I'd Like To Teach The World To Spin

The nice thing about native advertising is that no two people define it the same way. But that didn’t stop New York Times Executive Vice President-Advertising Meredith Kopit Levien from trying to redefine it -- not as a noun, the way most people use the term, but as an adjective.

The noun version used by most people, she said during a keynote at OMMA Native in New York, simply means a new kind of advertising “format.” The adjective espoused by Levien, is more like an experience: “Advertising that takes shape like the story telling around it and seeks to emulate its engagement.”

She also began her presentation by showing what she believes is the seminal best case example of that, Coca-Cola’s classic 1970s “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” spot (you know, the one featuring a multicultural chorus singing on an Italian hilltop).

“The first song I ever loved or memorized wasn’t given by the Eagles or a band from the 70s,” Levien, said of the spot, adding that it was “given to me and the world by a brand.”

While the song originated in a 1971 commercial for Coke, it eventually got covered by a legit band, The New Seekers, which dropped the name Coke from the lyrics, making me think it was actually the first example of a native editorial format.

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