Advertorial – Definition

Cite this article as:"Advertorial – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated February 10, 2020, last accessed November 26, 2020,


Advertorial Definition

An advertorial is an advertisement in a newspaper, magazine, or website that looks like an article in the newspaper of the magazine. Advertorials are paid content that newspapers and magazines insert in their publication as one of their own contents. In the actual sense, the term ‘advertorial’ is a combination of advertisement and editorial. It is the content of a newspaper or magazine that has an editorial outlook but designed to advertise a brand.

Advertorial is a key way company and manufacturers advertise their products on the pages of magazines and newspapers. Although advertorials do not have the obvious look of ads, they perform the same function as normal advertisements.

A Little More on What is an Advertorial

Advertorial presents a form of subtle and professional advertisement of products and services to generate more sales and income for the manufacturer. Advertorials can also be published on websites, this can be as videos or articles. The information about the product being advertised backed up with research of the product is published on the pages of newspapers, magazines and websites.

Advertorials often attract readers than her forms of traditional ads since they are written as articles and provide information about a given product or service.  According to a recent study, readers lose interest when they notice that a video or content is sponsored by a brand. However, in the case of advertorial, readers are more interest given that it is a content published by a reliable newspaper or magazine.

When publishing advertorials, it is important that newspapers and magazines indicate that a particular content is an advertorial, this content might be given a label which states “sponsored” or “special advertising section” so as not to mislead readers.

Manufacturers who use advertorial must ensure that the advertisement is designed to suit the pattern of a publication or the publishing house as well as be suitable for consumers. When selecting the newspaper or magazine to publish with, the manufacturer must consider the audience the publication reaches and whether it matches the intended consumer for the products.


Here are some things you should know before publishing an advertorial;

  • An advertorial is a paid ad published on a newspaper or magazine like a normal article.
  • An advertorial content must align with the publication’s editorial content such as writing style, font size, headlines, and other visual elements.
  • Advertorials contain editorial opinions and research analysis about a product that helps readers how certain products and services can be a solution to certain problems.
  • Every advertorial must be supported with the appropriate statistics and information about the product or service. An advertorial helps a brand to create awareness about its products or services in a unique way.

Reference for “Advertorial” › Definitions › Marketing › Advertisement › Insights › Markets & Economy

Academics research on “Advertorial”

On the deceptive effectiveness of labeled and unlabeled advertorial formats, Kim, B. H., Pasadeos, Y., & Barban, A. (2001). On the deceptive effectiveness of labeled and unlabeled advertorial formats. Mass Communication & Society, 4(3), 265-281. This experiment investigates the effects of an advertorial message on 4 dimensions of reader involvement. The use of the advertorial format was found to have increased participants’ perceived message relevance, attention to written message, message elaboration, and message recall over the use of a standard advertisement format. Responses to labeled and unlabeled versions of the same advertorial did not vary significantly. Although participants perceived both labeled and unlabeled advertorials to be advertisements, rather than editorial material, more than two thirds of the participants who were exposed to a labeled advertorial failed to recall the presence of the label. Our findings indicate that the advertorial format fools readers into greater involvement with the advertising message and that the presence of advertorial labels may not be particularly effective in alerting consumers to the true nature of the message.

Trends in magazine advertorial use, Stout, P. A., Wilcox, G. B., & Greer, L. S. (1989). Trends in magazine advertorial use. Journalism Quarterly, 66(4), 960-964.

Visibility labour: Engaging with Influencers’ fashion brands and# OOTD advertorial campaigns on Instagram, Abidin, C. (2016). Visibility labour: Engaging with Influencers’ fashion brands and# OOTD advertorial campaigns on Instagram. Media International Australia, 161(1), 86-100. Influencer commerce has experienced an exponential growth, resulting in new forms of digital practices among young women. Influencers are one form of microcelebrity who accumulate a following on blogs and social media through textual and visual narrations of their personal, everyday lives, upon which advertorials for products and services are premised. In Singapore, Influencers are predominantly young women whose commercial practices are most noted on Instagram. In response, everyday users are beginning to model after Influencers through tags, reposts and #OOTDs (Outfit Of The Day), unwittingly producing volumes of advertising content that is not only encouraged by Influencers and brands but also publicly utilised with little compensation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork among Instagram Influencers and followers in Singapore, this article investigates the visibility labour in which followers engage on follower-anchored Instagram advertorials, in an attention economy that has swiftly profited off work that is quietly creative but insidiously exploitative.

Advertorial: creative solution or last resort?, Goodlad, N., Eadie, D. R., Kinnin, H., & Raymond, M. (1997). Advertorial: creative solution or last resort?. International Journal of Advertising, 16(2), 73-84. In what is becoming an increasingly cluttered competitive environment, advertisers are being forced to identify alternative approaches with which to communicate their messages. This article focuses on one possible approach, the advertorial, a term typically used to describe a print advertisement where the execution, and in particular the copy, is in the editorial style of the host publication. Drawing on a preliminary review of the literature and an exploratory research study, comprising a press review and a series of in‐depth interviews with practitioners, the article considers the profile of the press advertorial and advertising feature within the present advertising environment and their potential as an effective communication tool.

The advertorial as a tool of mediated public diplomacy, Golan, G. J. (2014). The advertorial as a tool of mediated public diplomacy. International Journal of Communication, 8, 21. This study examines Russia’s use of the advertorial as a strategic tool of public diplomacy. Our analysis of 303 advertorial news items published in supplemental sections of The Washington Post and The Times of India finds that, overall, Russian advertorials focused primarily on economics, culture, and international relations. However, the results point to greater diversity in issue promotion for the U.S. advertorials than for the Indian advertorials. Furthermore, we identified dissimilar attribute promotion strategies between the two advertorials. The Indian advertorials focused predominantly on Russia’s power attribute, whereas U.S. advertorials highlight Russia’s attributes as an innovative, developed, and investor-friendly nation. Research findings are discussed in the wider scope of mediated public diplomacy and international agenda-building scholarship.

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