Is Kim Kardashian programmatically buying native advertising?

I saw Kim Kardashian recently in Cannes. We were in the same restaurant. I was dining on truffled lobster and gulping down champagne surrounded by an entourage of fawning admirers, publicists and stylists; she was having the set menu with some brand managers and the receptionist from a digital agency poor love. She waved apparently.

But I won’t bore you with tales of Kim and me. Instead I want to share with you something I heard recently that I found thoroughly depressing. A marketing journalist told me that the stories that get the most traffic on the website they write for are consistently the ones about programmatic buying or native advertising.

After some Prozac I wondered why this is so. Can there be that much to know about algorithmic buying and advertorials? And why aren’t marketers desperate solely to read about sexy, exciting things like advertising effectiveness and TV or, say, TV and advertising effectiveness? Too much to ask probably.

Anyway, it struck me that there must be so many articles being pumped out and read about programmatic buying and native advertising because no one is really sure yet what to say or do about them; no one has pinned either down to everyone’s satisfaction. I’m not sure everyone even agrees on the definitions.

Marketers are constantly being told this or that will change everything and uncertainty can breed anxiety. You need to look clued up on the next big thing. Clearly not everyone is; I have heard several senior marketing directors stand on stages and admit they haven’t a clue about what programmatic is or means to them.

If in doubt, turn to effectiveness if you want to know what to do with your marketing budgets. It is always a good antidote to uncertainty.

Anyway, I thought I would use my new insight into the topics that marketers want to read about to create the unashamed clickbait gold of my headline. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brand Republic’s servers crash under the feverish interest. But, if it manages to survive the increase in traffic, I’m sorry to break it to you that, like most headlines posing a question, the answer is no and you don’t find out until near the end of the piece.

I learned at our recent Big Think @ BAFTA event that the most effective clickbait headlines inspire curiosity. You deserve some sort of reward for allowing your curiosity to lead you to read this far. So, if you can tear yourself away from reading articles about programmatic buying and native advertising then I hope you will find these sessions from BAFTA equally, if not more, insightful: Ian Leslie on curiosity; Laurence Green, Richard Eyre and Verica Djurdjevic talking about real time data; and Sir John Hegarty and Peter Fincham talking about creativity (all can be watched here at 2 mins 22 secs, 30 mins 30 secs and 2 hrs 3 mins).

Kim might have been at Big Think, but I didn’t see her. She should have waved.

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