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There’s a tension in digital advertising: the need to be custom and the desire for scale. Right now, the two remain relatively far apart. Publishers like The New York Times and The Atlantic are building content studios to create custom executions like the work each has done for Netflix. And then there’s the world of programmatic, data-based and, well, creatively boring.
Back in 1900, Michelin released its first guide for French motorists. Complete with helpful maps and hotel names, the Michelin Guide was an immediate success. As the content itself had little to do with the brand’s product – tires – this was native advertising in its earliest form. Michelin’s goal was clear: More drivers, more tires.
Nisha Gopalan, the first head of New York magazine’s branded content studio, is a fast-talking writer, quick with war stories from her journalism days — like the time she interviewed Jimmy Fallon and Questlove for a Billboard cover story. It is just this editorial background, in fact, that has helped make New York Media a success in the branded content field.