GE Partners With BuzzFeed for B-to-B Native Ads

Promotes company's presence at Paris Air Show

BuzzFeed debuted a new ad campaign over the weekend in an effort to promote GE's presence at the Paris Air Show, Tech Crunch reported.

The campaign includes sponsored posts such as the article "16 Amazing Things You'll See at an Air Show" and the custom video "Incredible Flight Discoveries That You Didn't Know About." A new computer game-like way of navigating the site, called "Flight Mode," creates a grid of articles that readers fly over with a little superimposed airplane.

In addition to promoting GE Aviation's involvement with The Paris Air Show, a weeklong industry event that ended Sunday, the campaign touted the new GE 90 turbofan. Why would BuzzFeed, a popular site known for fluffy listicles like "19 Puppies Whose Best Friends Are Teddy Bears," create sponsored content aimed at people who make decisions about jetliners?

The partnership represents "the consumerization of b-to-b marketing," Jon Steinberg, president and COO of BuzzFeed, told TechCrunch. Advertisers can reach a business audience, Steinberg explained, through increasingly industry-oriented consumer products on the Web.

“The people who influence and make large b-to-b purchases are the same people who enjoy consuming and sharing news and social emotional content on BuzzFeed,” Steinberg told Digiday. “With an audience of 60 million monthly readers, and targeting via real human-to-human sharing, we can ensure a message about aviation is received by those most interested.”

The flight discoveries video, Steinberg said, has garnered 100,000 views, from a mixed audience of airplane enthusiast consumers and b-to-b purchasers.

“People in positions to make purchases in the aviation field, they like engaging content and the same fun stuff as everyone else,” Steinberg said.

Perhaps this campaign anticipates a new trend for consumer-oriented sites that cater to businesses. After all, BuzzFeed was one of the pioneers of native advertising, fueled by the company's dislike for traditional banner ads.