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Native Ads. The Best? The Worst? The Future?

By Maura Mitchell

Love it or hate it, native advertising is a hot topic with marketers.

First, a quick definition. Native ads are created to blend in as much as possible with the surrounding content. Facebook Sponsored Stories and Promoted Tweets are great examples.

Proponents believe native ads are a win for consumers and businesses. They are less interruptive and glaringly commercial, so they don’t irritate readers as much as other formats. Native ads are as likely to be noticed as actual editorial content, and tend to engage people for roughly the same amount of time. Recent research shows that native ads have greater impact on purchase intent and brand liking than traditional banner ads.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the majority of consumers feel misled by native advertising. Americans are especially bothered by sponsored videos, which 86% say are deceptive. 18-34 year olds are the most likely to feel tricked by native ads in digital media. Not surprisingly, many who are misled develop negative impressions of the brands advertised.

What are the implications for your business?
  • Have you carefully considered the tradeoff between effectiveness and trust that seems to be inherent in native advertising?
  • Do you have clear guidelines for native advertising execution to minimize misleading consumers?
  • Are you comfortable with the balance you have established between banner ads and native ads?
If you would like to keep up-to-speed with how consumers use social media, technology and the Internet, check out The Digital American 2013. Click here for a free sample.

For help developing powerful marketing strategies that drive results, strategic plans that deliver  growth,  or  new  products  that  consumers  love,  contact Brandology at 925-417-2253 or
Sources: IPG Media Lab 2013, Marketing Charts 2013, MediaBrix 2012, Online Media Daily 2013

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