Content Creation vs The Hard Sell


Our Renegade Writer Runner-Up Sarah Kramer, writes about the emergence of ad blockers and how that will force our industry to change the way we advertise online.

If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em – the shift to native led content creation vs the hard sell!

Consumers are smart… No let me rephrase that – as a consumer myself, we like to think we’re smart. We know when we’re being sold to… well…at least we think we know. So when we’re faced with advertisements online we view them negatively, merely as an annoyance, rather than anything else. That’s why we block them right?

Today’s tech-savvy culture consists of phones permanently attached to hands that with a tap of a button, bam! Alter our online societies. This tap of a finger can demolish a friendship or delete evidence of a previous relationship- it never happened right? The options are endless! The scary thing though is that with that tap of the finger consumers can become murderers… Grim? One tap on ad blockers and they’re gone! Poof! Our ads are dead… R.I.P!

You know what they say though, with death comes new life and new beginnings……So what does this mean for us advertisers in the future? How do we sell client products and brands to reluctant consumers who just don’t want to be sold to?

Okay…. that’s a tough question, so….how about an easier question first…

How do you get yourself out of an awkward situation when you see someone you are trying to avoid? If only there was a tap out option in real life! But this is livin Barry! There’s no button to tap! So what do we do? Our only options are to disguise ourselves, hold up whatever we have in our hand or pick up the closest object and cover our faces with it!…

You may be wondering how this relates to selling our client’s products to unwilling consumers? Simple. The answer lies in the first option, the art of disguise. An old trick that has been around for centuries. We need to re-structure ‘how’ we sell our products by disguising them, utilising native content creation to drive our campaigns. This requires augmenting our advertising content/creative by blurring the lines between adverts and consumer generated content (like the traditional editorial vs advertorial).

Social influencers are a great example of how to execute this disguise concept. Be it on a local or global scale, social influencers use their online presence to subliminally sell client’s products in native and bespoke ways that align with not only the consumer’s personal ideologies but also their own. Genius!… That said, some are obviously better at native content than others *cough* Kimye *cough*! Social influencers usually have strong, personal brand pillars that drive organic and sponsored content that is shared across all of their earned, owned and paid platforms.

renegade writer up


This means the future landscape of online advertising need not be portrayed so grimly. And this begins with us and how we portray ourselves. So let’s get CREATIVE! As advertisers, we need to embrace innovation and fresh approaches by moulding this negativity into something new, exciting and engaging. For example, we can create adverts in novel ways, that are likeable, believable, relatable and shareable that transform our consumers from reluctant to willing participants.

Social influencers, native content creation and bespoke engagements online are just the start to approaching online advertising more creatively. Consumers are our target audience and at the end of the day…. we are all consumers! So, why don’t we start selling like them? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em…. right?


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