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Media Martini: WaPo Tries Sponsored Content, Fortune TOC, Google Introduces VW-Branded Journal App

It’s been quite an interesting week in media! Check out our top picks from this week’s stories — and savor them along with your martini.

1.  The Washington Post Moves Into Sponsored Content

Washington Post Embraces Sponsored ContentThis week, The Washington Post launched “BrandConnect,” which will allow marketers to create content – through blog posts, videos and infographics – on the newspaper’s site and homepage. This sponsored content will even get “prime real estate” on the WaPo homepage. Content will be created by marketers or through the publisher’s advertiser team – but not using editorial resources.  And native advertising will be labeled: each post will have a “Sponsor Generated Content” label and an information symbol, which will say “BrandConnect is content provided for our advertisers” when clicked.

2.  Fortune-Branded Editorial Content For Advertisers

Fortune’s new “Trusted Original Content” (TOC) program involves “creating original, Fortune-branded editorial content (articles, video, newsletters) exclusively for marketers to distribute on their own platforms.” The price tag ranges from $250,000 to $1 million, and Capital One has already signed on as the first client.  But what does creating content expressly for an advertiser mean for editorial integrity? Fortune insists that TOC content will go through the normal editorial process, and while advertising clients agree on the topic, they won’t see the content until its ready to run.  Will advertisers be willing to give up that control?
VW branded Smileage app

3.  Google’s New “Smileage” App Makes Branded Advertising Useful For Consumers

Google wants “reimagine digital advertising for the mobile app age.”  What does that involve? A new series of ‘experiments’ that will bring creative pros, ad agencies and brands together in an attempt to make branded advertising a useful tool for consumers. This week Google introduced the first example, an interactive Volkswagen trip journal app called “Smileage.” TechCrunch dubs the concept an “adverapp,” as it allows users “to create an automatic, live interactive map” of their road trip, but incorporates themes from VW’s 2012 advertising campaign.

What were you talking about in media this week?