Native ads get the presidential treatment


Well sponsored content, you’ve arrived. If you have not yet heard, United States President Barack Obama appeared on Between Two Ferns, the Zach Galifianakis hosted web talk show which appears on the Funny Or Die comedy website. The Commander-in-Chief surprised the the online show’s fans when he stopped by for the 6-minute segment which had featured past awkward celebrity interviews with Justin Bieber, Bruce Willis, and Charlize Theron.

So besides the passive aggressive humour, awkward silences, and witty jabs, why did the leader of one the planet’s super-powers show up on a web video? The answer is short and simple – native advertising.

Obama’s health care initiative – – made headlines in the fall over its stilted start. The site, who’s goal was to make affordable healthcare available for 36 U.S. states which opted to participate in the program. The original sign up deadline was late December 2013, but the site suffered such famous outages and lag times that several prominent technological leaders were called upon to help fix the site.


Now that the kinks are ironed out, the deadline has been extended until the end of March, and the president has been attempting to keep the date in the headlines. Thus in the middle of the Between Two Ferns, Obama plugs the website and the upcoming deadline.

This is native advertising at it’s best. It’s quality content which has been shared and re-watched measurably, and has lead to tangible results in traffic

This isn’t the first time Funny Or Die has partnered with the government initiative. Billy On The Street, a game segment where comedian Billy Eichner asks rapid fire questions to pedestrians on the streets of New York held a sponsored version of the game, extolling the virtues of and starring actor Olivia Wilde.

As you can see from the picture, there where several calls to action, and the responsive site worked seamlessly on desktop and mobile layouts driving viewers to the initiative.

The video, which is still being shared on Facebook and Twitter as you read this, may become 2014’s Oreo tweet – a shining example of execution, with a presidential seal of approval.