When Marketing Doesn’t Seem Like Marketing At All

Businesses pour millions into making their company/product seen and heard, while others casually write informative articles that people read and connect with. Welcome to the new world of Native Advertising, where the best and brightest “advertising” is not advertising at all.



The definition of Native Advertising according to Wikipedia:

Native advertising is an online advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing content in the context of the user’s experience. Native ad formats match both the form and the function of the user experience in which it is placed. The advertiser’s intent is to make the paid advertising feel less intrusive and thus increase the likelihood users will click on it.

But as we will now explain, the most exciting result of Native Advertising is not in finding new ways to publicize companies and products, but in the real future that in represents.

Authentic Journalism

As explained in our article The Kabbalah of Native Advertising, the most “native” content is that which promotes something real and authentic. While the idea of “selling truth” seems impossible at first — that which is inner is known, external marketed – the rise of Native Advertising is one of many indicators that the time has now come to market truth.

Rod Ebrahimi recently wrote a great marketing piece for his company ReadyForZero, but his Forbes article wasn’t about his business.

The Kabbalistic source of Native Advertising is in the sefirah of da’at (knowledge) as it manifests in yesod (foundation) – the experience of the soul that verifies truth. Knowledge is also the sefirah that bridges opposites. In this case, between good inner thoughts, and an outer reality that we hope will recognize these thoughts.

Jewish Outreach

How do you market Tefillin? Judaism in general? From authentic people like Rabbi Moshe Feller and this recent Tablet Magazine article. But we can all integrate this lesson well – that the best “marketing” is not marketing at all. Sandy Koufax merited to “market” Yom Kippur to thousands in the merit of his real and authentic stance to step away from Game One of the World Series. This is the lesson is that real, authentic displays of “marketing,” are not marketing at all. In previous generations, there was no word for such a thing – how can a person market outside with something internal and authentic?

Now we have a term for this. It’s called advertising in a “native” or natural way.

Through this recent Tablet Magazine article, Rabbi Moshe Feller was able to promote tefillin outreach close to 50 years after the initial event. This contains a remarkable lesson: That when promoting truth, what makes something “new” is not based on when the event took place, but whether a true new light was revealed to the world.

Out of my many tweets from a few days ago, the one that got retweeted was an article from 1995 on Kabbalah & StringTheory, almost 20 years old

“Kosherizing” PR

Throughout history the world has been very good at PR. To show a good foot, image, to the public no matter what’s actually inside. But the transition we are now experiencing from a reliance on marketing to authentic journalism is only one indication of this greater change.

The animal that is best at PR is the pig, showing its cloven hoof to the world (outside), although it does not chew its cud (inside). In the future, pigs will be kosher. Even though pigs are still not kosher today, we can still express our futuristic fervor by rectifying PR (the Kabbalah is explained here).

While prior attempts to rectify the “pig” of PR were not conventional at all, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, and others already intuited this shift forward around fifty years ago. Their call for authenticity, transparency in government and business is still being felt today.

Our job now is to “kosherize” these efforts.

Revelation of Knowledge

The most sensitive soul of this PR shift in the present day was Aaron Swartz. He already intuited that all depends on the revelation of knowledge. This relates back to how we began. To rectify PR begins with honest and authentic journalism, the revelation of true knowledge, and not the advent of another marketing technique.

About the Author
Yonatan Gordon is a student of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and co-founder of
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