Back on May 3, PR News reported that the popular blog network Tumblr was launching its own advertising platform. The space for the paid platform is located in "Radar," the area on user dashboards that highlights interesting Tumblr blogs. On June 11, Tumblr launched its first large-scale campaign with a global brand, Adidas, in conjunction with the month-long 2012 UEFA European Football Championship being held in Poland and Ukraine.
In keeping with the visual nature of Tumblr, the campaign, reports AdAge, features the Adidas Football Tumblr blog with an array of static images, animated GIFs and YouTube videos. Adidas intends to promote fresh content on the Radar spot as the soccer tournament progresses. What is Adidas paying for the exposure? According to Digiday.com, there's a $25,000 minimum for buying ad placements in Radar.
Tumblr's move to attract advertising dollars follows other prominent social platforms' efforts to turn their cool offerings into actual revenue generators, such as Twitter's "promoted" ad products and YouTube's video ads. However, turning Tumblr into a money-making venture could be risky, as the blog platform—boasting nearly 60 million blogs and almost 16 billion monthly page views—might turn off a devoted user base that would rather see great images on the site than big-brand advertising.
Perhaps as a PR precursor, Tumblr refuses to use the word "advertising" when describing the new offering, instead calling the ads "sponsor products." It might be better—and more upfront—PR to come out and say what the program really is: advertising to create revenue.
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