Native advertising is becoming the most important marketing trend globally. With its non-disruptive approach, native advertising produces much better results than traditional ad formats.
The new model is growing substantially. In fact, as of 2017, 20% of news media publishers’ overall advertising revenue came from native advertising, and that number is expected to grow to 36% by 2021. For magazine publishers, those numbers were 31% and 46% respectively.
According to new estimates, based off historical data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC, as well as IHS, native display revenue may make up as much of three-quarters of the U.S. ad market.
Consequently, we are now witnessing a continuous development of native advertising strategies, while ad solutions are becoming more creative each day. That’s why in this blog post I will discuss the trends in this field and the five brightest native advertising examples of 2019 so far.
Native advertising trends
Today, a whopping 70 million U.S. internet users employ ad blockers. This is equivalent to a little more than 25% of internet users in the U.S. These numbers are even higher in Europe, where 28.7% in France and 32.0% in Germany use ad blockers.
This is why native ad strategists and digital markets, in general, are trying to come up with new ideas on how to make their commercial messages more attractive. Here are the trends taking hold so far:
Content quality will keep improving, both in terms of traditional formats and in more innovative formats, such as AI and VR
-Jesper Laursen Founder and CEO, Native Advertising Institute
Ad as a story
Another trend of native advertising is to create more brand-centric ads but packed in a well-written story. Advertisers will not hide the brand promotion anymore, they will expose it completely. This type of honesty will attract users with its sheer simplicity and openness.
As advertisers, brands and publishers realize it’s worth a flock to it in a more mainstream way, practitioners will need to ensure that they’re embracing intelligent KPIs to understand the worth of the efforts. Likewise, native ads will need to be built into a broader data-informed strategy.
Top 5 brightest native advertising campaigns
Competition in the field of native advertising is getting stronger and more creative. We have seen the coming trends and the way advertisers will be trying to win over the buyers. There are many examples of exciting campaigns and I picked the best five among these. These campaigns successfully implemented modern principles of native advertising. Let’s see what they are about and what you can learn from them.
Internet: Honest Alexa
To rival Amazon’s ever-popular Prime Days, online marketplace, eBay created its own promotional ‘Crash Sale.’ Alluding to the crash of Amazon’s homepage during last year’s Prime Days.
The company promised amazing deals in the event that Amazon’s site crashed again. To promote this cheeky initiative, eBay created a video ad featuring a girl named Alexa (parodying the Amazon virtual assistant by the same name) who criticizes Prime Day’s encouraging her father to check out eBays deals instead.
Witty and timely, is safe to say, we’re big fans.
Media: Chernobyl. The Human Cost of Misinformation: How Silence and Lies Exacerbated the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster
“As HBO’s new miniseries Chernobyl and a companion podcast highlight, propaganda and obfuscation contributed to history’s worst nuclear tragedy—and modern observers are likely to notice the same distortions at play in today’s online landscape.”
In order to promote its miniseries, Chernobyl, HBO partnered with the New Yorker, to give a sneak peek into the events that lead to the Chernobyl disaster, paralleling them to events taking place today.
A simple example, this piece of native advertising could just have well been an ordinary piece by the New Yorker and as such seamlessly draws the reader in, later hosting a trailer to the show then viewing details.
Food and beverage: Bring Your Beer to Work Day
In promotion of Heineken’s alcohol-free product, Heineken 0.0%, Heineken created an event entitled, Bring your beer to work day, which they commiserated through a promotional video, in which actors from the popular television series, The Office stopped by real workplaces, armed with cases of the beer and the research-backed claim that drinking at the workplace could actually boost morale.
Fun, entertaining to watch and featuring everyone’s favorite office workers in character, this is certainly native at its best.
Technology: Awards Predictor Powered by Microsoft AI
Leading up to the this year’s Oscar awards, Microsoft paired with the Hollywood Reporter to create an awards predictor, powered by Microsoft AI.
This is a great example of what native should look like ideally, as it demonstrates the value of the product, without having to explicitly mention it, but also because it’s so naturally interesting and timely for readers of the Hollywood Reporter. The predictor, as it encourages audience participation, through voting, gets readers engaging and interacting, certainly not coming across as an ad.
Media: Amazon Prime Student
Amazon partnered with the Tab, to develop a quiz for students to decide on what series to binge-watch next. It’s incredibly simple, relevant to the demographic and certainly got them some visibility (We’re used to Netflix telling us what to watch next, it’s about time another streaming service did)
The quiz promises to “match you with your new favorite show in seven simple questions,” Saving you “minutes, hours, DAYS of scrolling, only to settle for sub-standard TV viewing.”
Completing the quiz also gave you a chance at winning a cash prize. A win-win. Amazon get’s info on a demographic that’s interesting to them, quiz participants get to interact with content that they find useful and even get a shot at winning a prize.
See More examples at this year’s Native Advertising DAYS
Want more great examples? Every year the Native Advertising Institute, in collaboration with an expert panel of judges, selects the best native advertising around the world – in 30+ categories – at the Native Advertising Awards. The awards are a component of the annual Native Advertising DAYS conference held in Berlin, which the largest conference of its kind in Europe. Attending is a great way to get inspired by industry leaders and great examples. Don’t miss out. get your tickets today!