Advertorials for countries in newspapers and magazines.

The Guardian newspaper in the UK sometimes has A4 supplements included advertising an Emirate or other up and coming country. Today’s Guardian had one for Gibraltar. They’re usually not primarily focused on drumming up tourism, they tend to emphasise the business potential of the country or area they advertise, that is, they’re aimed at increasing investment through well presented puff pieces about local success stories etc.

I’m confused as to why these advertorials are included in newspapers. It seems to me that very few amongst the general newspaper readership are going to be in the position to be able to invest, so why include these adverts? I understand them more when placed in business and finance magazines but even then I wonder to what extent they might work. If I wanted to start a business in a foreign country I would need more than a 12 page supplement to persuade me. I suppose the objective is to plant awareness of a place in an investor’s head but anyway these are odd wee ephemera.

Possibly because it may still be an economical way to reach those few among the readership who are in the position to invest in those places.

For example, in the U.S., we have the “Sunday morning news shows” on the major TV networks (“Face the Nation” on CBS, “Meet the Press” on NBC, “This Week” on ABC). They’re serious news discussions, usually focusing on politics. The advertising on those programs tends to be focused on ads which target “decision-makers” or “thought leaders” – highly influential people in business and government. Those people likely make up far less than 1% of the viewership of those programs – and, yet, the advertisers know that such people are very likely to be watching those programs, so it’s still a good ad placement for them. It just so happens that the vast majority of the viewers don’t care a whit about the message – but the advertiser doesn’t care. He’s reached his intended target, even though there’s a lot of “slop” in the ad buy.

Yeah I suppose it’s like the ads for NGOs and what not on CNN. They seem to be aimed at a very few individuals.

Then there are the ads for defense contractors up in the DC Metro. Same story.

It’s mainly I would have thought that people with that sorta clout would be reading something better than the Grauniad or whatnot. In fact I would have thought by now that really high flying individuals would have eschewed print media consumption entirely.

Judging by the quality of British governance over the last half century, I would assume that to be The Sun.

Well also, nobody ever said that those paying for the ads know what they are doing or are making good decisions.

Not necessarily, and not exclusively. Around my brother’s office you see 50 copies of the two local newspapers every day, versus one FT and ten Expansión (Spanish finance newspaper). This is the head office of a corporation with interests in over 40 countries - and the guy who likes his FT on paper doesn’t even work International.