Most businesses experience troubles getting people to read their sponsored content. 52% of people don’t actually trust videos, audios, or articles sponsored by brands. The Onion, American digital media company, found the way to earn the audience’s trust by creating sponsored content in a genre of satire.


How Pungent is “The Onion”?

The Onion is the news organization that has been really influential over the last twenty-five years. It gains over 15 million visitors every month and more than 54 million page views. On the social media platforms, the Onion beats many other publication platforms out by getting 5 million Facebook fans and having around 8 million Twitter followers.

Besides publishing world’s news, The Onion offers content services to brands through The Onion Lab. The major distinctive feature of their content services is the implementation of satire into their work. How they are doing it and why traditional branded content can buzz off is discussed later in the article.


Why is making fun of branded content is such a brilliant strategy?

Rick Homan, Chief Commercial Officer of The Onion, discusses the process of creating branded content in The Onion during one of his recent interviews. He says that it can be really daunting and risky for businesses to slide out of the bubble of their comfort zone and trust The Onion, but the outcomes are usually quite positive. Homan states that they approach it in a best possible way to serve the client, and they never humiliate or make their clients feel uncomfortable.

Along the way, Hassan Ali Khan, The Onion’s VP of marketing, says “All we’re doing is making fun of the idea of sponsored content” about their marketing strategies. Most brands are afraid of that deviant approach, but those who take risk are usually rewarded for their courage.


The Onion’s branded content is implemented in a form of a teaser that can be easily distinguished among other boring native ads models that traditional content services usually offer. Building humorous content is challenging and takes a lot of time and effort, but The Onion does its best to satisfy and pleasantly surprise their clients and customers.


What are some cool examples of The Onion’s branded content?

This Facebook post sponsored by the Schick Xtreme3 razor got about 13k likes and 2k shares!

The tweet was sponsored by Reebok and was reposted more than 120 times and got 240 favorites.


Why do classical commercials suck?


Because it is boring and people hate being caught up in that trap of constant persuasion what to buy and how to buy it.

Rick Homan says that people are reluctant to waste their time on the typical ads sponsored by brands, and the greatest mistake here is to create a typical commercial video that last 30 seconds and that clearly serves for the advertisement of a brand.

Mike McAvoy, CEO of The Onion, states “Create the kind of content your audience wants but, make something that people aren’t actively trying to avoid – actually make something entertaining”. The audience should not only be entertained by the content, but also it should gain precious and unique experience. The Onion aces it by giving this amazing chance to its clients.

To survive in the business world, companies need to be really outstanding. The Onion is one of the first organizations that gives brands an opportunity to stand out in the pool of other businesses by creating satirical and humorous content.

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