Here’s What It Looks Like When You Design Your Billboards to Fit In

A Native Ad Experiment in San Francisco


This week, we bought some billboards in SF to promote the upcoming Sharethrough Native Ad Summit

Side note: the Native Ad Summit is on 7/22. More details below the photos.

So of course, in the standard Sharethrough way, we couldn’t help but design each billboard to be uniquely “native” to the environment around it.

If interested, here’s a deeper dive into the native ad market and why it’s the only long-term viable form of monetization for modern internet companies:

And if you’re not familiar with native ads, click here for a bunch of visual examples. Hint: native ads match the form & function of their surrounding environments.

Here are a few of the billboards in action:

“Ads Can Fit In”

(This one on 2nd & Mission is my favorite.)

“Ads Can Fit In”
“This Is Native Advertising”

It turned out that one of the billboards we bought on Market St was nearly entirely blocked by trees…so we decided to have some fun with it.

The billboard is hidden behind these trees…
“Trees Don’t Block Native Ads” — That photo on the billboard is actually a photo of the billboard being blocked by trees.

Keep an eye out for more…

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We bought these billboards to promote the upcoming Sharethrough Native Ad Summit. If interested, details below.

Date & Location: 7/22 at the SF Jazz Center

Speakers include:

Me! (Dan Greenberg) from Sharethrough (I’ll be emcee-ing the event)

Becky Brown from Intel

Javier Farfan from Pepsi

Tim Malone from North Face

Erika Lamoreaux from Clorox

Steve Patrizi from Pinterest

Evan Hansen from Medium

David Thacker from LinkedIn

Tony Haile from Chartbeat

Chris Pirrone from USA Today

Sebastian Tomich from NY Times

James Del from Gawker

Moksha Fitzgibbons from Complex

Kelly Andresen from The Washington Post

Melissa Goidel from Refinery29

Michael Brenner from Newscred

Jason Harris from Mekanism

Aric Lapera from Buzzfeed

Dave Madden from EA

PS — thanks to our sponsors for helping to make this event happen. Yahoo, Refinery29, Newscred, Complex, and DailyDot all live in the future and know that it’s not about banner ads.

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