Adidas Launches Large-Scale Ad Campaign on Tumblr

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, 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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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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