Tone of Voice | Pauhu Translations' blog

A good story is not enough

A good story is not enough

The Kuukausiliite monthly supplement to the largest newspaper in Finland is a parade of Finnish journalism, whose excellence has been praised and awarded numerous times. High quality should, therefore, also be expected from the supplement’s ads, which are increasingly narrated content marketing or native advertising produced by the media company itself. But Kuukausiliite's native ads are not appealing reads. Why is that?

If the mere placement of an advertisement costs more than 28,000 euros and the production of the ad comprises an additional hefty amount, the ad purchaser has good reason to demand the best possible quality. No casual result should be eligible for production, but incomplete ideas must be returned back to the drawing board. 

For one reason or another,  I rated two out of the three ads from the monthly supplement that I examined in my Mediaansekantuja blog a while ago as mediocre attempts.

The recipe for an enticing story is no business secret, but it has to be re-invented each time- over and over again.  The journalist's article will entice the reader, if its topic is stimulating and timely.  If the story is a visually appealing entity, the mass of text involved will not immediately bother the reader at the start, trouble has been taken in its illustrations and headings, the story progresses smoothly in time and place, and, in particular, the beginning and end of the story are exceedingly well written. Only a very busy reader could possibly refuse to read this type of article.

The same formula for a good story also runs true in content marketing, but, according to journalistic guidelines, a story that is marked as an advertisement must also crush an internal adblocker located in the reader's head.  Studies have shown that newspaper advertising is considered to be the most convenient way to receive ads.  The reason for this is, at least in part, that advertisements in a newspaper are easier to ignore, nor do they irritate the reader as much as a forceful ad window on webpages or web video ads that cannot be bypassed.

In order to stop and read ads, I should first be taught, as a reader, that advertisements may also contain good stories.  Traditional advertising aesthetics have informed us that ads have  large, great pictures, followed by an inventive slogan.  Before, it was sufficient to take a mere, small glance, but now it should first interest you so much that you wish to delve deeper into it to read.

Not a very easy task for an ad creator!

Additionally, readers should be allowed to share content marketing on social media, in the same way in which news stories are shared.  Only the sharing of stories currently exists.

In my journalistic bubble, content marketing is mainly shared by the authors themselves - I do not remember seeing even one such story in my feeds over the last few months.  The adblocker in one’s head blocks the will to read and share the article.  What could be done about it? 

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Linda Ahlblad, | 21.11.2019
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