Signs of the Times - April 2014 - (Page 16)

Te c h no lo gy U p date By Darek Johnson Native Advertising - Can You Believe It? Darek Johnson is ST's Senior Technology Editor/ Analyst. Email him at darek.johnson@ stmediagroup.com One in four Americans believes the sun revolves around the Earth. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. - Unknown history student The sweet, cherry tomatoes are your best springtime choice for salsa fresca, because they're not genetically altered, like those tasteless, baseball-sized ones. She, a slender, strawberry blond not yet 20 years old, was cashing me out at the neighborhood Kroger supermarket. She priced my Mexico-grown cilantro last, and then asked for my Kroger card. I dislike such record keeping, but wanted the discount, so I handed it across. I noticed her nametag. It said "Cheyenne" - the same name as the Native American tribe and, of course, the capital city of Wyoming. Odd, I thought, for an obviously Irish girl, one living in the Midwest, to have such a name. "Interesting name," I said. She smiled, but seemed confused. "Cheyenne?" I said. "Oh, yes." She smiled again and placed my half-dozen limes in a plastic bag. "You've been to Cheyenne, Wyoming?" "No, but I'd like to go," she said. "Pretty place, I used to live nearby and went there often. Have you researched the Cheyenne tribe?" "No, but I keep meaning to." She handed over my receipt and said my Kroger card had saved me 87 cents. I said, "You should read about the Sand Creek Massacre, where Colonel Chivington's Colorado militia attacked Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle's protected village 16 SIGNS OF THE TIMES April 2014 and killed, well, basically murdered, more than a hundred women and children -" I lowered my groceries into the cart and then looked up, to continue my monologue. She was asking the next customer for their Kroger card. T he National Science Foundation recently said one in four surveyed Americans believes the sun revolves around the Earth. I found this on NPR news, where writer Scott Neuman also said a 2005 European Union poll reported 66% of Europeans answered the same question incorrectly. The sun revolves around the earth? Where did they get that? Either someone fed them the wrong information, or they didn't pay attention in school. Either way, it's mistaken, but incidental, information that won't impede their everyday lives. Still, the survey shows that some people lack a sense of exploration, curiosity, which can be both expensive and dangerous. Novelist Daniel James, in his The Boys in the Boat, tells of young men who, in the '30s, read newspaper ads that declared the health benefits of smoking. One such ad said many of the NY Giants smoked cigarettes, which steadied their nerves and helped them win the World Series. Such flawed information could lead to serious health issues. Today, our numerous media sources are colonized by knowledgeable people, and a few mystics and geniuses. It's where we learn to question what we read. Expectedly, most media contain advertising, which sits nicely outside the editorial-content box. We're comfortable with such advertising because it's easily identified. We know the sponsor is trying to sell us something. We can either read it, click past it or turn the page. However, you may have missed one type of ad because the distributor prefers more obscure - inside the box - presentations. Called "native advertising," it may become the ad zeitgeist of the times. Native advertising On May 29, 2013, The New York Times announced that it and Hearst magazines were among the latest publishers to introduce advertising presented as editorial content in their mobile and digital spaces. Times writer Taylor Miller said, "Native advertising is advertising that resembles an article in its host publication, but is actually provided by an advertiser or outside company." Years back, magazines clearly identified such stories as "advertorials." The trend is less obvious today, because contemporary native advertising tries to make sponsor-provided content look like a news story or feature article. In various forms, such ads can populate all media sources - printed pages, web content, mobile apps and movies. Picture Mel Gibson drinking from a Pepsi can. Generally, the native-advertising writer is an industry-employed person with some expertise. The intent is to make sponsor-provided content look like editorial content - a genuine news or feature article. Since 1917, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought lawsuits against ads masquerading as editorial content. On December 4, 2013, it held a daylong workshop

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - April 2014

Signs of the Times - April 2014
Columns & Departments
Features
ST Update
Technology Update
ISA Sign Expo 2014 – Making the most of it
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review: Roland’s SOLJET Pro 4 XF-640 printer
Technology Review: EFI’s VUTEk GS2000/3250 digital-hybrid printers
Sign Museum News
New Products
The 2014 Intl. Sign Contest
2nd Annual Readers’ Choice Award
For the Record
ISA Expo Adds SEGD Component
Surprising Evidence about Neon’s History
Editorially speaking
Advertising index

Signs of the Times - April 2014

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