flipboard Magazine full photography content from Alpha Universe since Sept 2015, and now our new native experience helps bring that content closer to readers - directly within the feeds where our community of photography enthusiasts is diving deep into their passion and investing in themselves to be better at the thing they love.”
 
Advertising versus editorial
Flipboard’s Promoted Roundup was originally created as an editorial tool to package together stories. Repackaged as an ad unit, brand partners can promote one piece of content as the hero to appear larger with many smaller thumbnails to support it. 

Each piece of content will link out to the full story on Sony’s platform. The camera manufacturer will be using the promoted ad unit for an experience similar to what it was originally created for. 

Sony’s Alpha Universe is an online hub for photography fans to read in-depth news and content as well as share experiences and ideas. The hub acts as a home base for its Alpha camera brand. 

Each ad unit will feature stories from the Alpha Universe, with one promoted as the hero. For instance, an article titled “Best Lenses for Landscapes” will be one of the heroes in Sony’s ad campaign. 

Articles “Start with the Light ” and “Take the Picture You Want” will support the hero with small thumbnails underneath. 

Flipboard’s new ad unit is targeted. Therefore, Sony’s campaign will appear for users browsing photography content and other related subjects. 

Flipboard advertising
Sephora also natively blended its ads into the flow of magazine and blog content ahead of its holiday sales event within Flipboard, which is known to keep in line with the beauty retailer's audience. 

The cosmetics brand was one of the first big names to make use of the new feature, but others are following. Sephora was hoping to make use of Storyboard to let their advertisements sit naturally and non-intrusively among Flipboard users' content streams (see more). 

Flipboard also recently partnered with publishers Bonnier, Rodale, and The Enthusiast Network to bring coverage of niche interests into the mobile arena.

The partnership made 65 new publications available on Flipboard’s mobile-optimized platform, including such legacy publications as Motor Trend, SLAM Magazine, Field & Stream, Popular Science and Men’s Health. The addition of the largely enthusiast-driven selection of magazines to Flipboard’s interface marks a dedication to making the publisher’s flagship publications more accessible while also driving exposure for smaller niche periodicals through the platform’s algorithms (see more). 

“For Sony's campaign, a photography enthusiast would be browsing content about photography, either in the photography channel or in their home feed,” Ms. McCormack said. “When flipping through content from LensCulture or Popular Photography, readers would come across a collection of content from Sony's Alpha Universe website, an online community full of stories, products, amazing photographs, and information for like-minded photography enthusiasts. 

“This collection is what we call a Promoted Roundup; it features one piece of content as a hero item at the top of the screen, followed by a carousel of three to nine related articles or images at the bottom of the screen,” she said. “The reader can dive into any of the items on the screen or swipe through the carousel to explore more. 

“Tapping on any one of the featured pieces takes the reader to AlphaUniverse.com through a browser inside of Flipboard. Closing out of the browser takes readers back to the Promoted Roundup where they can continue to explore the Alpha Universe content or flip past it to continue browsing their photography feed.”
 

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Consumer electronics, mobile marketing, blogging, flipboard, sony, ad, native ad, ad units, native ad units

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