WSJ Dives Into 'Cocainenomics' for Netflix 'Narcos' Native Ad

Native Ad Dives Into the Business of Cocaine

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The Wall Street Journal's branded-content division has stepped up to create Netflix's latest native-ad extravaganza promoting an original series, this time "Narcos," the bilingual chronicle of Colombian cocaine lord Pablo Escobar.

The Journal's 'Cocainenomics' uses reporting, video interviews with DEA agents, graphics, photos and an interactive map to tell the story of cocaine as a business. A Spanish-language version is being published next week, according to the Journal.

Netflix previously hired The New York Times' T Brand Studio to create a 1,500-word native ad for "Orange is the New Black," in the form of a multimedia examination of female incarceration; tapped The Atlantic's in-house marketing shop Re:think to promote "House of Cards" via an elaborate presentation of presidents and their wives; and paid Wired to create a dynamic sponsored feature about streaming video called "TV Got Better."

"I think one of the biggest things for me as an editor is making certain that what we wrote and what we came up with would be something our audiences wanted to read," said Fara Warner, global editorial director, WSJ Custom Studios, which employs 37 staffers in various countries. "The idea of a business and economics story behind the MedellĂ­n cartel was something i really thought we could own."

Journal executives declined to disclose the terms of the deal, but the price tag was likely significant. The Atlantic's native ad for "House of Cards" involved a six-figure investment, according to people familiar with that execution. A Netflix spokeswoman did not respond to messages seeking comment on deadline.

Read the full story on Netflix's Cocainenomics on

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Sep 22, 2015
WSJ Custom Studios
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