Folio: "Marketing Services: Branded Content in the Age of Ad Aversion"

In the “Special Coverage” section three-fourths of the way down TheOnion.com sits a set of articles sponsored by Explore Minnesota.

Click the irreverent headline “All The Lame Recommendations We Got For What To Do In Seattle In 2016,” and you’ll be shown a slideshow of Washington State tourist spots with snarky captions complaining about Seattle as a travel destination.

The articles, created by Onion Labs, are funny enough on their own. Most are only tangentially related to the advertiser, whose branding and banner ads appear multiple times on each article. It’s the type of content readers expect when they go to read The Onion. Minnesota is never mentioned, but the state’s sponsorship of the article actually makes the joke funnier.

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