The narrative quality

   The narrative quality advertising can save the print media and avoid them disappearing.

   Jill Abramson (pictured), former director of the prestigious The New York Times said that «when I was elected, it was because of my ability to tell stories in depth». She explained it in a lecture on the importance of narrative given in the Rafael del Pino Foundation in Madrid as part of the third edition of «Conversations with …» a series of meetings organized by the Faculty of Journalism of the University of Navarra.

   Throughout the conference, she explained that the ability to tell stories is now actually more valuable than ever. What has this to do with advertising? I am sure that both in Spain as in the United States, it is the same. Everyone talks about the native advertising, called «branding». All such advertising is, in the final analysis, storytelling. It is advertising that does not seem advertising in the conventional sense but wants to look more like journalism. It is a more subtle advertising in the form in which the product is promoted. The success of such advertising has a lot to do with the ability of the storyteller.

   My concern with this new type of advertising is when it lies, when the goal is to deceive the reader and there isn’t a call to tell us that this is an advertising content.

   What I have observed in The New York Times, so far, is that such advertising does not try to deceive and confuse the readers. It is clearly marked as advertising but is so well done that it almost seems information. It’s a new form of advertising that has become a multimillion dollar business in the United States, and I do not know if it is the case in Spain, but it will. And to succeed in this field you have to get there good storytellers and resourceful creative advertising professionals.

   A week before I left The New York Times, Condé Nast Media Group announced that they would create a specific department dedicated to this new type of advertising and that they would dedicate some of their editors to be devoted to these ads because there was a huge demand for this new narrative advertising.

   Clemente Ferrer

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