New Venture from The Onion Has Your Clickbait, Native Ad Needs Covered


7 pricks

You already know The Onion for its mastery of satirical news pieces, but this week everyone’s favorite source for clever headlines launched its own take on the trend that everyone in media loves to hate: clickbait.

Clickhole, which launched today, isn’t quite as dirty as it sounds: it’s an assortment of spots with almost-believable, made-you-click headlines like “16 Pictures of Beyonce Where She’s Not Sinking in Quicksand” and our personal favorite pictured above–all presented in a style that might just remind you of a certain site whose writers really, really love shopping at Target.

Clickhole isn’t just about the LOLs, though–it’s also primed to be a major native ad platform along the lines of Obamacare-loving content studio Onion Labs.

We asked The Onion president Mike McAvoy (who recently discussed content strategy with Mediabistro’s own Valerie Berrios) what Clickhole is all about–and what role branded content plays in the venture.

What kind of content can we expect from ClickHole? How will it differ from/complement the Onion’s signature style?

It will complement the Onion in that it’s smart, satirical content but the focus will be on new media outlets more than traditional news sources. That being said, the parodying of click bait sites is something that relates to all publishers.

 How specific and data-focused is your content strategy?

The content strategy mirrors the process of the Onion. Where the writing team selects the absolute best of the many headline ideas and then develops the content from there. We’re data driven in that we analyze what performs well, but the content development process is much more art than science.

What’s the nature of the Jack Link’s relationship?

Jack Link’s has been a great partner of The Onion for years. We knew they appreciated our irreverent style of humor, and that they are a brand willing to try new things to reach their audience and build their brand. That’s why wanted to pitch them Clickhole.

How will Clickhole work with future sponsors?

It will be supported by native advertising campaigns from many sponsors, much in the same way that other publishers support their sites.

All of the content is created in-house. It will be a mix of editorial and native advertising content.

How does it relate to the Onion Labs project?

Onion Labs is our development process where we create ideas we believe in that can be financed by advertisers. Clickhole is the output of that process, and a collaboration with Jack Links.

Sounds like another excellent partnership opportunity for brands that want to reach that core “enjoys things that are funny” demographic.

Hey, we just clicked on “8 Touching Pics of Celebrities and Their Dads“…and you won’t BELIEVE what happened next!

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