Purpose: Promotion of the new Marvel movie Ant Man.
Is that loveable Hollywood man, Paul Rudd, in that picture? Is that him?! Why is he wearing that plate? Why does that plate say Scott Lang? Is that Scott Lang on top of this blog post? Who is Scott Lang? What is this?!
Slow down, slow down; you were right the first time: That is loveable Hollywood man, Paul Rudd, on top of this blog post. But he is in character! As Scott Lang from the Marvel film Ant-Man.
In July 2015, the worlds of cinema and native advertising collided and merged, when Marvel Studios posted a slick native ad on Mashable. The sponsored post imitates, or more accurately parodies, the style of a real crime report with the opening line: In 10 days, the doors of San Quentin prison will release one of its most memorable inmates. The article explains why Scott Lang was locked away and you can definitely read between the lines that he is going to seek revenge against those damn bastards that robbed him of his freedom. It’s almost like a movie script!
The article includes a video “news report” about Lang’s release. Overall, it’s a pretty funny piece of native. The storytelling speaks in a very brand specific and unique voice. We applaud that. Fans of the Marvel superhero universe should embrace it and newcomers will get an appealing and efficient introduction to Ant-Man.
However, we’re not completely sold on Mashable’s labeling which says nothing more but “BrandSpeak”. It remains one of the vaguest and least transparent ways a publisher can formulate that the following content is sponsored. It doesn’t even mention the actual sponsor, Marvel Studio.
The final verdict: Good content. Bad labeling.
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