Native Advertising – A game changing opportunity?

… Or an unproven new way to kid your audiences that you’re not really selling to them?

Let’s face it, traditional forms of media advertising are well past their sell-by date. We don’t want anybody hard-selling to us and we will do whatever it takes to avoid it. Hurray for on-demand content and recording devices that removes TV advertising. Hurray for online ad-blockers.

And then comes along a new leopard callednative advertising’. This unobtrusive and non-interruptive format seamlessly slips in alongside editorial or informational content, carefully camouflaged not to give the game away. ‘Native’ could be a video, an article or an infographic- but it is always a carefully composed piece of advertising that surreptitiously fits with the form, function and style of the content around it.

Normally it finds its place online targeting niche audiences. Brands hunt down the best places to reach their market via popular online sites that target a similar demographic. The trick then is to create something entertaining, informative, engaging and highly relevant to the audience with an unobtrusive dose of branding thrown in. The hope is that the audience will make a connection between the value of the content and the value of the brand. That’s the plan anyway.

Product placement has been around for years in films and on TV. Television programmes and featured events are sponsored. They work in a similar way. But native advertising is far more effectively crafted to potentially drive stronger bridges to market sectors.

At 2020, our main interest is in the future of video based native ads. We have been at the forefront of criss-crossing between advertising and editorially detached content for over 15 years both on TV and online. Native advertising is an extension of so much of what we have done. But will it work? Will audiences accept it? Well let’s take a look.

Here some well known examples that fly the flag for ‘native’:

“Android: Friends Furever” offers cute animals witihn a powerful story to drive a big audience.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnVuqfXohxc

“HP Enterprise” serves up a fun story to illustrate the importance of protecting data- but is it still too selly?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sBzf3uYXqg

“Momondo – The DNA Journey” got big audiences sharing this to show why we should all travel the world to re-connect with our DNA… through flight search engine, Momondo, of course!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyaEQEmt5ls

“Barber Gives Haircuts to Homeless – an engaging heartwarming story with subtle Kleenex branding.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKjFCSr5sQ0

The BIG question- does the story just contrive an opportunity to sell? Will people see through this?

Maybe, but the viewing numbers are impressive. People have chosen to view the content rather than it being forced on them. So that’s a massive positive for the brands. It is a big step forward from the mass audience “switch-off” of brand pre-roll ads for YouTube content.

Here’s just a few examples from 2020 Media:

Bing It On- Inbetweeners star Jay Buckley enjoys a great night out- courtesy of Bing
https://vimeo.com/98669319
Password: 3M

Maserati – Great Drives to Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels
https://vimeo.com/113081848
Password:
Maserati

Rosie Hardy – A Day in the Life of A Photographer (Microsoft Surface)
https://vimeo.com/169831599
Password:
3MZ

Danepak – The Great British Bacon Off- presented the same week as the Great British Bake-Off
https://vimeo.com/141645155
Password:
bacon

Summer Tracks – First Great Western Trains – Gabriella Aplin gives a surprise performance on a train to Glastonbury
https://vimeo.com/99343110
Password:
SummerTracks

Call us if you would like more information on making native videos.

Rob Potter 3/7/2016