Native or Immigrant?

Image taken from the Apple Website

I was asked this question last night, would the Apple’s Shot on iPhone 6 campaign be native or pure advertising? My first reaction was that it is advertising, and not native. But think again, it purports to be content, that has been created by people, on an iPhone. Almost like branded content, which more often than not is the linchpin of native. An argument against is, that it explicitly calls out that it’s an ad, being published by Apple on print/outdoor/TV etc; but so is all the advertorial content. What seemed simple and straightforward had enough substance for a debate.

So I stepped back and went to the original definition of native; Native advertising is a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. For example, an article written by an advertiser to promote their product, but using the same form as an article written by the editorial staff’. Now if you were to remove the filter of online and offline, it doesn’t really leave a lot.

What I would employ instead is context. If the pictures were a part of a coffee table book, or a photo blog, or an online album; or if the videos were shown in a NatGeo show, or a best of nature YouTube channel, I would categorise them as native. But if they are there as standalone testimonies to the awesomeness of an iPhone on a media that is exclusively owned and paid for by Apple. It is an ad. User generated, organic, beautiful but an ad nonetheless. Even if it wins a Cannes Lion.

(Previously posted by me here)

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