As the race for the White House heats up, BuzzFeed is looking to grab a big piece of the political advertising pie.
The millennial-skewing website has launched a new native advertising venture built for candidates and policy groups. Those who participate will appear in BuzzFeed-style videos, which will be clearly marked as advertisements, created in conjunction with product and branded video teams from BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Rena Shapiro, who served as advertising director for Pandora, will lead the new venture as vp of politics and advocacy. No ads have been sold yet.
"BuzzFeed is the top place millennials and influentials are reading and sharing news, and with the smart and thoughtful reporting from BuzzFeed Politics, there is a huge demand for political and advocacy groups to tap into that audience," said Shapiro in a statement. "From our shareable videos to our social posts, there's a massive opportunity, and I can't wait to get started"
This is not the first time BuzzFeed has attempted to drive revenue from political advertisements. During the 2012 election, President Barack Obama's campaign team ran a series of video ads that attacked GOP nominee Mitt Romney, most notably for his "binders full of women" comment.
The launch of native video ads comes as the candidates are looking to find ways to reach millennial voters, who are increasingly moving away from traditional TV. Hillary Clinton was interviewed this morning on BuzzFeed's Another Round podcast. (In the pre-online media days, during the 1992 campaign, Bill Clinton famously targeted young voters when he appeared on MTV and played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall show.)
Earlier this year, BuzzFeed posted a video of Republican candidate Ted Cruz's "audition" to replace Harry Shearer on The Simpsons when the voice actor was thought to have left the Fox sitcom.