"More than ever, we see that brands want...to respond and react and reach a specific audience in real-time," Donovan told AdExchanger following the presentation. "This is for brands that want to be relevant within the moment. I don't think any other publication – with the kind of mass audience that Huffington Post has – ever made it so easy to do that until now."
Donovan declined to venture a guess as to when a marketer might want to avail itself of a quick sponsored post, saying Digitas and its clients will make that determination. The value of this system is not necessarily an extreme, spontaneous need to get a message out quickly but rather to skip the cumbersome process of putting a native ad through the same media buying process as a creative spot, Donovan said.
Digitas marketers who want to try the system must fill out a simple, password-protected online form detailing where they want the content to run and for how long. The content creation is all on the marketer or agency side; HuffPost doesn't touch it, Donovan noted. Marketers can also decide the duration of the content as well as how it looks to a certain extent, though the submissions will look similar to a regular HuffPost editorial product, albeit one labeled "branded content."
"This is pretty similar to the sponsored content that we've done for years," Donovan said. "The difference here is that it doesn't have to be hosted in our HuffPost 'skin.' Plus, as with our Branded Partnerships program, we try teach brands what kinds of things click with our audience. That education will also be available for this new tool."