A weird term that has cropped up recently is "earned media", by which advertisers mean editorial content and public relations. A joint research study from Synaptic Digital and Kantar Video, reported by MediaPost, seems to say that brand messages from advertisers resonate best with consumers when packaged in newsworthy, informative formats rather than a straight-ahead paid ads (note that the research focusses on TV). Perhaps "earned media" is the new term for "advertorial". Hard to say.
The research asked 1,800 respondents to look at messages about a major American automotive brand, the messages being provided in a variety of ways and the results were measured against brand awareness, perceived favourability and persuasiveness. The study found that as consumers concentrate more on a purchasing decision (or to use the ineffable phrase "move through the sales funnel") brand ads work best when augmented by earned and paid content. In other words, being associated with editorial and public relations messages.
Women are able to piece together messages delivered via brand advertising and newsy formats. Those score significantly higher on brand metrics than any one format, while men are influenced by earned media, or public relations, and little else, according to the study findings.